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

Glasses

1986 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

The eyewear firm Oliver Goldsmith created this glasses frame in 1986. 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 actress Diana Dors, Princess Grace of Monaco and Diana, Princess of Wales.

This slightly oversized eyeglasses frame was designed in clear plastic. It is the prototype for the style that eventually became the frame titled ‘Bharti’. Oliver Goldsmith always made prototypes like this in clear plastic, rather than coloured. This style represents the lighter frames which customers were requesting in the 1980s.

Object details

Categories
Object type
Materials and techniques
Acetate
Brief description
Acetate framed glasses, made by Oliver Goldsmith Eyewear, Great Britain, 1986
Physical description
Clear acetate framed glasses with an off-centre rounded eye shape.
Dimensions
  • Width: 14cm
  • Height: 5.5cm
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.
Summary
The eyewear firm Oliver Goldsmith created this glasses frame in 1986. 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 actress Diana Dors, Princess Grace of Monaco and Diana, Princess of Wales.

This slightly oversized eyeglasses frame was designed in clear plastic. It is the prototype for the style that eventually became the frame titled ‘Bharti’. Oliver Goldsmith always made prototypes like this in clear plastic, rather than coloured. This style represents the lighter frames which customers were requesting in the 1980s.
Collection
Accession number
T.245P-1990

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Record createdDecember 12, 2008
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