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Groc

  • Object:

    Sunglasses

  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (made)

  • Date:

    1969 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Oliver Goldsmith Eyewear (manufacturer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Plastic

  • Credit Line:

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

  • Museum number:

    T.244Y-1990

  • Gallery location:

    On short term loan out for exhibition

The eyewear firm Oliver Goldsmith created this glasses frame, titled ‘Groc’, in 1969. Philip Oliver Goldsmith, a salesman for a small optical firm, founded this eyewear company in London in 1926. In 1935 his son Charles Goldsmith entered the firm with the aim of transforming glasses from a medical necessity to a fashion item. From the company’s 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. Key clients included Lord Snowdon, the actress Diana Dors, Princess Grace of Monaco and Diana, Princess of Wales.

The firm created this frame at a time when materials were cut and shaped by hand in the company workshop. The frame’s black and white colouring and exaggerated oval eye shape made it a distinctive style which took advantage of fashion’s fascination with black and white at this time. The frame also features a universal fitting, which allowed it to be worn either way on face.

Physical description

Straight-sided black and white plastic framed sunglasses with vertical oval lenses.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (made)

Date

1969 (made)

Artist/maker

Oliver Goldsmith Eyewear (manufacturer)

Materials and Techniques

Plastic

Dimensions

Width: 125 mm, Height: 7 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

Straight-sided plastic framed sunglasses 'Groc', made by Oliver Goldsmith Eyewear, Great Britain, 1969

Materials

Plastic

Categories

Fashion; Accessories; Plastic; Europeana Fashion Project; Eyewear

Collection

Textiles and Fashion Collection

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