JOURNAL — Cufflinks RSS



When Art & Commerce Collide

American sculptor James Earle Frasier (1876-1953) was known for his handsome sculpture—including Native American themes and wild animals of the West.  He studied at the Art Institute of Chicago as well as the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris.  He was hired to re-design the Nickel, part of an on-going effort to "beautify" American currency.  Despite objections from coin-operated vending machine owners (who thought the coin was too easy to imitate with "slugs"), Frasier's "Indian Head" or "Buffalo Nickel" was minted starting in 1913.  Alas, the design proved difficult to "strike" crisply—and the bas relief design was prone to excessive wear from circulation.  In 1938, after the 25 year circulation requirement was met, the coin was replaced by the Jefferson nickel. The cufflinks...

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Island Maiden

A winsome dancer sways to the music on this pair of cufflinks made of Honolulu Rapid Transit tokens, first minted in the 1950's.  Sterling silver mountings complete the assembly. Please click on the photo above to learn more about them.   LEO Design's Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed.  While we contemplate our next shop location, please visit our on-line store which continues to operate  (www.LEOdesignNYC.com). Follow us on Instagram: "leodesignhandsomegifts" Follow us on Facebook: "LEO Design - Handsome Gifts"

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James B. Longacre, Artist

James Barton Longacre was born in 1794 in Delaware County, Eastern Pennsylvania.  His mother died when he was young and he ran away to Philadelphia at the age of 12—unable to abide his new stepmother.  He was taken-in by the family of a Philly bookseller and given an apprenticeship working in the bookshop.  But young James displayed a talent for portraiture so the shopkeeper released him of his apprenticeship which allowed him to work for an engraver. In a recess appointment by U.S. President John Tyler, Longacre was appointed Chief Engraver for the Philadelphia Mint in 1844, a position he held until his death in 1869.  He was a prolific designer of many coins, including the iconic "Indian Head" penny (produced from...

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One's Heart on a Sleeve

If you've left your heart in The City by the Bay, perhaps this handsome pair of cufflinks will ease the ache.  Vintage San Francisco transit tokens—first minted in 1945—are set in sterling silver mounts.  You can celebrate that wonderful city—and look great doing it. Please click on the photo above to learn more about them.   LEO Design's Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed.  While we contemplate our next shop location, please visit our on-line store which continues to operate  (www.LEOdesignNYC.com). Follow us on Instagram: "leodesignhandsomegifts" Follow us on Facebook: "LEO Design - Handsome Gifts"

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Leif Erikson Day

In 1925, President Calvin Coolidge—standing before a crowd of 100,000 at the Minnesota State Fair—declared that Norse explorer Leif Erikson was the first European to set foot in North America, 500 years before Columbus.  Shortly thereafter, 9 October was declared Leif Erikson Day. Leif Erikson was (thought to have been) born in Iceland around the […]

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Black Mother-of-Pearl

Mother-of-Pearl is the “nacreous” (that is, containing the organic material “nacre”) inner-shell lining of certain mollusks—the same material that surrounds a natural pearl (also produced by those certain mollusks).  Like the shells (and pearls) themselves, the mother-of-pearl comes in a range of colors from white to black—though it is usually iridescent, thus, one can see […]

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Farewell, Macbeth

Macbeth, the real King of Scotland, was killed on this day in 1057.  At war with England, he was killed in battle during an English invasion (or died some days later, after being mortally wounded).  Called “The Red King,” he was the King of Scotland (sometimes called “Alba”) from 1040 until his death.  He was […]

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Lots of LEOs - IX

The stylized profile of a proud lion graces the faces of these Danish Modernist cufflinks from the 1950's.  They are marked 830 silver and will look great on the cuff of your favorite LEO.  To learn more about this pair, please click on the photo above. Another LEO tomorrow.   LEO Design's Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed.  While we contemplate our next shop location, please visit our on-line store which continues to operate  (www.LEOdesignNYC.com). Follow us on Instagram: "leodesignhandsomegifts" Follow us on Facebook: "LEO Design - Handsome Gifts"

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Summertime Style

Today is the last day of Spring—and I, for one, am sorry to see it go.  It seems that Spring only just got here!  But Summer's nice, too, and it begins tomorrow at 6:07 am Eastern Time. What's really nice about summer is dressing the part—for, in the summer, luxury meets casual unlike during any other time of year.  Classy summer gatherings—polo matches, cricket tournaments, Hamptons lawn parties—require that delicate balance of good taste and summer fun.  And these Art Nouveau cufflinks, shown above, are ready to play their part.  Imagine them on a white (or pale blue) linen shirt.  They are made of sterling silver, etched with radiant guilloche centers, and finished with turquoise and crisp white enameling.  Please click on the photo above...

