Saturday, January 31, 2009

William Huger Cufflinks

William Huger blue guilloche enamel and gold cufflinks, circa 1920.

William Huger Cufflinks

William Huger & Company was not as large or prolific as some of the other fine cufflink makers of the early 20th century (e.g., Carrington and Wordley, Allsopp & Bliss). But what it lacked in size and numbers, the firm made up for with the beauty and craftsmanship of its cufflinks. William Huger cufflinks are sought both for their great beauty and rarity.

William Huger & Co. gold cufflinks, circa 1900.

The story of William Huger & Company is yet to be fully told: the historical record is sparse. The firm was based in Newark, New Jersey and appears to have created fine gold cufflinks and other jewels for only a few decades from the late 1890s until the early 1930s. Like many fine jewelry makers based in Newark, William Huger & Co. ceased operations during the economic turmoil of the Great Depression.

Wm. Huger & Company gold cufflinks, circa 1920.

The greatest source of information about the firm are the cufflinks, themselves. William Huger embraced the best of late Victorian, Edwardian and Art Deco design. The cufflinks usually feature bold, arresting centers surrounded by refined, exquisitely detailed borders. The cufflinks were crafted in 14kt gold and often accented with enamels (like the beautiful cufflinks featuring blue guilloche enamel pictured at the top of this post) or gemstones.

William Huger Onyx and gold Art Deco cufflinks, circa 1930.

Elegant simplicity defines Huger cufflinks during the Art Deco period. The cufflinks above feature gently domed black Onyx centers surrounded by rich 14kt gold borders of geometric Art Deco motifs and reeded sections. William Huger excelled at combining the boldness of Art Deco design with the firm's high craftsmanship and attention to small details.

"Architectural Elegance" by William Huger, circa 1930.

We have nicknamed this particular Huger design "Architectural Elegance." It is reminiscent of the Chrysler Building and other architectural icons of the Art Deco era. Relative to other Huger cufflinks, this design is not quite as rare. I suspect it was one of Huger's more popular cufflink designs during the 1920s and 30s. Crafted in 14kt white gold, circa 1930.

William Huger & Co. maker's mark.

The maker's mark for William Huger & Company is an "H" with curling edges. The mark is found on the reverse of cufflinks to the right of the precious metal mark ("14" for 14kt gold). The Huger mark is sometimes misread as a fancy "K" or the somewhat similar maker's mark of the Clark Ring Company. At times the Huger mark may be partially obscured because of wear.

To view these and other fine cufflinks from the past,
please visit our Antique Cufflink Gallery.