women's : 1940s-50s : k5444
product code : k5444 : £ 125
  • 1940s jade green plastic frame, unmarked

  • Original mid-grey mineral glass sun lenses

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  • High-fashion sunglasses from the 1940's are difficult to find,

    let alone those of a quality that would be worn by members of

    the Royal Household. We knew these were special, but it is

    gratifying to find Princess Margaret's lady-in-waiting, Lady Mary

    Harvey, wearing this style in 1949 in Capri
    . The Princess was

    holidaying there, and note too her choice - which looks to be the

    'By Royal Appointment' Hamblin of London's Full Field or Sports

    Spectacles with tinted lenses, a shape which was adapted during

    WW2 as 'goggles' for pilots. We have a WW2 Hamblin pilots' pair

    for sale at the moment
    . If you are making a movie about the

    English Royal family in the 40's and early 50's, then these

    sunglasses would fit right in. We cannot say who made them as

    there are no markings, but they are movie star and haute

    couture level glamour. Margaret was wearing Norman Hartnell

    and Christian Dior at that time, but still had to look stately and

    demure, while Lady Harvey was perhaps freer to choose high

    fashion accessories like these - a daring cat-eye or butterfly

    style with lenses as high as they are wide. In crystal glass of

    course and the tint a mid-grey, which compliments the pastel

    green frame. That colour too is unusual - even better than Lady

    Harvey's translucent frame - as it's a solid, pale green that looks

    like the precious jade or chrysoprase of exotic jewellery. These

    fabulous sunglasses could have featured in a 1940's Vogue

    Magazine but these days, they do not offer the full uv protection

    required, so perhaps avoid wearing them all day in bright sunlight.

    We have also photographed the nose-pads to show that there are

    old, hairline cracks in the plastic around the join, but these don't

    appear to be a problem. This is an extraordinary vintage piece

    that has fluttered into life 80 years on, and awaits the limelight

    of another beguiling turn.

                                                           — klasik