Not currently on display at the V&A

Eyeshade

ca. 1980 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

The eyewear firm Oliver Goldsmith created then periodically reissued this design in the 1970s and 1980s. Philip Oliver Goldsmith, a salesman for a small optical firm, founded his eyewear company, Oliver Goldsmith, in London in 1926. In 1935 his son Charles Goldsmith entered the family 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 actor Diana Dors, Princess Grace of Monaco and Diana, Princess of Wales.

The company initially designed this eyeshade for an eyewear tradeshow, with the Oliver Goldsmith name and its products printed directly on the design. Selling staff were required to wear the eyeshades at the event and were encouraged to distribute them as promotional gifts. This strategy reflected the company's keen focus on marketing and publicity.

Object details

Categories
Object type
Materials and techniques
Tinted plastic with printed text, and elastic
Brief description
Tinted plastic eyeshade with an elastic band, made by Oliver Goldsmith Eyewear, Great Britain, ca. 1980
Physical description
Green tinted plastic eyeshade with an elastic band. Gold lettering printed on the eyeshade.
Dimensions
  • Width: 24cm
  • Height: 8.5cm
Production typeMass produced
Marks and inscriptions
'EYEWEAR / OLIVER GOLDSMITH / SUNGLASSES' (Printed on the eyeshade in gold)
Credit line
Given by A. Oliver Goldsmith, in memory of his father, Charles Oliver Goldsmith
Object history
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.
Summary
The eyewear firm Oliver Goldsmith created then periodically reissued this design in the 1970s and 1980s. Philip Oliver Goldsmith, a salesman for a small optical firm, founded his eyewear company, Oliver Goldsmith, in London in 1926. In 1935 his son Charles Goldsmith entered the family 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 actor Diana Dors, Princess Grace of Monaco and Diana, Princess of Wales.

The company initially designed this eyeshade for an eyewear tradeshow, with the Oliver Goldsmith name and its products printed directly on the design. Selling staff were required to wear the eyeshades at the event and were encouraged to distribute them as promotional gifts. This strategy reflected the company's keen focus on marketing and publicity.
Collection
Accession number
T.245C-1990

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Record createdOctober 8, 2008
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