The Edwardian Age was a time of handsome style, obvious socio-political awakenings, and the last few years of innocence before The Great War and the turbulent decades to follow. This week, we'd like to share a few offerings from the Edwardian cufflink collection at LEO Design.
Warning: Pontification Approaching...
The British Empire expanded greatly during the Victorian Age. The World—and its peoples—were viewed as resources to utilize (if not exploit). And England, like other powerful countries at their strongest, was not shy about stepping-up to seize-the-moment. During the late Victorian and Edwardian periods, England controlled so many far-flung countries that it was said that "The sun never sets on the British Empire." I do not single-out England as a lone villain in this endeavor. Other countries have done the same (well before and well after England's glory days). I (cynically) believe that all countries, tribes or teams will exercise their influence over others—if and when they can. Perhaps it's a depressing part of the human condition: those who have power over others will use it. All we humans can do is watch for the abuse, call it out, and try to stop it when we find it. But, in my sorry opinion, it will be an on-going struggle 'til the end of time.
Aesthetically, the Edwardian Era coincided with the second half of a period called La Belle Époque, "The Beautiful Era." The name, "La Belle Époque" was coined in France, referencing the Art Nouveau period—but the influences of this aesthetic spread across Europe and the World (and was "customized" to suit the tastes, cultures and histories of the many receiving countries).
Although Edward VII died in 1910, for aesthetic purposes, the Edwardian Era is commonly extended to include the period up to The Great War (1914). After The War (1918), the world had been irrevocably changed—and was ready for something new, modern, and suitable for industrial mass production (Art Deco).
These cufflinks, possibly American, boast energetically-sculpted, stylized goldtone faces—each punctuated with three faceted amethysts. Please click on the photo above to learn more about them.
More Edwardian cufflinks 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 (www.LEOdesignNYC.com).
We also can be found in Pittsburgh's historic "Strip District" at Mahla & Co. Antiques (www.mahlaantiques.com) or in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania at The Antique Center of Strabane (www.antiquecenterofstrabane.com).
Or call to arrange to visit our Pittsburgh showroom (by private appointment only). 917-446-4248