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Sunglasses - Space Age

Space Age

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (made)

  • Date:

    1968 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Oliver Goldsmith Eyewear (manufacturer)

  • Materials and Techniques:


  • Credit Line:

    Given by A. Oliver Goldsmith, in memory of his father, Charles Oliver Goldsmith

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Philip Oliver Goldsmith, a salesman for a small optical firm, founded his eyewear company in London in 1926. In 1935 his son Charles Goldsmith entered the firm with the aim of making eyeglasses a fashion item. From the company’s London offices in Poland Street, his sons A. Oliver and Ray Goldsmith built upon the company’s reputation for attention-grabbing designs and solicited celebrity endorsement for their products. Important clients included Lord Snowdon, the actress Diana Dors, Princess Grace of Monaco and Diana, Princess of Wales.

A. Oliver Goldsmith created this frame design in 1968. Named ‘Space Age’ after the film ‘2001: a Space Odyssey’, the frame’s futuristic, somewhat impractical design suggests a protective shield more than functional eyewear. The frames are made from particularly thick plastic and the sides are oversized. While the resulting design is distinctive, it was challenging to make at a time when such frames were crafted by hand. This design attracted considerable press attention, though it was not a top seller.

Physical description

White wrap-around sunglasses made from thick plastic with small holes drilled through over the eyes in the shape of a cross. The sides are double jointed.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (made)


1968 (made)


Oliver Goldsmith Eyewear (manufacturer)

Materials and Techniques



Height: 53 mm, Width: 14 cm

Object history note

Registered File number 1990/200.
These glasses form part of a design archive of the British eyewear company Oliver Goldsmith. The archive, which consists of approximately 70 glasses frames from the 1930s to the late 1980s, was donated by A. Oliver Goldsmith, grandson of the founder, and former chief designer at the firm. A. Oliver Goldsmith donated the material to the V & A in memory of his father Charles Goldsmith.

Descriptive line

Wrap-around sunglasses 'Space Age' plastic frames with holes drilled through the eyes, made by Oliver Goldsmith Eyewear, Great Britain, 1968




Fashion; Accessories; Plastic; Europeana Fashion Project; Eyewear

Production Type

Limited edition


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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