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

Jester

Sunglasses
1954 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

The eyewear firm Oliver Goldsmith created this glasses frame in the 1950s. Philip Oliver Goldsmith, a salesman for a small optical firm, founded his eyewear company in London in 1926. In 1935 his son Charles Oliver 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 example shows Charles Oliver Goldsmith's flair for design. It is one of numerous styles the firm offered as an alternative to the practical eyewear available at the time. Though whimsical, with its fanciful, exaggerated cat-eye shape, this design was eminently wearable. While the resulting design is distinctive, it was challenging to make at a time when such frames were crafted by hand.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Hand-cut plastic with laminted veneer
Brief Description
Plastic sunglasses frames 'Jester' with exaggerated scalloped edges, made by Oliver Goldsmith Eyewear, Great Britain, 1954
Physical Description
Plastic sunglasses with exaggerated scalloped edges. Hand-cut plastic with a blue veneer laminted onto the surface.
Dimensions
  • Height: 14cm
  • Width: 6.5cm
Production typeLimited edition
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 the 1950s. Philip Oliver Goldsmith, a salesman for a small optical firm, founded his eyewear company in London in 1926. In 1935 his son Charles Oliver 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 example shows Charles Oliver Goldsmith's flair for design. It is one of numerous styles the firm offered as an alternative to the practical eyewear available at the time. Though whimsical, with its fanciful, exaggerated cat-eye shape, this design was eminently wearable. While the resulting design is distinctive, it was challenging to make at a time when such frames were crafted by hand.
Collection
Accession Number
T.243C-1990

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record createdNovember 26, 2008
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