Sterling Silver Modernist Ribbed Cufflinks (LEO Design)


A "school" of design—like the Aesthetic, the Arts & Crafts, or the Art Deco Movements—do not begin and end on one specific day.  In fact, sometimes these movements are not even named until well after the period is underway (or finished).  The term "Art Deco" was not used in print until 1966, when the first museum retrospective of the Art Deco Movement was held in Paris.  Prior to the late Sixties, the Art Deco aesthetic was commonly referred to as "Moderne."

Schools of design begin organically—sometimes slowly—always while an earlier period is currently en vogue.  And there is no Central Organizing Committee which mandates what is going to be in-fashion (and on what date that will begin).  Instead, thousands of individual (and independent) artists and designers create the objects as they find inspiration—and millions (or billions) of consumers decide if they will buy it or not.  An aesthetic movement is built-up, strand by strand.  With time and observation, scholars can distill and begin describe an art or design movement.  More time allows for greater clarity of observation—and more refined analysis.

Because aesthetic movements do not have a clear start or end date, it is natural to find items which reflect a touch of the preceding movement and a touch of the subsequent movement.  Such objects are called "transitional."  They reflect that period of time when one school is transitioning into another school.

The sterling silver cufflinks, shown above, enjoy the influence of the Art Deco and the Modernist movements.  Made in the 1940's, they reflect their World War II period (or the years shortly after the war):  Art Deco had peaked (though was not yet extinct) and Modernism was ascending (as it had done during the previous decade).  Click on the photo above to learn more about these handsome sterling cufflinks with crisp geometric ribbing.


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