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Sunglasses

First known to be used by the Chinese in the 13th century to protect eyes from the sun, sunglasses have long been associated with an air of coolness. Now a staple of modern style, sunglasses are often in demand at auction.

In the early 1930s, the U.S. Army Air Corps commissioned Bausch & Lomb to create an antiglare lens for pilots. The result was a lens that filtered out 95 percent of the sun's ultraviolet rays. By the late 1930s, ads for Bausch & Lomb’s new sunglasses touted “real scientific glare protection” for golfers and fishermen, and during World War II, Ray-Ban aviators became standard issue for pilots and the preferred eyewear of American military men.

With an aviation appeal, designer sunglasses have had an aura of adventure and jet-set mystique. Sunglasses at auction are popular among bidders ranging from everyday people seeking practical sun protection to Hollywood types attempting to dim the glare of the spotlight.


Quick Facts

  • Many historians attribute the discovery of sunglasses to Alessandro della Spina, a Dominican monk. He created reading glasses at the end of the 13th century in northern Italy
  • A pair vintage sunglasses in the style of crossed tennis racquets sold in a lot with two other pairs of shades for £360 at a 2007 London Christie's auction. The sunglasses were made by Oliver Goldsmith, the designer who created the white frames worn by Audrey Hepburn in "How to Steal a Million”
  • In 2013 at Julien's, a pair of German made, gold toned Neostyle shades owned by Elvis Presley sold for a remarkable $28,125, easily topping their $8,000 to $10,000 estimate. The sunglasses were accidentally left behind at a 1973 recording session

