Wednesday, May 28, 2014

History's Runway: The Jester Glasses, 1954

The Jester Glasses
Oliver Goldsmith Co., 1955
The Victoria & Albert Museum

Philip Oliver Goldsmith, a salesman for a small optical concern, founded his own eyewear firm in London in 1926.  In 1935, his son Charles Oliver Goldsmith joined the family firm with the with the goal of making glasses into fashion item instead of an ugly necessity.

The firm became known for their attention-grabbing designs which attracted celebrity endorsement for their products. Famous clients included Lord Snowdon, the actress Diana Dors, Princess Grace of Monaco and Diana, Princess of Wales.

This pair from 1954 shows Charles Oliver Goldsmith's flair for design and his desire to offer an unusual alternative to the practical eyewear that was available at the time. With a whimsical, exaggerated cat-eye shape, this design was whimsically entitled “The Jester Glasses” and though abstract, they were still quite wearable. 

The Plastic sunglasses with exaggerated scalloped edges were hand-cut with a blue veneer laminated onto the surface.

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