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

Cat Eye

Glasses
1966 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

Philip Oliver Goldsmith, a salesman for a small optical firm, founded the Oliver Goldsmith 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.

A. Oliver Goldsmith designed this frame in 1966 when plastic for eyeglasses was still cut and shaped by hand. The smoky colour of this frame, referred to as 'mink' at that time, was achieved by laminating brown plastic on to black plastic. Though it was designed in the UK, Goldsmith had this frame made in France as the prices were competitive at that time. In 2009, Oliver Goldsmith eyewear launched a replica of this design.

Object details

Categories
Object type
TitleCat Eye (manufacturer's title)
Materials and techniques
Plastic
Brief description
Plastic rectangular framed glasses 'Cat Eye', made by Oliver Goldsmith Eyewear, Great Britain, 1966
Physical description
Brown plastic rectangular frames with a slight cat-eye shape.
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 the Oliver Goldsmith 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.

A. Oliver Goldsmith designed this frame in 1966 when plastic for eyeglasses was still cut and shaped by hand. The smoky colour of this frame, referred to as 'mink' at that time, was achieved by laminating brown plastic on to black plastic. Though it was designed in the UK, Goldsmith had this frame made in France as the prices were competitive at that time. In 2009, Oliver Goldsmith eyewear launched a replica of this design.
Collection
Accession number
T.244P-1990

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Record createdJune 24, 2009
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