The Martian

Sunglasses
1950s (made)
The Martian thumbnail 1
The Martian thumbnail 2
Not currently on display at the V&A

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

Charles Oliver Goldsmith designed this frame at a time when the plastic was cut and shaped by hand in the company workshop. The frame received much publicity at the time. Its unusual design, with the sides of the frame emerging from the nose, was photographed being worn by celebrity actress Diana Dors on July 15, 1956.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Plastic
Brief Description
White plastic sunglasses frames 'The Martian', given by Oliver Goldsmith Eyewear, Great Britain, 1950s
Physical Description
White plastic sunglasses with undulating sides emerging from the nose.
Dimensions
  • Height: 5.5cm
  • Width: 16cm
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.
Association
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, Princess Grace of Monaco and Diana, Princess of Wales.



Charles Oliver Goldsmith designed this frame at a time when the plastic was cut and shaped by hand in the company workshop. The frame received much publicity at the time. Its unusual design, with the sides of the frame emerging from the nose, was photographed being worn by celebrity actress Diana Dors on July 15, 1956.
Collection
Accession Number
T.243F-1990

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record createdJune 24, 2009
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