In Black & White - II


English Art Deco Cufflinks with Enameled Black & White Argyle Pattern (LEO Design)


As we straddle the seasons—that unpredictable period between Winter and Spring—let us shine a little light on another sensory counterpoint: the interplay of black and white.  Over the next few days, we'll share part of our collection of black, white and black & white merchandise—all for sale in our on-line store.

The Scottish Argyle pattern is a variety of "light plaid"—a series of solid colored squares or diamonds overlaid with diagonal lines.  Sometimes the combination of elements creates an optical three-dimensional effect.  The pattern has been worn in the Highlands of Scotland since the 1600's and is traditionally associated with Clan Campbell from Argyll, Western Scotland.  

Argyles became very fashionable after World War I.  The Edinburgh knitwear company, Pringle of Scotland, popularized the pattern in England and America, using them on their fine hosiery and sweaters.  The Duke of Windsor (who later became King Edward VIII) became associated with Argyles, increasing their popularity in the fashion of the Twenties and Thirties.  He wore Argyle plaids while golfing, making the pattern popular for sportswear.  In architecture and home furnishings, Argyle knits, prints and patterns were popular within the Art Deco movement.

The English Art Deco enameled cufflinks shown here, made in the Twenties or Thirties, were initially worn during the height of the Argyle craze.  Click on the photo above to learn more about them.

More Black & White offerings tomorrow.


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