Cufflinks Through the Ages: Sterling Silver and Otherwise

by Angie Mastroyiannis November 04, 2017

Cufflinks Through the Ages: Sterling Silver and Otherwise

Cufflinks, whether sterling silver, sold by One Bond Street, or otherwise, all have the same, rather modest, function; to act as charming alternatives to buttons and secure the cuffs of shirts which have the requisite holes to accommodate them. In spite of their shared purpose, however, cufflinks today and also in centuries gone by have taken many, many different forms.

Indeed, even just a cursory glance at One Bond Street’s stunning and extensive range of charming sterling silver cufflinks will reveal the multitudinous forms that cufflinks can take. These stylish fastenings can, for instance, be big, small, colourful, plain, patterned, engraved, impressive, understated and a whole host more. They can be gold, silver, or even crafted from the remains of a genuine Boeing 747 jet airliner.

That there are so many different kinds and styles of cufflinks in existence is tremendously fortuitous as it means they can be selected in order to reflect their owners’ personalities and styles and made to match their wearers’ outfits as well as different occasions. Indeed, it means that if you are feeling flamboyant and wish to inject some vibrancy into an ensemble, you can opt for a brightly coloured set of sterling silver cufflinks. If, on the other hand, you are attending a black tie event, you could, instead, choose an understated and delicate set of sterling silver cufflinks.

This plethora of choice, however, is not unique to the present era; cufflinks, whether sterling silver or otherwise, have taken many guises throughout the ages. When these charming fastenings, for instance, were first made popular – during the reign of King Louis XIV of France in the late 17th century – cufflinks were often painted with miniature portraits of loved ones and important figures, whether they were sterling silver cufflinks or otherwise.

Then, in the Victorian era, much like with most jewellery of this period, cufflinks became far more ostentatious and exuberant, with lots of gold and sterling silver cufflinks and elaborate and intricate designs. One particular design that was especially popular during this epoch, included writhing and intertwined snakes, now referred to as Victorian Serpents! This kind of cufflinks are still very sought after today and look especially dapper at formal events like weddings and black tie affairs.

It was in this era too, that sterling silver cufflinks and other types first started to be worn en masse by the middle classes, particularly by the end of Britain’s Industrial Revolution. However, for the middle classes, the gems, and silvers and golds used by the wealthier class were often substituted for replicas that modelled the real thing.

Sadly, for a considerable part of the 20th century cufflinks faded into obscurity, being sported by only a select few. All of this changed, however, in the 1990s when the French cuff shirt regained its popularity with a vengeance, igniting a comeback for the once forgotten cufflink. And now cufflinks are as popular as the ever were; worn not just for special occasions but even day to day! This probably explains the huge amount of variety that is now on the market, as with so many different people, times, places and occasions to wear them a plethora of cufflink styles seems like a necessity.



Angie Mastroyiannis
Angie Mastroyiannis

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