Saturday, July 4, 2020

Peace and Hope in an Earlier Time of Pandemic



Above is the cover of the 50th anniversary issue of the The Jewelers' Circular, a jewelry trade publication founded in 1869. The anniversary issue appeared shortly after World War I ended with the Armistice of 1918. The cover reflects the celebratory optimism of the time with the hope that economic prosperity and growth would return, advancements in science and technology would brighten the future, and world peace would prevail.

But, it was also a time of uncertainty and doubt as the world endured the ravages of the misnamed "Spanish flu" pandemic. By 1921 an estimated 500 million people had been infected with the virulent strain of the H1N1 virus (close to a third of the world's population) and 50 million people had perished throughout the world. In many ways this magazine cover speaks to the hopes and challenges of our own time as well as its own.

The artist who created the cover was Hans Brassler, a noted artist-jeweler of the early 20th century. Brassler was a gifted Renaissance man who in addition to creating covers for The Jewelers' Circular, designed silver flatware for Tiffany & Company, founded The Brassler Company in 1909 to create artistic, finely crafted jewels, collaborated in the 1930s to create a magnificent silver and gold dinner service for the auto magnate Lawrence Fisher, and designed jewel-set hood ornaments for Cadillacs as well as stained glass windows for the Detroit Cathedral. He was also the father of the noted 20th-century sculptor Margaret Brassler Kane.

Wishing everyone a happy Independence Day and peaceful and safe weekend!

Examples of the fine jewels created by Hans Brassler can found in the Antiques and Estate Jewelry Gallery.

Monday, June 22, 2020

The House Charles L. Carrington Built


Acquiring and researching antique cufflinks takes you in many interesting directions.  Often you follow an unpromising lead or stray clue with surprising results.  The following architect's rendering of a fine Victorian home is one such discovery.

Charles L. Carrington house.
Please click the above rendering for an enlarged view.

In 1885 Charles L. Carrington, later founder of Carrington & Company, was a partner in the jewelry manufacturer Mayhew, Leonard & Carrington.  Since arriving in New York City shortly after the Civil War, his rise in the jewelry trade had been steady and impressive.  In 1885 he decided to provide for his family and celebrate his success by building a stately home in Newark, New Jersey.

Notice of the Carrington house illustrated with the above rendering was published in the August, 1885 issue of American Architects and Building News.

HOUSE FOR MR. CHARLES L. CARRINGTON,  HIGH ST., NEAR
CLINTON AVE., NEWARK, N.J.  MR. VAN CAMPEN TAYLOR
ARCHITECT, NEWARK, N.J.
The house is now in course of erection on one of the principal residence streets of the city.  The first story will be built of North River brick, laid in red mortar, with Belleville stone trimmings.  The second story, etc., will be of frame shingled with cedar shingles.  The roof will be slated. The interior will be finished with painted walls, tiled fireplaces and hard-wood stairs and mantels.  The cost will be about $12,000.


By 1900 Mayhew and Leonard had retired and Charles Carrington reformed the firm as Carrington & Co. with his sons serving in various positions. During the first half of the 20th century Carrington & Co. was one of the preeminent maker's of fine cufflinks and dress sets.  Carrington remained active with the firm and lived in his house on High Street until his death in 1924.
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Riviera Hotel circa 1925 with Carrington house to the right.
Riviera Hotel with Carrington house to the right, circa 1925.

In old postcards of Newark's storied Riviera Hotel (located at the corner of Clinton Ave. and High Street) the Carrington house can be seen just to the right of the hotel.  The house was lost some time after 1950 and in the 1980s High Street was renamed Dr. Martin Luther King Boulevard.  A recent tour of the area on Google maps suggests that the former house site is now a small parking lot.

Frequent visitors are aware of my enthusiasm for the cufflinks and other jewels created by Carrington & Company.  Examples of Carrington's work can be found in the Antique and Estate Jewelry and Antique Cufflink Galleries.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Happy Saint Dunstan's Day!


St. Dunstan tweaking the devil's nose.

In the Middle Ages St. Dunstan (909 - 988) was recognized as the patron saint of English goldsmiths and jewelers.  A man ahead of his time, Dunstan was a Renaissance man five hundred years before the Renaissance.  He served as an adviser and state minister to several English kings and as Archbishop of Canterbury in the late 10th century.  St Dunstan was also a noted harp player and composer of hymns, a gifted writer and illustrator of manuscripts and an accomplished silversmith.

May 19th is celebrated as St Dunstan's Day. This is why before 1660 the date letters used in English hallmarking ran from May 19th of one year to May 18th of the next year.  After the English Restoration, Charles II decided it would be better if the date letters ran from his birthday (May 29th) instead.  It is nice to be king.

Pictured above is St. Dunstan engaged in one of his favorite activites - tormenting the devil.  Here he is pictured in an early 14th century manuscript tweaking the devil's nose with a smithy's fiery tongs.  Did I forget to mention St. Dunstan was also an accomplished blacksmith?

At the Antique Cufflink Gallery we hope everyone enjoys a
pleasant and safe St. Dunstan's Day!

