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The One-Eyed Man Is King

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Eustice Tilley, the dandyish mascot of The New Yorker, telegraphs his estimable class status with a number of chic-yet-dignified sartorial choices, a top hat and topcoat among them. But the accessory that most efficiently communicates Mr. Tilley’s caste is his monocle: a single, bespoke lens secured round his neck by a fine string and held aloft before his discerning eye. By the time Tilley graced The New Yorker’s inaugural cover in 1925, the image of the bemonocled man-about-town had already become a thing of caricature. How did the monocle become a symbol of wealth?
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