Horses thumbnail 1
Horses thumbnail 2
+1
images
Not currently on display at the V&A

Horses

Glasses
1985 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

Philip Oliver Goldsmith, a salesman for a small optical firm, founded his 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.

A. Oliver Goldsmith created 'Horses' using the outline of two horse heads. The frame was one of a series of animal-inspired shapes the company produced around this time, which also included dogs and ducks. This dramatic design was consistent with Goldsmith's taste for bold, often whimsical eyewear and reflects the company's promotion of glasses not as a medical necessity, but as a fashionable accessory.

Object details

Categories
Object type
TitleHorses (manufacturer's title)
Materials and techniques
Acetate
Brief description
Acetate eyeglasses 'Horses', made by Oliver Goldsmith Eyewear, Great Britain, 1985
Physical description
Eyeglasses of acetate with frames in the shape of horse heads.
Dimensions
  • Width: 18cm
  • Height: 7.5cm
Production typePrototype
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.
Production
Attribution note: Made in the company's Potters Bar workshop
Subject depicted
Summary
Philip Oliver Goldsmith, a salesman for a small optical firm, founded his 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.

A. Oliver Goldsmith created 'Horses' using the outline of two horse heads. The frame was one of a series of animal-inspired shapes the company produced around this time, which also included dogs and ducks. This dramatic design was consistent with Goldsmith's taste for bold, often whimsical eyewear and reflects the company's promotion of glasses not as a medical necessity, but as a fashionable accessory.
Collection
Accession number
T.245V-1990

About this object record

Explore the Collections contains over a million catalogue records, and over half a million images. It is a working database that includes information compiled over the life of the museum. Some of our records may contain offensive and discriminatory language, or reflect outdated ideas, practice and analysis. We are committed to addressing these issues, and to review and update our records accordingly.

You can write to us to suggest improvements to the record.

Suggest feedback

Record createdOctober 8, 2008
Record URL
Download as: JSON