Monday, April 27, 2020

Larter & Sons Period Rings


Larter & Sons was a prolific maker of cufflinks and other gentlemen's accessories during the late 19th century and for much of the 20th century.  Their output ranged from fine gold and gem-set cufflinks and dress sets to less expensive, but equally well made, cufflinks and accessories crafted in lesser metals.

In the early 1920s the firm created a wonderful collection of handsomely designed, finely crafted men's rings reflecting the arts and architecture of past historic periods.  These rings were announced to the jewelry trade with a series of graphically striking advertisements matching the beauty and themes of the rings.  Below is Larter & Sons' advertisement summarizing the rings in the collection.  Advertisements for the individual rings can be found in earlier posts.

Larter Classical Revival ring advertisement.

A full size rendition of this advertisement can be viewed in Larter & Sons Period Rings

 Elegant cufflinks created by Later & Sons and other fine jewels

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Larter & Sons Period Rings - Louis XV


Larter & Sons was a prolific maker of cufflinks and other gentlemen's accessories during the late 19th century and through much of the 20th century.  Their output ranged from fine gold and gem-set cufflinks and dress sets to less expensive, but equally well made, cufflinks and accessories crafted in base metal.

In the early 1920s the firm created a wonderful collection of handsomely designed, finely crafted men's rings reflecting the motifs and architecture of past historic periods.  These rings were announced to the jewelry trade with a series of graphically striking advertisements matching the beauty and themes of the rings.  Below is the advertisement for Larter & Son's ring inspired by the reign of Louis XV - the ring reflects Larter's interpretation of the curving lines, airiness and asymmetry of the Louis Quinze style.

Larter Classical Revival ring advertisement.

A full size rendition of this advertisement can be viewed at Larter & Sons - Louis XV Revival Ring.  Over the next several weeks I will post the advertisements for the other Period Rings. 

Elegant cufflinks created by Later & Sons and other fine jewels
can be found in the Antique and Estate Jewelry Gallery.

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Larter & Sons Period Rings - Classical Revival


Larter & Sons was a prolific maker of cufflinks and other gentleman's accessories during the late 19th century and through much of the 20th century.  Their output ranged from fine gold and gem-set cufflinks and dress sets to less expensive, but equally well made, cufflinks and accessories crafted in base metal.

In the early 1920s the firm created a wonderful collection of handsomely designed, finely crafted men's rings reflecting the motifs and architecture of past historic periods.  These rings were announced to the jewelry trade with a series of graphically striking advertisements that matched the beauty and theme of the rings.  Below is the advertisement for Larter's ring inspired by the Classical Revival of the late 1700s - a period the jeweler characterized as an "age of utmost charm and refinement."

Larter Classical Revival ring advertisement.

A full size rendition of this advertisement can be viewed at Larter & Sons - Classical Revival Ring.  Over the next several weeks I will post the advertisements for the other Period Rings. 

Elegant cufflinks created by Later & Sons and other fine jewels
can be found in the Antique and Estate Jewelry Gallery.

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Larter & Sons Period Rings - Gothic Era


Larter & Sons was a prolific maker of cufflinks and other gentleman's accessories during the late 19th century and through much of the 20th century.  Their output ranged from fine gold and gem-set cufflinks and dress sets to less expensive, but equally well made, cufflinks and accessories crafted in base metal.

In the early 1920s the firm created a wonderful collection of finely designed and crafted men's rings reflecting the motifs and architecture of past historic periods.  These rings were announced to the jewelry trade with a series of graphically striking advertisements that matched the beauty and theme of the rings.  Below is the advertisement for Larter's ring inspired by the Gothic period.

Larter Ancient Egypt ring advertisement.

A full size rendition of this advertisement can be viewed at Larter & Sons - Gothic Ring.  Over the next several weeks I will post the advertisements for the other Period Rings. 

Elegant cufflinks created by Later & Sons and other fine jewels
can be found in the Antique and Estate Jewelry Gallery.

Saturday, April 4, 2020

New in the Gallery - Cufflinks, Dress Sets, Brooches and Stickpins


Recent additions to the Antique Cufflink Gallery include elegantly striking cufflinks from the Art Nouveau and Art Deco eras.

Art Nouveau diamond cufflinks. (J9526)
Art Nouveau Curves  Elegant, free flowing scrolls accented with a sparkling star-set diamond.  The sinuous, untamed curves are a hallmark of Art Nouveau design.  Finely crafted  in 14kt gold,  circa 1900.
Cost:  $865

Sapphire and frosted glass cufflinks. (CL9528)
Sapphires and Stars  Bright blue sapphires set in frosted glass disks.  The dramatic effect is like a distant star shining through wispy clouds in the night sky.  Crafted in 14kt white and yellow gold, circa 1925.
Cost:  $875

Regal blue guilloche enamel cufflinks. (J9525)
Regal Blue  Twilight blue enamels set in boldly sculpted gold cufflinks.  Beneath the enamel a finely engraved radiating pattern shimmers like a distant star in the night sky.  Crafted in 14kt gold,  circa 1925.
Cost:  $925

Larter Art Nouveau lucky cufflinks crafted in 14kt gold. (J9533)
Feeling Lucky  A four-leaf clover, lucky horseshoe and wishbone assure the wearer of these Art Nouveau cufflinks the best of good fortune.  Created by Larter & Sons in 14kt gold, circa 1900.  Cost:  $745


In the Tuxedo and Dress Set Gallery you will find a recently added a moss agate tuxedo set and a full dress set with onyx centers and ornate borders by Krementz.