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Making Father's Day a Snap!

In the 1920's—a few years after most middle class men lost their valets—someone invented snapping cufflinks (like the pair shown above).  The idea was simple: before putting-on the shirt, the two halves of one cufflink could be inserted into the button holes on each cuff (using two hands).  Once all four "halves" were in-place, the man could don the shirt and simply snap the links together.  This made dressing alone easy and fast—no more struggling with one hand to insert an unwieldy cufflink on the opposite wrist.  This style of snapping cufflinks only enjoyed a brief period of production.  By 1941, the U.S. was drawn-in to World War Two and men's jewelry makers suddenly were busy making accessories (cufflinks, pins...

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Countdown to Father's Day

Father's Day is just over two weeks away—and we'd like to share some Handsome Gifts ideas for dads.  Please visit our on-line store.  And check our homepage, where we've highlighted a handful of great gifts suitable for a man who means a lot. Shown above, a pair of American Art Deco cufflinks, from the Thirties, with white-enameled bezels.  Their iridescent black mother-or-pearl faces make them an easy match with almost any color shirt: blue, pink, grey, green, black, peach, tangerine, lavender (and, of course, white).  This makes them a particularly good choice for a man who doesn't have a large cufflink collection.  Please click on the photo above to learn more about them—and peruse our large collection of handsome cufflinks...

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Welcome, May!

Welcome, May, and your birthstone: the Emerald! There are only four precious gemstones—and emeralds are one of them, making them highly valuable.  And because emeralds are so susceptible to flaws, a perfect emerald is extremely rare. For this reason, emeralds traditionally are graded with the naked eye (not high magnification) which creates a little extra tolerance for the beautiful green gem.  Like other gemstones, color is paramount; great emeralds have a deep, bright color.  But clarity is also very important—more so than with most other stones. Emeralds are a variety of Beryl and its green color is due to chromium "impurities" within the stone.  They were mined in Egypt as early as 1500 BC. They've also been found in the New...

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Purple Day

Nine year old Cassidy Megan, living in Nova Scotia, Canada, suffered from epilepsy—a frightening and unpredictable neurological condition which causes seizures.  If her condition had not been depressing enough, it was compounded by the public’s misinformation on the subject.  Add to that the sense of isolation an epileptic might feel. An estimated 65 million people […]

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A Link to The Emerald Isles

As we continue the countdown to St. Paddy’s Day, we present a handsome pair of shamrock and white enameled Art Deco cufflinks.  Though not Irish (probably American), they would be just perfect on your cuff sleeves tomorrow.  Or the perfect gift for your favorite Irishman. Please come into the shop to see them for yourself—or […]

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Natty Norwegian

I have a nice collection of Norwegian Art Deco cufflinks by jewelers Nils Erik Elvik (like the pair shown above) and Aksel Holmsen.  Peruse the on-line store (under “Cufflinks”) to see some of them.  Made in the 1930’s, they express a particular “flavor” of Art Deco Design. The pair above are enamel on  gold washed […]

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Knights in White Armor

We continue our procession of cufflinks with this rather choice offering: a pair of sterling, Art Deco shield-form links, with machine-turned guilloché work, finished with crisp white enameling.  Very handsome, slightly serious, they make a statement without pretension. Please come into the shop to see the complete range of cufflinks or click on the photo […]

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The Martyr’s Stone

Bloodstone (also called Heliotrope) is usually dark green and flecked with spots of red due to its high iron oxide content.  Ancient Babylonians carved the stone into seals and amulets.  In the Middle Ages, bloodstone was sometimes called the Martyr’s Stone as it reminded Christians of the spots of Christ’s blood at Golgotha. Today Bloodstone […]

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Enameling

Like so many of the things I love, enamelling has ancient roots, beginning with the early Egyptians. The word, enamelling is adapted from the Old German “smelzan,” which means “to smelt” (that is, to melt—a rock, usually— to extract any precious metals within it).  In the case of enamelling, glass powder is sprinkled over a […]

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Rotary Club International

In 1905, four Chicago businessmen—a mining engineer, an attorney, a tailor and a coal merchant—gathered and formed a club with the goal of providing connections for local professionals and service to their community.  They named it the Rotary Club, as each week’s meeting would “rotate” amongst their offices.  Within a year, the club was so […]

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. . . And Summer to Follow

Following yesterday’s “Spring Fresh” cufflinks comes the pair above: perfectly suited for summer. Made by Charles Horner in England, these Art Deco beauties are crafted of sterling silver, enhanced with a textured grosgrain guilloché design, then enameled in Royal Blue and Pistachio Green.  They exemplify the best of good, strong design paired with beautiful craftsmanship. […]

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Spring, Come Soon!

