Rare BELAIS White Gold & Yellow Gilt Antique Cufflinks
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Directory: Archives: Estate Jewelry: Accessories: Cufflinks: Pre 1910: Item # 701573
GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
Sold; thank you!
Despite making a specialty of Belais jewelry for several years, I've previously seen their famous white gold appear with yellow gold in only four instances (two of which we were privileged to sell). Here the Belais 14k tops are set in gilded frames for a look of remarkable opulence. 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 slightly concave oval faces. Most Belais cufflinks are obviously Art Deco, but these are earlier, detailed with a refined delicacy that's thoroughly Edwardian. 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 HWK and TALON GRIP, as well as BELAIS 14K WHITE GOLD FRONT. Size is about 3/4 of an inch by 1/2 inch, provenance is a Missouri estate and condition is very nice. The faces of these are in lovely shape but, due to more surface wear than usual to the backs and connectors, we've priced them substantially lower than other two-toned Belais cufflinks. It may well be possible to brighten those areas with a little polishing, but in any case they'd never be seen when worn.
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) until the Great Depression caused the company's closure by destroying the market for luxury goods. If these appeal to, you'd better not delay.
Thanks for looking!