Larter Bros. moss agate tuxedo set. (J9534)
Moss Agates  Mesmerizing moss agates with tangles of swirling green inclusions reminiscent of floating seaweed.  This elegant tuxedo set was created by Larter Bros. in 14kt gold, circa 1925.  Cost: $1,375

Art Deco onyx dress set. (D9524)
Onyx and Scrolls  Dark onyx centers surrounded by white gold borders with an elaborate scroll-and-berry design.   An elegant set in the striking black-and-white style of the Jazz Age crafted in 14kt gold,  circa 1925.   Cost:  Sold


New in the Brooch and Pin Gallery is an Art Nouveau brooch with an amethyst, a beautiful Carter, Howe bar pin with a sapphire and fine enamel work, and an Art Deco circle brooch set with sapphires.

Art Nouveau amethyst and enamel brooch. (J9530)
Art Nouveau Amethyst  A vibrant amethyst set amid elegant guilloche enamel work framed by a border of gold bands and interlacing Art Nouveau curves.  Created by Whiteside & Blank in 14kt gold, circa 1900.   Cost:  $925

Edwardian brooch with sapphire and pearls.(J9510)
Edwardian Sparkle  A beautifully enameled bar pin set with a blue sapphire and two pearls.  Created by Carter, Howe in 14kt gold, circa 1910.  Cost: $485

Art Deco sapphire circle brooch. (J9521)
Sapphires and Filigree  An elegant Art Deco circle brooch with sparkling man-made sapphires set in intricate filigree work framed by stylized leaf-and-vine borders.  Created in 14kt white and yellow gold, circa 1925.  Cost:  $365


New in the Antique Stickpin Gallery is a striking French Art Nouveau stickpin with a chimera clutching a stickpin in its maw.

French chimera and pearl stickpin (SP9536)
Chimera and Pearl  A fierce dragon clutches a luminous pearl in its maw.  This golden chimera is a wonderful example of the dramatic and at times terrifying work of French fin de siecle jewelers.  Crafted  in 18kt gold, circa 1900.   Cost:  $675

These and other fine jewels from the past can be found in
the Antique and Estate Jewelry Galleries

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Larter & Sons Period Rings - The Renaissance


Larter & Sons was a prolific maker of cufflinks and other gentleman's accessories during the late 19th century and through much of the 20th century.  Their output ranged from fine gold and gem-set cufflinks and dress sets to less expensive, but equally well made, cufflinks and accessories crafted in base metal.

In the early 1920s the firm created a wonderful collection of finely designed and crafted men's rings reflecting the motifs and architecture of past historic periods.  These rings were announced to the jewelry trade with a series of graphically striking advertisements that matched the beauty and theme of the rings.  Below is the advertisement for Larter's ring inspired by the Renaissance.

Larter Ancient Egypt ring advertisement.

A full size rendition of this advertisement can be viewed at Larter & Sons - Renaissance Ring.  Over the next several weeks I will post the advertisements for the other Period Rings. 

Elegant cufflinks created by Later & Sons and other fine jewels
can be found in the Antique and Estate Jewelry Gallery.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Larter & Sons Period Rings - Ancient Egypt


Larter & Sons was a prolific maker of cufflinks and other gentleman's accessories during the late 19th century and through much of the 20th century.  Their output ranged from fine gold and gem-set cufflinks and dress sets to less expensive, but equally well made, cufflinks and accessories crafted in base metal.

In the early 1920s the firm created a wonderful collection of finely designed and crafted men's rings reflecting the motifs and architecture of past historic periods.  These rings were announced to the jewelry trade with a series of graphically striking advertisements that matched the beauty and theme of the rings.  Below is the advertisement for Larter's ring inspired by ancient Egypt.

Larter Ancient Egypt ring advertisement.

A full size rendition of this advertisement can be viewed at Larter & Sons - Egyptian Revival Ring.  Over the next several weeks I will post the advertisements for the other Period Rings. 

Elegant cufflinks created by Later & Sons and other fine jewels
can be found in the Antique and Estate Jewelry Gallery.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Happy St Patrick's Day!


Larter Art Nouveau lucky cufflinks crafted in 14kt gold. (9533)

Wishing all a happy, healthy and lucky St Patrick's Day!

This lucky pair of cufflinks features a four-leaf clover, horseshoe and wishbone to help bring the wearer good fortune.  The influence of Art Nouveau design can be seen in the sinuous curves of the lucky clover's stem as it flows into the border of the cufflinks.  Created by Larter & Sons in 14kt gold, circa 1900.

More cufflinks and fine jewels from the past can be found in
the Antique and Estate Jewelry Galleries