A welcomed reminder—as we trudge through slush, snow, and ice—that Spring is on its way!  And these newly-acquired cufflinks fairly sing of Spring.  Made in Art Deco England in the 1920’s or 1930’s, they are made of sterling silver and enameled in white and a fresh, spring green—all over a textured, coffered guilloché design. Please […]

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Radiant Guilloché

Machine-turned guilloché work radiates outwards on the faces of these Art Deco sterling silver cufflinks over which an engraved band spans.  Enameled in white and black, these cufflinks will make a crisp and formal impression on any shirt cuff. They are part of a recent, pre-Valentine’s Day build-up of cufflinks, now in-store at LEO Design. […]

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Blue Skies . . .

Like a wide-open, cloudless sky, the enameling on these sterling silver cufflinks is a promising shade of light blue.  A guilloché radiant star design shows through the enamel. These cufflinks are part of a recent shipment, acquired in time for the Valentine’s Day gift season.  Please click on the photo above to learn more about […]

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Scotland’s Favourite Son

If you think the long January nights are cold in New York, steer clear of Scotland.  Except for tonight, 25 January, widely celebrated as Robert Burns Night. Robert Burns was born on this day in 1759.  A poet and lyricist, Burns adapted and popularized many ancient Scottish folk poems—as well as writing his own original […]

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People Get Ready!

Christmas is just around the corner.  Is your party wear ready?  Fret not; this pair of ruby and emerald-enameled cufflinks will take you there in-style!  Made in Thirties England, these Art Deco beauties are embellished with darkly-handsome hues of red and green. Please click on the photo above to learn more about them.   LEO Design's Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed.  While we contemplate our next shop location, please visit our on-line store which continues to operate  (www.LEOdesignNYC.com). Follow us on Instagram: "leodesignhandsomegifts" Follow us on Facebook: "LEO Design - Handsome Gifts"  

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Welcome, July!

Welcome to July—and its birthstone, the Ruby.  The ruby is considered “The King of Gemstones.”  It is amongst the costliest of gems and is believed to attract wealth and good fortune to those who wear them.  They also represent love, health and wisdom.  Alas, we are out of rubies!  But we do have this bold […]

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Spring Blues

What says spring better than bright, happy colors?  These sterling silver cufflinks are enameled in sky blue—which lies over machine-turned guilloché work.  And when summer arrives, don’t fret: these handsome links will sail with you right into the regatta season. Please click on the photo above to learn more about these cufflinks.     LEO […]

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White Nights

When I visited Norway, it was in June—the perfect time to be there.  It was the time of “The Midnight Sun.”  Although the sun would dip below the horizon, the ambient light remained. Upon going to bed, I’d notice the corona of light around my hotel room’s curtains.  If I got up in the night, […]

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Back to Basics

I love everything I buy.  After all, what’s the point of being a shopkeeper if you aren’t “keeping” things that you like?  Sad to say, I spend more waking hours with my merchandise than I do my spouse!  So choosing just one “department” (or category of merchandise) to call “my favorite” is a difficult task—and […]

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Winter White

Celebrate the winter season with this pair of crisp white enameled cufflinks.  Made in the Art Deco 1930’s, these sterling cufflinks have a machine-turned guilloché pattern beneath the glassy enamel overcoat.  And if you think they will look great on a blue shirt peaking-out from under a grey sweater, wait ’til you see them next […]

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A Stud in the Hand…

As the saying reminds us, “A stud in the hand is worth two under the bed.”  Keep your shirt studs (and collar stays) safe and sound (an in one place) with these English leather stud boxes from the 1930’s and 1940’s.  They also make a great place to keep rings, cufflinks or (on a desk) […]

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December’s Here!

