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Sunglasses - Card Players

Card Players

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (made)

  • Date:

    1956 (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 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, the actress Diana Dors, Princess Grace of Monaco and Diana, Princess of Wales.

Charles Oliver Goldsmith created this frame, titled ‘Card Players’, in 1956 at a time when materials were cut and shaped by hand in the company workshop. The card suit shapes were not simply glued on; rather they are part of the frame outline, which was cut by a specialist maker with a fretsaw. The company did not sell many of this style, but it was featured in the British press, in newspapers such as the Daily Herald (July 27, 1956). Although the frame was designed with publicity in mind, it is entirely wearable.

Physical description

White plastic sunglasses with cut-out red and black shapes from one of each of the four card suits raised along the top edge.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (made)


1956 (made)


Oliver Goldsmith Eyewear (manufacturer)

Materials and Techniques



Height: 5.5 cm, 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

White plastic sunglasses 'The Card Players', made by Oliver Goldsmith Eyewear, Great Britain, 1956




Accessories; Fashion; Plastic; Europeana Fashion Project; Eyewear


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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