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A superb pair of vintage couture 18K yellow gold and carnelian cufflinks by Pierre Cardin. The square faces, with rounded corners, support round carnelian plaques of very rich color. The gold structure beneath the carnelian shows through the translucent gemstones to create a strong geometric pattern typical of Cardin's aesthetic. Cardin was fascinated by the juxtaposition of squares and circles beginning with his famous "Bubble Dress" in 1954, and he returned to the theme repeatedly over the next two decades. The faces are attached with solid arched connectors to spherical backs.
In the 1960's, Cardin collaborated with a handful of young modernist jewelry designers such as Jean Dinh Van to create fine jewelry items. There were never many of these designs, and they were only sold at Cardin's flagship couture boutique in Paris. Some of these rare designs have now entered the permanent holdings of the French national jewelry collection at the Musee des Arts Decoratifs in Paris.
The cufflinks are signed "P. Cardin" and are fully hallmarked with appropriate French stamps for 18K gold.
Origin: France, ca. 1968. Condition: excellent, all original. Size: 5/8 x 5/8". Weight: 15.1 grams.