Polyoval thumbnail 1
Polyoval thumbnail 2
Not currently on display at the V&A

Polyoval

Glasses
1971 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

The eyewear firm Oliver Goldsmith created this glasses frame in 1971. 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 actor Diana Dors, Princess Grace of Monaco and Diana, Princess of Wales.

A slightly softened version of this style was worn by Princess Margaret for many years. It dates from the same year and same collection as 'Polygon' (T.245F-1990), both inspired by the 50 pence piece that came with Britain's adoption of the decimal monetary system in 1971. Oliver Goldsmith offered it in many colours, one of the most popular being clear or 'crystal' as it was called at the time.

Object details

Categories
Object type
TitlePolyoval (manufacturer's title)
Materials and techniques
Acetate
Brief description
Clear acetate glasses 'Polyoval', made by Oliver Goldsmith Eyewear, Great Britain, 1971
Physical description
Clear acetate eyeglasses with clear frames of softened polygon shape
Dimensions
  • Width: 25cm
  • Height: 5cm
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 this glasses frame in 1971. 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 actor Diana Dors, Princess Grace of Monaco and Diana, Princess of Wales.

A slightly softened version of this style was worn by Princess Margaret for many years. It dates from the same year and same collection as 'Polygon' (T.245F-1990), both inspired by the 50 pence piece that came with Britain's adoption of the decimal monetary system in 1971. Oliver Goldsmith offered it in many colours, one of the most popular being clear or 'crystal' as it was called at the time.
Collection
Accession number
T.245E-1990

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Record createdOctober 8, 2008
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