Welcome to December and its birthstone, the turquoise. Turquoise has been mined for some 5,000 years and has had the reputation for being a holy or lucky gemstone.  Mines are found in Persia, the Sinai Peninsula, Mexico and the American Southwest.  Egyptians are known to have buried their dead with carved turquoise talismans and there […]

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Perfectly Simple

We sell a lot of vintage cufflinks at LEO Design.  I’m always on-the-hunt for handsome and stylish examples to add to the shop’s collection.  And I could never have too many pairs like the ones shown above.  Robin’s egg blue enameling covers machine-turned guilloche work on this pair of Art Deco sterling silver cufflinks from […]

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All Saints’ Day

“Saint” Christopher is not—and has never been—”an official saint.”  His history, if he existed at all, is ambiguous at best.  Some scholars believe his story may have been confused with that of another third century saint.  Some believe he was martyred under the Roman Emperor Decius (in 251).  We are certain that he was never […]

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Cufflinks-in-Chief

America’s first president has been a wonderful role model in many, many ways—including his example of fine taste and natty dress. Shortly before the conclusion of his presidency (which ended 4 March 1797), George Washington acquired a handsome pair of English enameled gold cuff-buttons from Dickinson & Company.   They were purchased by Mount Vernon […]

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Notes From the Road – part V

Here are some more English Art Deco cufflinks, just-purchased during my current buying trip in the United Kingdom.   Bold red and black enameling makes for handsome and arresting patterns—sure to bring a touch of confident style to any man’s wrists.  And I needn’t mention that a nice pair of vintage cufflinks are always a […]

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Notes From the Road – part II

My regular clientele knows that LEO Design has an extensive collection of handsome and practical vintage cufflinks—some 800+ pairs.  Many of these are from England, mostly from the Art Deco Thirties. I’m currently in England, on the hunt for Handsome Gifts for the Holidays.  And cufflink collectors, never fear:  I have not forgotten about you! […]

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Hello, October!

Welcome, October—and your flower the Marigold!  The marigold family consists of some twenty “herbaceous perennials” also called Calendula. It originates in Asia, Western Europe and around the Mediterranean.  Ancient Greeks and Romans wove crowns of marigolds and discovered the anti-inflammatory medicinal properties of the plant.  Indian Hindus consider the flower sacred and use it to decorate altars […]

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Norwegian White

Although the Bauhaus Movement was rooted in Germany between the World Wars, it wasn’t until after WWII that the aesthetic was free to blossom on an international scale.  As wars sometimes do, WWII cleared-away the previous popular aesthetic—Art Deco—leaving the public hungry for “the next big thing.”  The clean lines of German Bauhaus had a […]

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New Vintage Cufflinks – part XII

We end our “parade” of newly-acquired cufflinks sharing something a little different: a set of six Edwardian English shirt buttons, circa 1905.  A sea of sapphire blue enameling washes over the faces of these handsome buttons, edged with a crisp and silvery trim.  Please click-upon the photo above to learn more about this pair or […]

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New Vintage Cufflinks – part XI

During the Art Nouveau (and Arts & Crafts) period, there was a premium placed on the craftsmanship—not simply on the sum value of the materials used.  As such, good Arts & Crafts objets express a pleasing aesthetic and reflect a skilled artisan’s talent.  Shown above, a pair of English “artglass” cufflinks with matching stickpin, made around […]

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New Vintage Cufflinks – part X

“Torpedoes” of swirling red agate are chained handsomely on this pair of Victorian Scottish cufflinks from the 1890’s.  They are but one of several dozen newly-acquired pairs of vintage cufflinks at LEO Design.  They are now in store and ready for your perusal.  Please come into the shop to see them in-person—where you’ll find the […]

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New Vintage Cufflinks – part IX

Enameled waves of periwinkle and navy stream across the faces of this pair of English Art Deco cufflinks, one example from our recent shipment of newly-acquired vintage cufflinks, now in-store.  To learn more about them, please click upon the photo above or come into the shop to see them in-person.  You may also peruse the […]

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New Vintage Cufflinks – part VIII

British jeweler Charles Horner (1837 – 1896) was known for his exquisite (and expensive) Art Nouveau enameled jewelry from the Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries.  His sons carried-on with the business after Charles’s death and the company branched into other products like silverware, table ware and clocks.  But jewelry and wearable accessories were always […]

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New Vintage Cufflinks – part VII

Bold blocks of red, black and royal blue enameling scream “English Deco” from the faces of these English Art Deco cufflinks, made in the 1930’s.  They are part of a large collection of newly-acquired vintage cufflinks, now in-store and ready for your inspection. Please click upon the photo above to learn more about this pair […]

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New Vintage Cufflinks – part VI

Polished Baltic amber cabochons are set into 875 silver gilt mountings on this pair of Soviet-era cufflinks, hallmarked 1921 – 1958.  Please come into the shop to see the entire collection or click on the photo above to learn more about this pair.  Or, check-out our on-line shop (under Cufflinks) to see many of our vintage […]

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New Vintage Cufflinks – part V

