Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Antique Cufflink Archive

The Antique Cufflink Archive

Carter, Howe moss agate cufflinks, circa 1910.

The Antique Cufflink Archive was begun in the last century as a record of antique cufflinks we have had the pleasure of enjoying and closely examining. I thought the archive could serve three goals:

1. to share the beauty and inventiveness of antique cufflinks (sort of an Art Museum for these miniature masterpieces),

2. to tell the history of the firms and individuals who contributed to the creation of these wonderful jewels, and

3. to serve as a sort of a field guide or reference for cufflinks from the past, especially those created in the United States during the first half of the 20th century.

Link & Angell Art Nouveau cufflinks, circa 1900.

This summer I have given some thought to the latter two goals. From the comments of several readers, I believe the archive is serving well to illustrate the beauty, imagination and diversity of antique cufflinks. The cufflinks are presented somewhat randomly, but as miniature works of Art they do not need context or comparators to be appreciated. I also enjoy the randomness - it mimics the serendipitous way in which antique cufflinks are found in the "wild".

Larter Art Deco cufflinks, circa 1930.

In terms of telling the stories of the cufflink makers and serving as a field guide to antique cufflinks, there is room for improvement. To remedy this I will begin creating on-line galleries for each of the major cufflink makers. In addition to displaying examples of each maker's work, the galleries will share what is known about the maker's history. To aid in the identification of cufflinks, eventually sections on the maker's marks and characteristic design elements will also be added.

Carrington "Golden Scrolls" cufflinks, circa 1900.

For the inaugural gallery I have choosen Carrington & Company. This is partly because Carrington is one of my favorite cufflink makers, but also because their work reflects many of the design themes of the early 20th century.

The Carrington Cufflink Archive is a work in progress, but will give a good sense of the general direction. Any thoughts or suggestions on the format, content, etc of the gallery are appreciated. Enjoy!

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