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

Sophia

Glasses
1972 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

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 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 actor Diana Dors, Princess Grace of Monaco and Diana, Princess of Wales.

Charles Goldsmith designed this frame, titled ‘Sophia’, in 1963, a time when the plastic was cut and shaped by hand in the company's workshop. This frame was part of a trio of styles (Sophia, Pelota and Diplomat) which offered customers variations on the same basic shape.

Object details

Categories
Object type
TitleSophia (manufacturer's title)
Materials and techniques
Acetate and plastic
Brief description
Shallow plastic framed glasses 'Sophia', made by Oliver Goldsmith Eyewear, Great Britain, 1972
Physical description
Shallow brown framed glasses with a slight cat-eye shape. Acetate and plastic.
Dimensions
  • Height: 5cm
  • Width: 15cm
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 his 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 actor Diana Dors, Princess Grace of Monaco and Diana, Princess of Wales.

Charles Goldsmith designed this frame, titled ‘Sophia’, in 1963, a time when the plastic was cut and shaped by hand in the company's workshop. This frame was part of a trio of styles (Sophia, Pelota and Diplomat) which offered customers variations on the same basic shape.
Collection
Accession number
T.244V-1990

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Record createdJune 24, 2009
Record URL
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