Monday, December 8, 2008

Charles Keller platinum and gold Cufflinks, circa 1920.

Snowflakes on the Cuff

Yesterday afternoon we had the first snowfall of the season. Although not exactly a blizzard, there was enough snow to cover everything in luminous, shimmering white. With this first sign of winter, it seems like a good time to talk about Snowflakes.

In decades around 1920, a great variety of cufflinks were created. Among the popular styles were white gold and platinum cufflinks with beautifully engraved centers. The cufflinks often featured radiant stars or stylized flower designs surrounded by bold, geometric borders. These lacy, white jewels have become known as "Snowflakes".

Platinum and Gold engraved "Snowflake" cufflinks, circa 1925.

Here are an elegantly engraved pair of cufflinks that are a nice example of the Snowflake style. The centers feature stylized flower motifs surrounded by elegant Chinese key borders. These cufflinks nicely illustrate the light, floating feel of the Snowflake style, as well as the diverse influences that contributed to Art Deco design. Crafted in gold and platinum, circa 1925.

Ziething Sapphire and Gold cufflinks, circa 1925.

Radiant star bursts set with rich blue man-made Sapphires brighten these Ziething cufflinks. Ziething & Company was a maker of fine cufflinks during the early decades of the last century. The firm excelled at brightly engraved cufflnks which beautifully sparkle and dance in the light. Crafted in 10kt white gold, circa 1925.

Frosty platinum and gold cufflinks, circa 1920.

Snowflake cufflinks are usually beautifully designed and well crafted. However, they present two challenges. First, Snowflakes tend to get lost against a white shirt cuff. These white gold and platinum cufflinks are best appreciated against a darker or patterned background.

Second, although Snowflake cufflinks are well crafted, they tend to be lighter in weight. Thus, they are ideal for special occasions, but may not take well to daily wear. As always, closely examine the backs of Snowflakes (and other cufflinks) to assure that the links and brackets are in accord with the intended wear.

For additional views of the cufflinks shown above, please click the pictures.

A flurry of Snowflakes and other fine cufflinks can be found
in our Antique Cufflink Gallery.