Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.


  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (made)

  • Date:

    1960 (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 the company in London in 1926. In 1935 his son Charles Goldsmith entered the firm with the aim of making glasses 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.

Charles Oliver Goldsmith designed this frame in 1960 at a time when his company, Oliver Goldsmith, was seeking added publicity for their designs. At this time plastic was still cut and shaped by hand in the company workshop. Charles Oliver Goldsmith created this mask-like design after he had made a similar special pair for the pianist Winifred Atwell. The mask was hand-painted, fitted to a pair of existing sunglass and sold as a whimsical accessory for parties.

Physical description

Plastic sunglasses frame a with decorative hand-painted mask depicting a sheet of music attached to the front.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (made)


1960 (made)


Oliver Goldsmith Eyewear (manufacturer)

Materials and Techniques


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

Plastic sunglasses frame, made by Oliver Goldsmith Eyewear, Great Britain, 1960



Subjects depicted

Musical notes


Fashion; Accessories; Plastic; Europeana Fashion Project; Eyewear


Textiles and Fashion Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.