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

Minor

Sunglasses
1969 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

The eyewear firm Oliver Goldsmith created this glasses frame, titled ‘Minor’, in 1969. Philip Oliver Goldsmith, a salesman for a small optical firm, founded this 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.

The firm created this frame at a time when materials were cut and shaped by hand in the company workshop. This frame’s Mother-of-pearl effect finish and exaggerated square shape made Minor a distinctive style which took advantage of fashion’s taste for stylised geometry at this time. Minor’s large size made it a pair of sunglasses to hide behind!

Object details

Categories
Object type
TitleMinor (manufacturer's title)
Materials and techniques
Cellulose acetate, mica
Brief description
Square-shaped plastic sunglasses frames 'Minor', made by Oliver Goldsmith Eyewear, Great Britain, 1969
Physical description
Sunglasses with softened square-shaped frames of cellulose acetate layered over mica, giving a mother-of-pearl effect.
Dimensions
  • Width: 15cm
  • Height: 7cm
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 ‘Minor’, in 1969. Philip Oliver Goldsmith, a salesman for a small optical firm, founded this 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.

The firm created this frame at a time when materials were cut and shaped by hand in the company workshop. This frame’s Mother-of-pearl effect finish and exaggerated square shape made Minor a distinctive style which took advantage of fashion’s taste for stylised geometry at this time. Minor’s large size made it a pair of sunglasses to hide behind!
Collection
Accession number
T.244O-1990

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Record createdDecember 8, 2008
Record URL
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