A cursory review of Dorothy Rainwater's wonderful book, American Jewelry Manufacturers, suggests that American jewelry makers numbered in the hundreds, if not the thousands, during the early decades of the last century. Some of these firms were large enterprises, many were small workshops. When you include the jewelry and cufflink makers of Great Britain, continental Europe and the rest of the world, it is little wonder that identifying the maker of a pair of cufflinks can sometimes be a challenge.
This week, I illustrate several pairs of cufflinks from an unidentified maker. Each of the cufflinks features distinctive bridges (cross bars) decorated with stylized acanthus leaves. Hence the unknown creator of these cufflinks has been nicknamed "The Acanthus Bridge Maker."
Crafted in 14kt white and yellow gold, the cufflinks share common design elements in addition to the unique bridges. From the style of the cufflinks and use of white gold, they appear to have been created during the 1920s. Each pair weighs about 6 grams and is exceedingly well crafted.
The cufflinks are sometimes set with small diamonds on one face. The above two-tone pair features engine-turned white gold centers surrounded by a yellow gold inner border. The string swag motif of the yellow gold border is repeated in the yellow gold and diamond cufflinks pictured at the top of this note. The white gold outer edges are nicely milgrained.
This pair of frosty white gold cufflinks features radiant star bursts surrounded by concentric circles. Note the floral and geometric border. This border design is also found in the cufflinks featured at the top of this note. The backs of these cufflinks, like the other two pairs, are crafted in 14kt yellow gold.
Other than the distinctive acanthus decorated bridges, there appears to be no maker's mark or signature. The maker of these beautiful cufflinks remains a mystery.
Note - Dorothy Rainwater's American Jewelry Manufacturers is an invaluable resource for identifying maker's marks. The Chicago Silver website also offers a helpful on-line reference for silver and jewelry marks (http://chicagosilver.com/marks_master_list.htm).
If you would like to view more elegant cufflinks from the past,
please visit our Antique Cufflink Gallery.