A striking pair of French Art Deco cufflinks epitomize the Twenties Jazz Age.  Graphic black and periwinkle enameling pops (with sophistication) from the chromed faces of these handsome reminders of swinging times in the City of Lights. Please click on the photo above to learn more about this pair of peruse our on-line shop (under Cufflinks) […]

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New Vintage Cufflinks – part IV

These classic, Georgian-style cufflinks are fashioned of polished purple quartz cabochons—though they were made a bit later, in 1920’s England.  They are part of a new collection of English vintage cufflinks, newly-acquired and now in-store.  Please click on the photo above to learn more about this pair of come into the shop to see the […]

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New Vintage Cufflinks – part III

Argyle moves upwards—up from the ankles, onto the wrists—with this pair of English Art Deco cufflinks from the 1930’s.  Black and white enameling brims within a checkered metallic grid making a handsomely understated accent on any well-dressed wrist. Please click upon the photo above to learn more about this pair of cufflinks—or check-out our on-line […]

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New Vintage Cufflinks – part II

Here’s a handsome pair of cufflinks, part of our newly-acquired collection of vintage cufflinks now in-store.  Creamy mother-of-pearl faces (centered with a little “seed pearl”) is encircled with navy enameling and mounted in gold-plated settings.  Very classic, very handsome, very British. Please click on the photo above to learn more about this pair or check-out […]

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New Vintage Cufflinks – part I

We’ve recently received a large collection of vintage English cufflinks from the 1910’s through the 1950’s.  Over the next several days, we’ll be sharing a sampling of them with you.  Please check out the LEO Design on-line shop (under Cufflinks) where all of our new acquisitions have been posted. Shown above, an alluring pair of English […]

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Blue September

September begins, bringing with it the month’s birthstone: the sapphire.  The sapphire is a variety of the mineral corundum.  Most people think of sapphires as blue although they also can come in shades of green,  yellow, orange, or purple—but not red (for then it would be a ruby).  Some sapphires display more than one color and […]

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Ruby Red

Welcome, July, with your sun, your surf, and your brilliant red rubies—the birthstone for the seventh month of the year. Rubies are one of the four most-precious gemstones: rubies, sapphires, emeralds and diamonds.  In fact, sapphires and rubies are just different color variations of the same stone, Corundum.  It’s the presence of the element chromium […]

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Countdown to Father’s Day – part II

For Dapper Dads, what could be better than a handsome pair of cufflinks?  Like with ties, natty dressers can never have too many nice pairs of cufflinks in their collections.  Here we show a pair of sterling silver Art Deco cufflinks from the 1920’s—with regal amethyst enameling over machine-turned, radiant guilloché work.  Come into the shop […]

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June Pearls

The birthstone for the month of June is not a “stone” at all.  It is the pearl—the mysterious and exotic treasure of mariners—which commemorates those born in the calendar’s sixth month. At one time pearls, which represent purity, innocence and humility, were the most precious of jewels.  Egyptian aristocrats were buried with their pearls.  The Greeks thought […]

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Celadon Clouds

Like a celadon bowl on a cloudy afternoon, these Art Deco sterling silver cufflinks exhibit an understatedly-handsome demeanor—all class, no flash.  Just a layer of dark celadon enameling over crisp, machine-turned guilloché work. Perfect with any blue shirt!  Please come into the shop to see them—and the many, many other pairs of handsome cufflinks—or click on […]

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Welcome, May!

Let us welcome May with its warmer days, flower blossoms and birdsong. Emeralds are this month’s birthstone—amongst the post precious and coveted of gemstones. They were first mined in Egypt from 1500 BC and later in Austria and India from the 1300’s AD.  Since then they have been found on most continents, most plentifully in […]

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In the Mood for Summer

While summer is still many weeks away, recent hints of warming weather have put me in a summery mood—as have the sterling silver Art Deco cufflinks, shown above, which I’ve just received.  Made in the 1920’s or 1930’s in Providence, Rhode Island, they have a handsome, radiant guilloché under-pattern, glazed with an ultra-summery combination of […]

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Style and Substance

White Mother-of-Pearl is a classic, timeless choice for cufflinks, shirt studs and dress sets. Note, after all, that most men’s shirts are finished with white buttons at cuff and shirt front. And yet, while the material is timeless, the soft square shape of the button indicates this dress set’s stylish modernity.  Made in the 1950’s, […]

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Welcome, March!

