Rare BELAIS White Gold & Yellow Gilt Antique Cufflinks
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Directory: Archives: Estate Jewelry: Accessories: Cufflinks: Pre 1920: Item # 689814
GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
Sold; thank you!
Despite making a specialty of Belais jewelry for several years, I've seen their famous white gold appear along with yellow gold in only three instances (one other of which we were privileged to sell). Here the Belais 14k tops are set in richly gilded frames and the look is wonderfully opulent. Move over, Diamond Jim! Too, on the practical level, the mixture of metals means you can wear these beautifully with rings and watches of either color.
Also unusual is the motif engraved on each of the cufflinks' four octagonal faces. Most Belais cufflinks are obviously Art Deco, but these are earlier, showing strong Arts and Crafts influence in the Celtic manner. Against a spiral background, a stylized cross forms the central element. Also indicating great age are the connectors, which have a fancy scrolling shape typical of Art Nouveau, a Victorian style that persisted into Edwardian times.
These cufflinks, I believe, date from early in the Edwardian era -- circa 1905. That was the year when the HWK Company was formed in Providence, RI, a major jewelry center then. HWK held the Talon Grip trademark and the reverses here are signed TALON GRIP, as well as BELAIS 14K WHITE GOLD FRONT. Size is 5/8 of an inch in each direction, provenance is a Louisiana estate and condition is lovely, showing only minor wear under high magnification.
With fashion's return to the elegance of French cuffs, antique cufflinks are flying off our shelves as fast as we can find them, particularly those by Belais. When you possess a piece bearing that legendary name, quite simply you own the best of the best, because the Belais Brothers were the *gods* of white gold jewelry in the early 20th century (circa 1900-1930). The onset of the Great Depression caused the New York company's closure by destroying the market for luxury goods.
Thanks for looking!