Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.



  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (made)

  • Date:

    1930s (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Oliver Goldsmith Eyewear (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Moulded celluloid

  • 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.

This frame was made from moulded nitrate. However, because it is a highly flammable material, nitate was only used for eyewear briefly. It was later banned as unsafe.

Physical description

Round eye shape plastic sunglasses with curl sides. Moulded celluloid.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (made)


1930s (made)


Oliver Goldsmith Eyewear (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Moulded celluloid

Object history note

Registered File number 1990/200.
This 1930s frame is a very early sunglass design based on an optical frame. At this time, lenses were flat before the introduction of curved lenses.

Descriptive line

Round eye shape plastic moulded celluloid sunglasses, made by Oliver Goldsmith Eyewear, Great Britain, 1930s


Plastic; Celluloid




Plastic; Fashion; Accessories; 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.