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A Link to the Past

From gaudy, provocative designs to exquisite examples set in gold and embedded with precious gemstones, cufflinks are a sharp way to add flair to classic formalwear.

Cufflinks date back as far back as the 17th century, but the fashion for these powerful little accessories really took off in the 1850s when the double or “French” cuff appeared.

At the time, cufflinks were a rare opportunity for the Victorian dandy to express personality and style in an era that dictated an otherwise sober dress code for men. Today, cufflinks remain popular amongst any man (or indeed woman) with an eye for design and detail. The ultimate in understated cool, these particular accoutrements look unlikely to go out of style any time soon.

Virtually every design imaginable has had its ‘moment’ with cufflinks, from the conservative portraiture and simple designs of the Victorian era, through the twinkling gemstones of the Edwardian years, the fluid swirls and animal motifs of the Art Nouveau movement to the enamel geometric patterns of Art Deco design. The 20th century saw jewellery houses such as Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels designing extremely fine cufflinks and cufflinks by famous designers such as René Lalique are highly valuable and collectable today.

Antique and vintage cufflinks offer an opportunity to snap up authentic, original designs in a huge range of materials and prices. They are as desirable to the modern gentleman with a handful of favourite, sentimental pairs as to the discerning collector with hundreds of the things.

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