Shirts with French cuffs—which are cuffs with two buttonholes instead of one buttonhole plus a button—are designed for cufflinks (or cuff links, as they are sometimes spelled). Some cufflinks feature straps that wrap around the outside edges of a shirt’s cuffs, but most cufflinks feature an embellished surface that is worn facing out, as well as a pivoting post that discreetly secures the decorative side of the cufflink to the cuff.
In the late 19th century, as Art Nouveau and Arts and Crafts vied with Edwardian sensibilities for style supremacy, cufflinks were often made of 14-karat gold and set with everything from onyx to agates. Lion heads were popular designs, as were cufflinks made from Roman coins. At the turn of the 20th century, a manufacturer called Fenwick and Sailor made numerous styles of cufflinks that resembled charms on a charm bracelet.
By the 1920s and ’30s, enameling techniques common to other types of jewelry—from rings to bracelets to brooches—had found their way to cufflinks. South of the U.S. border, Mexican silversmiths in Taxco created cufflinks in the shapes of tropical birds and other animals. And at some point, Royal Copenhagen and Wedgwood got into the act, the former creating pillow-like porcelain cufflinks in the firm’s trademark blue, the latter producing cameo cufflinks out of Jasperware.
The functional design of these cufflinks was as varied as their decorations. Instead of a pivoting post, some so-called “dumbbell” or shank-style cufflinks would feature a backing piece that was just small enough to squeeze through the cuff’s buttonholes. Small lengths of slender chain were substituted for posts in some designs, while double-face cufflinks (also referred to as double-side or double-panel cufflinks) had no “good” or “bad” side since both faces were richly detailed.
Cufflinks achieved a cachet of cool after World War II, when the sophisticated man about town kept a collection of cufflinks on hand that rivaled his array of neckties. In the 1960s in particular, a company called Swank was making 12-million pair a year, most of them big and brassy as costume jewelry. Crown shapes were a popular Swank design, as were cufflinks that showed off large chunks of topaz, smoky quartz, and other semi-precious stones. Swank also made cufflinks for Masons and other fraternal orders, while Hugh Hefner sold his devotees square black cufflinks with a white bunny at their centers.
Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)
The Black Tie Guide
All About Jewels Dictionary
Morning Glory Antiques and Jewelry
Fashion Columbia Study Collection
Cathy Gordon's Jewelry Gallery
Clubs & Associations
Other Great Reference Sites
Most watched eBay auctions
Recent News: Cufflinks
Source: Google News
Franklin & Bash Season 4 Episode 10 Review: Red or BlackTV Fanatic, October 22nd
Infeld Stanton believed he was going to die but he'd forgotten his cufflinks. Or was he really hoping the boys would find a way to detour his destiny? Either way, Stanton summoned Peter and Jared to Vegas on a mysterous mission to bring him his briefcase...Read more
Johnson: Cover your feet with a little creativityShreveport Times, October 22nd
(Really, cufflinks are the only things men should wear on their sleeves.) Creative socks are sort of the fashion statement for the extrovert/introvert. A little crazy, but subtle at the same time. Jeremy Johnson, a very creative local designer dude...Read more
Grief, Glamor and the Ubiquitous Black DressNewsweek, October 22nd
A dark hatband or black cufflinks might suffice for a man, Regan says. The gap in expectations extended far beyond clothing, says Harold Koda, the curator of the Costume Institute, who worked with Regan to prepare the exhibit. Men could remarry within...Read more
Handmade Gift Shop Now Offering Kokopelli Cufflinks on EtsyPR Web (press release), October 17th
The shop also welcomes custom orders from customers who like the gorgeous styling of the cufflinks but who would prefer a different design. Hours are put into the creation of each set of cufflinks, using a laborious process to print the design onto the...Read more
Amal Alamuddin gifts her hubby with Arabic-inscribed cufflinks and two dogs?!Al-Bawaba, October 12th
The British barrister who also gave her new husband customised cufflinks inscribed with his first name in Arabic ahead of their recent nuptials in Venice, Italy - reportedly surprised him with the new puppies during their honeymoon in Berkshire, south...Read more
A twist on the wrist: On the rise, fall and return of the noble cufflinkNational Post, October 10th
The popularity of the cufflink owes much to the fortune of historical circumstance. In other words it arrived at precisely the right time. The 19th century, of course, heralded a great democratization of fashion, as industrialized manufacturing...Read more
Tateossian Cufflinks Feature Precious StonesBillionaire.com, October 8th
Tateossian has released Rare Stones, a collection of 18-carat gold cufflinks, featuring unusual precious and semi-precious stones, into a variety of department stores across the world. The collection comes from the firm's founder and designer, Robert ...Read more
Darth Vader Cufflinks: The Dark Side of the SleeveTechnabob (blog), September 28th
These handmade Darth Vader cufflinks are just $22.49(USD) from Cuff Reations (I'm not sure what a “reation” is either). They have a great selection of cuffs, but none more sinister and powerful than this set. Although the Stormtrooper cufflinks are...Read more