Sunday, July 20, 2008

Winged Bridge maker, circa 1925.

The "Winged Bridge" Maker - II

In last week's note I discussed cufflinks created by an unidentified jewelry firm, nicknamed the "Winged Bridge Maker". I illustrated several cufflinks that were two-toned and featured intricately engine turned centers (see example above).

The unknown maker was not limited to beautifully executed abstract and linear designs. The Winged Bridge Maker also created striking cufflinks with rich floral and foliate centers. Two examples are illustrated below.

Art Deco "Classical Elegance", circa 1920.

The first pair echoes the formal neo-classical designs of the late Victorian period. The yellow gold centers feature acanthus leaves arranged in a swag pattern around a stylized eight-petal flower. The white gold borders feature small rosettes with flowing leaves and simple geometric corner motifs. Crafted in 14kt white and yellow gold, circa 1920.

Art Deco "Flower Power", circa 1930

The design of the second pair of cufflinks is decidedly bolder. The eight-petal flower has "exploded" to dominate the yellow gold center with spear-tipped petals. Crowded between the elongated petals are small six-petal flowers. The white gold border features bold geometric motifs with the floral designs now relegated to the corners. Based on the style and design of these cufflinks, they date closer to 1930 than to 1920. Crafted in 14kt white and yellow gold.

These two cufflinks nicely illustrate the evolution of Art Deco cufflinks from the refined, almost neo-classical designs of the early 1920s to the bolder, geometric motifs of the 1930s.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Winged Bridge Maker gold cufflinks, circa 1930.

The "Winged Bridge" Maker

Several weeks ago I wrote about a distinctive group of cufflinks created by an unknown maker. Because of the unique design of the connecting bridge, I provisionally named the maker of the cufflinks the "Acanthus Bridge Maker".

This week I illustrate another collection of striking cufflinks by an unknown maker. Crafted in yellow and white gold, these elegant cufflinks feature intricately engraved (engine-turned) centers surrounded by bold geometric and foliate borders. The cufflinks sparkle with the exuberance of the Jazz Age. A beautiful example with dramatic engine-turned centers and bold Art Deco borders is pictured above.

Reverse of cufflinks by Winged Bridge maker.

The unknown maker of this second group of cufflinks also favored a distinctive bridge design. The bridges flair out like the wings of a mythical or fantastic bird. Hence, I have nicknamed the creator of these cufflinks the "Winged Bridge Maker". Several more examples follow.

"Radiating Starbursts", circa 1925.

Striking two-tone cufflinks with yellow gold centers decorated with dramatic radiating starbursts. The Art Deco supernovas are surrounded by white gold borders embellished with stylized flowers and scrolls. Crafted in 14kt white and yellow gold, circa 1925.

"Ripples in a Pond", circa 1925.

This pair of cufflinks is more serene with yellow gold centers of engine-turned concentric circles. The design is reminiscent of the ripples created by a pebble dropped in a quiet pond. The octagonal white gold borders repeat the flower-and-scroll motif of the previous cufflinks. Crafted in 14kt white and yellow gold, circa 1925.

"Frosty Elegance", circa 1930.

Of course, not all of the the cufflinks by the Winged Bridge maker were two-toned. Pictured is a frosty pair of white gold cufflinks with elegant pinstripe centers. The octagonal borders are a bolder interpretation of the flowers and scrolls theme. Crafted in 14kt white gold, circa 1930.

To view other beautiful cufflinks from the past,
please visit our Antique Cufflink Gallery.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Elegant Ovals

During the early decades of the last century, jewelry makers created elegant oval cufflinks in gold and platinum. Eschewing the more intricate designs of the period, the oval cufflinks often featured simple concentric patterns, subtle engine turning and dramatic pinstripes. These cufflinks are the epitome of understated elegance. Here are a few examples.

14kt gold cufflinks possibly by R. Blackinton & C0., circa 1920.

The striking centers of these gold cufflinks may give rise to a slight feeling of vertigo. Surrounding the repeated ovals are borders of undulating scrolls and, for an added dash of elegance, milgrained edges. Concentric ovals, perhaps influenced by the simple geometric shapes of the Arts and Crafts movement, were a common motif during the early 1900s.

Durand & Co. platinum and gold cufflinks, circa 1910.

Durand & Company created elegant two-tone cufflinks in platinum and gold. Here yellow gold centers shimmer with richly engine-turned chevron patterns. The centers are framed by engraved platinum bands and yellow gold edges with flowing wave motifs. Durand & Company was one of the preeminent makers of fine cufflinks and jewelry during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The founders of the firm shared an artistic heritage with the American landscape painter Asher B. Durand.

J.R. Wood & Sons 14kt gold "pinstripe" cufflinks, circa 1940.

Classic cufflinks with golden pinstripes surrounded by boldly engraved borders. The pinstripe motif grew in popularity as taste moved to the simpler, linear designs of the late Art Deco period. These cufflinks were crafted in 14kt gold by J.R. Wood & Sons. Founded in Brooklyn, NY in 1850, Wood & Sons created fine cufflinks and jewels for over a century before being acquired by Lenox, Inc. in 1970.

To view other beautiful oval cufflinks from the early 1900s,
please visit our Antique Cufflink Gallery.