The “Bloodstone”—also known as the “Heliotrope”—is the traditional birthstone for the month of March.  Bloodstone is a variety of dark green jasper (an opaque chalcedony) with flecks or streaks of hematite (iron oxide)—impurities which give the appearance of red drops of blood scattered over the dark green stone. The name “heliotrope” comes from the Greek […]

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New Cufflinks – part III

Perhaps Spring is still a bit far-off—at over six weeks away.  So, while the winter doesn’t bring us warmth, it does allow for beautiful blue skies.  And, you’ll have to agree:  these Art Deco cufflinks are a beautiful sky blue.  White, black and sky blue enameling grace the fronts of these sterling silver cufflinks, punctuated with […]

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New Cufflinks – part II

While shivering through winter’s short days and long nights, savor a thought of impending Spring.  These cheerful and handsome cufflinks should do the trick!  Sterling Art Deco octagonals are etched with a scrolling botanical guilloché pattern, then enameled with bold stripes of yellow and black.  Whether you think of daffodils, bumble bees or a warm, […]

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New Cufflinks – part I

Embrace winter’s chill with a new pair of wint’ry blue cufflinks.  Made in the 1920’s, they boast a crisp, sapphire blue enamel over a striped Art Deco guilloché design.  They are part of a new shipment of handsome cufflinks, just received and in-store at LEO Design.  Please come into the shop to see the or […]

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Tailored Ornaments – part IV

With mid-December temperatures in the mid-sixties, it’s hard to imagine we’ll have any snow anytime soon. Fashion your own White Christmas with these handsomely-understated sterling silver cufflinks, enameled in a crisp white and a serene dove grey. Over the past few days, I’ve shown just a few pairs of newly-acquired vintage cufflinks, now in-store at […]

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Tailored Ornaments – part III

In a sea of sapphire blue enameling floats a single, stylized blossom—which makes for a handsome pair of Art Deco cufflinks.  Crafted in the 1930’s by Norwegian master Aksel Holmsen, the sterling silver cufflinks are bordered with a beaded edge and enameled in a striking combination of crisp white and jewel tone blue. This week […]

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Tailored Ornaments – part II

Make it a Blue Christmas with this pair of Art Deco periwinkle cufflinks from the 1920’s or 1930’s.  A radiant, star-shaped guilloché pattern is next enameled with the distinctive shade of blue.  The gold-plated mounts make this pair of cufflinks a handsome, quality gift for any special man. We’re sharing some of our newly-acquired cufflinks […]

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Tailored Ornaments – part I

Recently we’ve been talking about cheerful Holiday ornaments—for the tree or for the home. How about a handsome ornament for the wrist?  Over the next few days, I’ll be sharing a few of our newly-acquired vintage cufflinks, a handsome bauble for one’s wrist—and a terrific, tailored Holiday gift, as well. Shown above, a pair of […]

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Cufflink Collection – part IV

Let’s conclude our “cavalcade of cufflinks” with this jolly pair in emerald green.  A bold silver and black “X” criss-crosses the soft square shape.  The color reminds me of Ireland, the X reminds me of Scotland, and the overall shape reminds of of a nautical flag—nevertheless, they have a unity of design which I find […]

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Cufflink Collection – part III

The enameling on these Thirties Art Deco cufflinks reminded me of citrus—a Clementine, in particular.  And what timing!  The Clementine, sometimes called the Christmas Orange, will be appearing in their little wooden crates in the next couple of weeks. Originating in the Mediterranean—Italy, Spain and North Africa—these sweet, usually seedless fruits are now grown in […]

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Cufflink Collection – part II

Krementz was a jewelry maker in Newark, NJ which concentrated on designs for men: cufflinks, dress sets, military insignia and the like.  Their heyday was the first half of the Twentieth Century.  The cufflinks above, made in the 1920’s or 1930’s, are an example of their work.  A radiant “guilloché” star is enameled-over with white […]

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Cufflink Collection – part I

As we march toward the busy Holiday season, we pick-up-the-pace when it comes to acquiring Handsome Gifts for the gift-giving period.  One big category for us is cufflinks—a perfect gift for men of every description.  With the Holiday season in mind, I purchased a collection of nice cufflinks recently and will share some of them […]

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A Bright Northern Light

Within Scandinavia, Norway is recognized as having produced the finest enamelwork—often applied to decorative objects, tableware and silver jewelry.  Jeweler and designer Aksel Holmsen made a career of such fine enamelwork. Born in 1873, Holmsen began his training in 1889 under David Andersen, the famous and accomplished Oslo jeweler. After a three year training period, […]

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A Few Days on the Links – part VI

Let’s conclude our little “sextet” of summer cufflinks with this rich, Mediterranean blue pair, also from the 1920’s or 1930’s.  Rich, Mediterranean blue enameling rests over a subtle floral guilloché design, making for a handsome accent upon the wrist.  Perfect for late summer—or any time.  Please click on the photo above to learn more about […]