Recommended Items at Auction

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Cartier Paris Sunglasses
Jun 27, 9:00 AM EDT
Cartier Paris Sunglasses
by Apple Tree Auction Center
Est: $0- $0
$455 Bids
Vintage 1960's Made Italy Sunglasses with Changeable Colored Lens
Jul 01, 11:00 AM EDT
Vintage 1960's Made Italy Sunglasses with Changeable Colored Lens
by Denise Ryan Auction Co.
Est: $25- $500
$504 Bids
Two Pair of Fashionable Sunglasses by Laura Biagiotti
Jun 27, 9:00 AM EDT
Two Pair of Fashionable Sunglasses by Laura Biagiotti
by Apple Tree Auction Center
Est: $0- $0
$102 Bids
Vintage 1960's Sunglasses with 8 Pair of Colorful Changeable Lens
Jul 01, 11:00 AM EDT
Vintage 1960's Sunglasses with 8 Pair of Colorful Changeable Lens
by Denise Ryan Auction Co.
Est: $25- $500
$302 Bids
Rick Ross | Assorted Sunglasses
Jul 09, 10:00 AM PDT
Rick Ross | Assorted Sunglasses
by Julien's Auctions
Est: $200- $300
$501 Bid
Tiffany and Co Sunglasses
Jun 27, 10:00 AM CDT
Tiffany and Co Sunglasses
by Hallmark Auctions
Est: $150- $200
$751 Bid
Chanel Sunglass with Crystal CC Logo Italy
Jul 10, 10:00 AM EDT
Chanel Sunglass with Crystal CC Logo Italy
by The Benefit Shop Foundation Inc.
Est: $100- $200
$11 Bid
Designer Signed “Escada” Cool Sunglasses w/Case
Jun 27, 9:00 AM EDT
Designer Signed “Escada” Cool Sunglasses w/Case
by Apple Tree Auction Center
Est: $0- $0
$51 Bid
Rayban & Foster Grant Sunglasses
Jun 29, 7:00 AM PDT
Rayban & Foster Grant Sunglasses
by California Auction Company LLC
Est: $0- $0
$101 Bid
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EXOTIC WOOD TINTED LEOPARD SUNGLASSES
Jun 26, 11:00 AM EDT
EXOTIC WOOD TINTED LEOPARD SUNGLASSES
by Gallery 63
Est: $400- $600
$1001 Bid
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Cartier Scala Rimless Sunglasses with Case
Jul 10, 2:00 PM EDT
Cartier Scala Rimless Sunglasses with Case
by Lion and Unicorn
Est: $800- $2,000
$801 Bid
EDITIONS ART STUDIO
Jun 30, 6:00 PM CEST
EDITIONS ART STUDIO
by TGP Auction
Est: CHF250- CHF350
CHF1500 Bids
Yuoyar Universal Leather Sunglasses Holder for Car
Jul 14, 6:00 PM CDT
Yuoyar Universal Leather Sunglasses Holder for Car
by Amazing Finds
Est: $0- $0
$10 Bids
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Bottega Veneta NEW 2022 Sky Blue Translucent Sunglasses Blue
Jul 02, 1:00 PM EDT
Bottega Veneta NEW 2022 Sky Blue Translucent Sunglasses Blue
by BougieHabit
Est: $290- $540
$2500 Bids
Burberry - a pair of sunglasses, cased; a leather wallet, 18cm wide; another, Hugo Boss, 21cm wide (3)
Jul 04, 10:00 AM BST
Burberry - a pair of sunglasses, cased; a leather wallet, 18cm wide; another, Hugo Boss, 21cm wide (3)
by Bamfords Auctioneers and Valuers Ltd
Est: £40- £60
£400 Bids
PORSCHE DESIGN P8636 A square matte black and grey frames, brown lens Polarized Sunglasses
Jun 25, 7:00 PM EDT
PORSCHE DESIGN P8636 A square matte black and grey frames, brown lens Polarized Sunglasses
by Omni Auction Corp
Est: $400- $600
$1800 Bids
2 Pairs of Cool-Ray Aviator Sunglasses Blue and Brown Lenses
Jul 08, 9:30 AM EDT
2 Pairs of Cool-Ray Aviator Sunglasses Blue and Brown Lenses
by Figlio Designs LLC
Est: $100- $200
$180 Bids
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COLLECTION OF GLASSES AND PINCHERS
Jun 25, 10:00 AM CEST
COLLECTION OF GLASSES AND PINCHERS
by Auktionshaus Rheine
Est: €45- €100
€400 Bids
Ray-Ban - A collection of vintage sunglasses including two pairs Aviator (cased), tortoiseshell (
Jun 26, 9:30 AM BST
Ray-Ban - A collection of vintage sunglasses including two pairs Aviator (cased), tortoiseshell (
by Andrew Smith & Son
Est: £150- £200
£1500 Bids
Vintage 1970/80's Spalding Aviator Sunglasses, Pink & Blue Metal Frame
Jul 01, 11:00 AM EDT
Vintage 1970/80's Spalding Aviator Sunglasses, Pink & Blue Metal Frame
by Denise Ryan Auction Co.
Est: $25- $500
$100 Bids
Rick Ross | Assorted Sunglasses
Jul 08, 10:00 AM PDT
Rick Ross | Assorted Sunglasses
by Julien's Auctions
Est: $200- $300
$500 Bids
Rick Ross | Assorted Eyewear
Jul 09, 10:00 AM PDT
Rick Ross | Assorted Eyewear
by Julien's Auctions
Est: $100- $200
$500 Bids
Rick Ross | Assorted Sunglasses
Jul 09, 10:00 AM PDT
Rick Ross | Assorted Sunglasses
by Julien's Auctions
Est: $100- $200
$500 Bids
Rick Ross | Assorted Sunglasses
Jul 09, 10:00 AM PDT
Rick Ross | Assorted Sunglasses
by Julien's Auctions
Est: $200- $300
$500 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Sunglasses


Julien's Auctions

Julien's Auctions

Chiswick Auctions

Chiswick Auctions

DejaVu Estate Sales & Auctions

DejaVu Estate Sales & Auctions

Lion and Unicorn

Lion and Unicorn