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

Bamboo

Sunglasses
1962 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Philip Oliver Goldsmith, a salesman for a small optical firm, founded Oliver Goldsmith in London in 1926. In 1935 his son Charles 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.

Charles Oliver Goldsmith designed this frame at a time when the plastic was cut and shaped by hand in the company workshop. The application of the bamboo was also done by hand; each piece was secured to the plastic frame by tiny screws. Though whimsical, this design is potentially wearable and it received much press attention at the time. The frame was initially designed to be worn by Arthur Askey in a West End production of 'Robinson Crusoe' at the London Palladium.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Acetate, plastic and bamboo
Brief Description
Plastic sunglasses 'Bamboo' with real bamboo, made by Oliver Goldsmith Eyewear, Great Britain, 1962
Physical Description
Plastic sunglasses with real bamboo cut to fit the front and sides and attached by rivets.
Dimensions
  • Width: 15cm
  • Height: 5.5cm
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 Oliver Goldsmith in London in 1926. In 1935 his son Charles 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.



Charles Oliver Goldsmith designed this frame at a time when the plastic was cut and shaped by hand in the company workshop. The application of the bamboo was also done by hand; each piece was secured to the plastic frame by tiny screws. Though whimsical, this design is potentially wearable and it received much press attention at the time. The frame was initially designed to be worn by Arthur Askey in a West End production of 'Robinson Crusoe' at the London Palladium.
Collection
Accession Number
T.243A-1990

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record createdJune 24, 2009
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