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A Few Days on the Links – part V

We continue our daily presentation of newly-acquired cufflinks.  Just in: this pair of hammered sterling silver American Arts & Crafts cufflinks from the 1910’s.  An octagonal, shield-form features a hand-hammered central surface, ringed with a crisp Greek Key edge. A wonderful gift for the Arts & Crafts collector.  Please come into the shop to see […]

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A Few Days on the Links – part IV

On this fourth day of summer cufflinks, here’s a beautiful pair from the 1920’s or 1930’s.  Sterling silver is engraved with a “striated” Art Deco guilloché pattern, then topped with a blanket of icy white enameling. A crisp Greek Key border surrounds the eight sides of the clipped-square form.  Quite handsome, indeed—and perfect with a summer […]

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A Few Days on the Links – part III

Another pair of American Art Deco cufflinks, these finished with sapphire blue enameling. Beneath the enamel lies a handsome Deco guilloché pattern, a combination of swirling and radiant graphics.  Please come into the shop to see our extensive range of cufflinks or click on the photo above to learn more about this pair. More cufflinks […]

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A Few Days on the Links – part II

Another nice pair of summery cufflinks are the white enameled Art Deco beauties, shown above.  A stylized, foliate guilloché pattern shows through smart white enameling.  The octagonal border reinforces the crisp masculinity of these links—which would look perfect on any color cuff, especially near a beach-tanned wrist.  Please come into the shop to see our […]

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A Few Days on the Links – part I

For those of you not going back-to-school, here’s to another month of summer!  Time for a few more days on the links.  Or, perhaps, a few more days with some summer-appropriate cufflinks!  Over the next few days, we’ll share with you a few of our recent acquisitions—especially those suitable for the second half of summer. […]

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Tie Clips and Tie Tacks

We’ve just acquired a small collection of nice tie bars and tie tacks from the 1930’s through the 1960’s.  Some have stones, like the moss agate option shown in front, above.  $35 – $75. They join our existing collection of necktie accessories and cufflinks, always a Handsome Gift.  Please come into the shop to see […]

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Ruby Red

Let’s welcome the month of July and its birthstone, the ruby—the King of Gemstones! A good ruby is the most valuable of the four precious stones (a group which also includes diamonds, sapphires and emeralds) and, after diamonds, it is the hardest. Historically, the best rubies have come from Burma, though they have also been mined […]

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A Most Handsome Pair

Amongst the most handsome pair of cufflinks I’ve had in while, this 1930’s pair hits the Art Deco nail right on the head.  Sterling silver is machine-turned with a radiant guilloché pattern, enameled in aqua, then finished with black enamel banding.  Very striking, indeed. Perfect for a handsome father! Please come in to the shop […]

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June Pearls

The birthstone for the month of June is not a “stone” at all.  It is the pearl—the mysterious and exotic treasure of mariners—which commemorates those born in the calendar’s sixth month. At one time pearls, which represent purity, innocence and humility, were the most precious of jewels.  Egyptian aristocrats were buried with their pearls.  The […]

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Emeralds for May

Welcome May and welcome the Month of the Emerald.  As much as we like emeralds, we’re clean-out of the precious stone; we thought we’d celebrate the month with something “Emerald-ish.”  Shown above, a pair of sterling silver Art Deco cufflinks with radiant guilloché work and emerald enameling.  Please click on the photo to learn more […]

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Feast of the Annunciation

Imagine the drama—not to mention the fright—young Mary must have felt as the angel Gabriel approached with these words:  “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.”  What a bewildering, intimidating and humbling experience. The Feast of the Annunciation—the most important of Marian celebrations—is celebrated each 25 March (unless that day falls on a […]

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Spring is Here!

Perfect for spring: a pair of 1920’s Art Deco cufflinks, enameled in violet, pistachio and white.  The decoration is formed as a stylized, oblong quatrefoil around a radiant guilloché design.  The pair—new-received and in-store at LEO Design—evokes the sunny days of a gentle spring.  Or, perhaps, the optimism of an Italian ice cream shoppe. Please […]

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It’s a Great Day for the Shamrock

As we approach Saint Patrick’s Day, we’re featuring some of our favorite green items currently in-shop.  Pictured above, a pair of American Art Deco sterling silver cufflinks, enameled in emerald green over radiant guilloché work.  A very handsome, understated pair of cufflinks, these could be worn on St. Paddy’s Day—or any time of the year. […]

