Accessories for the Natural Man - V


Spanish Toledo Mixed-Metal Cufflinks with Engraved Fleur-di-Lis Saltires (LEO Design)


We're spending a few days showcasing some accessories "for the Natural Man"—cufflinks in the subtle, low-key shades of brown, rust, cream, black and white.  You'll find them (and many others) for sale on the LEO Design website.

Toledo is an ancient city in Central Spain, about 45 miles south of Madrid. In Medieval times, it was known as a place where Christians, Jews and Muslims lived together (for better or worse), with each group contributing art, architecture and cuisine to create a rich, blended culture.  But long before this, Toledo made its mark as the place where the finest forged-steel swords were made.  Metalsmiths in Toledo invented a technique of forging hard and soft steels together, creating swords that were strong and flexible.  From 500 BC, the Romans discovered that they wanted their weapons from Toledo.

The art of bonding different metals (especially decoratively) is called damascening. Metalsmiths in Toledo also excelled in crafting works in which precious metals (like silver and gold) are bonded to a more common metal (like copper, brass or blackened steel). In decorative objets, this type of damascening is commonly referred to as Toledo metalwork. Ceremonial weapons, boxes, jewelry, plates and other decorative objects would be treated to this delicate technique. Due to the historically blended cultures of Toledo, some Toledo metalwork will have a distinctive, Moorish aesthetic. But the craftsmen strive to serve a broad customer base and ensure that their offerings include many items which are less religiously specific, like the cufflinks above.  Please click on the photo above to learn more about them.

More "Cufflinks for the Natural Man" tomorrow and in days to come.


Though our Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed, LEO Design is still alive and well!  Please visit our on-line store where we continue to sell Handsome Gifts (

We also can be found in Pittsburgh's historic "Strip District" at Mahla & Co. Antiques ( or in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania at The Antique Center of Strabane (

Or call to arrange to visit our Pittsburgh showroom (by private appointment only).  917-446-4248