Vintageenamel trout fly fishing cufflinks by Alabaster & Wilson. A matching pair of enamel cufflinks each composed of a leaping trout and an open fishing fly box, the trout is intricately enameled with anatomical details, speckling and a colour gradient from green-brown to white, the fly fishing box has a black enamel background depicting six detailed fishing flies in a range of colours, connected with round chain links secured to the reverse, approximately 3cm in length. Marked 15 carat yellow gold, makers mark for Alabaster & Wilson, full hallmarks for Edinburgh, English, circa 1961.
Each of the fishing flies in the box has a specific name as informed by Alabaster & Wilson. The Green=Alexandra, Red=Cardinal, Grey=Woodcock & Green, Blue=Rogue, Purple=Bloody Butcher and Yellow=Tippet and Red.
Photo and detail sketch from the Alabaster & Wilson archives.
The origin of cufflinks can be traced back to the early 18th century when crystal buttons were joined to bind together a shirt cuff. Smooth oval disks perhaps engraved with an elegant design or simply set with agate plaques were favoured.
It wasn’t until the late Victorian and early Edwardian periods that novelty cufflinks flourished. Often themed around popular hobbies, designs appeared with enamelled details depicting game birds, diamond set foxes and fish.
As the 20th century dawned and the use of platinum became more common place, cufflinks became even more eye catching. Craftsmen revelled in the endless possibilities of designs now open to them with the advent of this new metal. Gemstones featured heavily sometimes resulting in the entire face of the cufflink being set with faceted stones in intricate patterns.
The Art Deco period saw materials such as mother of pearl or onyx used in combination with diamonds creating stark, geometric designs which reflected the new age of design.
Many of the large jewellery houses expanded on this theme to create entire dress sets which gentlemen could use to adorn their formal attire. These sets often include buttons and collar studs as well as matching cufflinks all beautifully presented in a fitted case.
Buttons were a favourite type of adornment since the 17th century. Sold in sets of six or a dozen, they were used to hold articles of clothing together. Buttons had a resurgence in the 1920s and 1930s as dress sets became necessary for any well attired gentlemen.
At Berganza we are lucky to have many beautiful pairs of cufflinks and dress sets available and what better way to complete your dinner apparel than with an antique or vintage dress set?