Instantly recognisable even despite its time out of the limelight, the 100-year-old British eyewear specialist Curry & Paxton is back and thriving along with their heritage glasses that were previously worn by Harry Palmer. Originally founded by Joseph Pickard and William Curry in 1876, they excelled with their innovative, premium-quality eyewear. After Pickard retired, George Paxton Snr joined, and the firm was later established as Curry & Paxton Ltd.
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Fast forward to Curry & Paxton’s efforts, supplying spectacles to 13 leading hospitals after the war; their frames continue to be used mainly for medical reasons. With the war becoming a not-so-distant memory, culture and fashion started to filter into Britain. At the time, Tatler was the most significant magazine, and Curry & Paxton had landed on the front cover of their November issue in 1959. As they became not just a medicinal tool but a fashionable accessory, they grew in popularity and were noticed in a few memorable moments in British history.
As the 60s took off and are remembered as one of the most significant decades in British history, we can’t help but reminisce on a decade filled with so many influential moments. Music and fashion became more experimental; there was colour everywhere and sounds that just influenced you to get up and dance. England won the 1966 Fifa World Cup against Germany, and cinema and film came into play more regularly. This is where Curry & Paxton left their mark in the era we can only enjoy as a memory.
The Original Harry Palmer Glasses
In 1965, The Ipcress File was released to movie theatres worldwide; it was the first in the famous Harry Palmer series and starred a young Sir Michael Caine. Based on the novels by Len Deighton, The Ipcress File was a hit and won a BAFTA for the Best British Film award. The classic Yvan Optical frames worn by Sir Michael Caine became an iconic and timeless look easily recognisable amongst many then and now. Sir Michael Caine was recognised for his talents and, fortunately for Curry & Paxton, the glasses he wore. He only wore them in one scene but it’s a scene that you’ll be hard-pressed to forget.
The Yvon Optical Frames, better known as the original Harry Palmer Glasses, now remain in the hall of fame. Remembered by the older generations who were there and now flourish amongst the new and those to come. The dark tortoiseshell frames are made from 100% high-grade cellulose from world-renowned Italian manufacturer Mazzucchelli. Featuring five-barrel hinges and genuine pin fastenings for maximum strength and durability.
Although Curry & Paxton didn’t make it through the global boom in the 80s, the iconic frames continued to hold their title. The brand later re-emerged in the new millennium and is now here to stay. As the famous classic frames once made, such as the Yvon and Grace, have taken off, we can consider that Curry & Paxton will continue to adapt and thrive over the next 100 years.