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Not currently on display at the V&A

The Wink

Sunglasses
1956 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

The eyewear firm Oliver Goldsmith created this glasses frame, titled ‘The Wink', in 1956. 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 transforming glasses from a medical necessity to 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.

Charles Goldsmith designed this style at a time when plastic frames were cut and shaped by hand in the company workshop. This frame’s somewhat delicate outline, sharp thin edges and narrow sides provided a challenge to make. Though whimsical, with its fanciful shape and a lens in only one eye, this design is potentially wearable and it received much press attention at the time.

Object details

Categories
Object type
TitleThe Wink (manufacturer's title)
Materials and techniques
Hand-cut and finished acetate plastic
Brief description
White plastic sunglasses frames 'The Wink' with a shallow oval eye shape, made by Oliver Goldsmith Eyewear, Great Britain, 1956
Physical description
White plastic sunglasses with a shallow oval eye shape and with a lense in the right eye only.
Dimensions
  • Width: 15cm
  • Height: 3cm
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, titled ‘The Wink', in 1956. 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 transforming glasses from a medical necessity to 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.

Charles Goldsmith designed this style at a time when plastic frames were cut and shaped by hand in the company workshop. This frame’s somewhat delicate outline, sharp thin edges and narrow sides provided a challenge to make. Though whimsical, with its fanciful shape and a lens in only one eye, this design is potentially wearable and it received much press attention at the time.
Collection
Accession number
T.243D-1990

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Record createdNovember 27, 2008
Record URL
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