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Sunglasses - Tennis Rackets

Tennis Rackets

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (made)

  • Date:

    1956 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Oliver Goldsmith Eyewear (manufacturer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Plasti, net and pearls

  • 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 this eyewear 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, Princess Grace of Monaco and Diana, Princess of Wales.

Charles Oliver Goldsmith designed this frame at a time when plastic was cut and shaped by hand in the company workshop. He designed it for a fashion show of tennis clothing staged by celebrity tennis star turned designer Teddy Tinling. Its unusual design, featuring two tennis racket shaped eye-pieces, complete with miniature bags of tennis balls, received much publicity at the time. It was the first example of the type of whimsical design for which Oliver Goldsmith Eyewear later became known.

Physical description

White and orange plastic sunglasses with small net bags containing miniature balls.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (made)


1956 (made)


Oliver Goldsmith Eyewear (manufacturer)

Materials and Techniques

Plasti, net and pearls


Height: 4.5 cm, Width: 18 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

Plastic sunglasses 'Tennis Rackets' with small net bags, made by Oliver Goldsmith Eyewear, Great Britain, 1956


Plastic; Net (textile)


Accessories; Fashion; Plastic; Europeana Fashion Project; Eyewear


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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