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

Zodiac

Glasses
1989 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

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 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.

The distinctive feature of this frame is the thin black line detailing around the edges and on the arms or sides. ‘Zodiac’ sold as eyeglasses frames but most often as sunglasses. They were named after the family car, at that time a Ford Zodiac. However, the design inspiration came from the lined bumpers of a Volvo, which the company advertised as damage-resistant.

Object details

Categories
Object type
TitleZodiac (manufacturer's title)
Materials and techniques
Plastic
Brief description
White plastic framed glasses 'Zodiac', made by Oliver Goldsmith Eyewear, Great Britain, 1989
Physical description
White plastic framed glasses with a fine black line detail around the edges. The lines continues onto the sides which are very wide. The frame has a slight protrusion at the bridge.
Dimensions
  • Height: 5cm
  • Width: 14.5cm
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
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 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.

The distinctive feature of this frame is the thin black line detailing around the edges and on the arms or sides. ‘Zodiac’ sold as eyeglasses frames but most often as sunglasses. They were named after the family car, at that time a Ford Zodiac. However, the design inspiration came from the lined bumpers of a Volvo, which the company advertised as damage-resistant.
Collection
Accession number
T.245O-1990

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Record createdJune 24, 2009
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