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Fretwork in a Cobalt Sea

Just in: a handsome pair of Art Deco cufflinks from the 1920’s or 1930’s.  Cobalt blue enameling surrounds an underlying pattern of metalwork—evocative of a musical staff or the fretwork on the neck of a guitar. This is but one pair of the more than 800 pairs of cufflinks in-store at LEO Design—many just received […]

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Modernist Mother-of-Pearl

Soft squares of white mother-of-pearl are fashioned into a five-piece dress set, finished with 12 karat gold-plated settings.  Worn complete as a set or worn as cufflinks alone, either way, these are a classic and classy way to finish your dressing. Please click on the photo above to learn more about this set or come […]

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Sterling, White & Green

“Handsome Gifts” is our mission and Saint Valentine’s Day is a brisk season for us.  Since Christmas, I have been aggressively re-building my cufflinks collection just for this purpose. Shown above, a pair of sterling silver Krementz cufflinks, enameled in white, edged in a fresh, light green.  Please come into the shop to see them […]

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Wint’ry Blues

I, for one, have already had enough of The Winter Blues.  The cold, the wind, the slush—I’m looking forward to some precious moments on the beach! Until such time, I’ll have to try a little harder to re-associate the season in a more positive direction. These Art Deco cufflinks, made in Newark, NJ in the […]

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Welcome, February!

Domes of amethyst enameling cover an oval of radiant guilloché work on this pair of stately Art Deco era cufflinks—which is appropriate today, the first day of February, a month represented by the birthstone amethyst. After selling dozens of pairs of cufflinks during the Holiday season, I’ve been busy re-stocing before the next big “Cufflinks […]

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Wine Guilloché

A rising sun—crowned with a floral wreath—radiates guilloché beams on this pair of Art Deco cufflinks from the 1920’s.  The enameling, best described as “wine-tinted,” is not quite burgundy, not quite copper, not quite brown.  A handsome and unusual addition to the seasoned cufflink collector’s cache. This pair of cufflinks is part of a newly-received collection […]

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Strong Deco

A handsome combination of sky blue enameling, black strapping and glints of silver tone really make these Art Deco cufflinks pop.  Guilloché palmettes complete the effect. These are but one pair of cufflinks recently purchased for the popular pre-Valentine’s Day sales period.  Perhaps a nice pair for your beau?  Please come into the shop to […]

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Two Months ‘Till Spring

Spring begins two months from today—so today I thought I’d share this rather springlike pair of cufflinks. And what a handsome pair of cufflinks, indeed.  These 1930’s sterling silver beauties are enameled in a pale pistachio, which surrounds the elements of a bold Art Deco silver graphic.  Fine guilloché engraving adds a subtle touch beneath […]

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Emerald and Amber

Like a specimen frozen-in-time, the guilloché flower on this pair of cufflinks is embedded in emerald enamel.  A ring of amber enamel frames the whole, resulting in a handsome and unusual pair of cufflinks from the early Twentieth Century. After selling many pairs of cufflinks during the Holiday season, I’ve kept busy acquiring new (vintage) […]

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Regency Revival

The British Georgian period—during the reigns of Kings George I, II, III and IV (and sometimes extended to William the IV)—covered the years 1714 to 1837, a broad period of formal, classical British style.  It includes the period known as The Regency (1811-1820), when George III’s mental deterioration prevented him from holding his throne—so his […]

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A Glimpse of Spring?

While New York City’s temperature has been in the twenties, I’m always keen to see a little promise of the Spring to come.  And these cufflinks have done the trick!  Made in the 1920’s or 1930’s, they are finished with two colors of enamel—white and celadon green—over a radiant, floral guilloché design. These cufflinks are […]

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A New Collection of Cufflinks

After selling dozens of pairs of cufflinks in December, I’ve been vigorously re-building my collection in time for the next big occasion: Valentine’s Day. Cufflinks make a wonderful gift for a man—and are perfect for the 14th of February.  With a month to go before Valentine’s Day, I’d like to share some examples from my […]

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Epiphany

From Medieval times, the stylized lily—the fleur de lys—has played an important role in Christian iconography: first as a symbol of Christ, later a symbol associated with the Virgin Mary.  In paintings and other artworks, Mary can sometimes be seen holding lilies in her right hand, especially in depictions of The Annunciation.  The lily has […]

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And a Clean Finish

Let’s end this run of newly-acquired cufflinks with this particularly “ship shape” pair.  Made in Art Deco England in the 1930’s, they are cut into twelve-sided “clipped rectangles” and decorated with two parallel  bars of royal blue enameling. Between the enameled bars lies their most interesting decorative element: a face of wavy, “machine-turned” lines. Engraving […]

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