Knowledge Centre > Jewellery History > History

Gentleman's Statement Accessories

in the history of fashion

antique Essex crystal fox pin berganza hatton garden
Essex crystal fox pin, circa 1890.
Ref: 25494

For centuries gentlemen have sported jewellery and dress accessories. They have been worn in the ancient Greek period all the way up to today. During the 18th century there was a rapid evolution of gentlemen’s fashion and accessories with jewellery mimicking it.  Different ways of dressing were adopted by the growing middle classes and reflected the growth of wealth, there were new developments in gentlemen’s jewellery and the craftsmanship and techniques used for creating it.

During the 18th century, the emergence of stick pins for cravats, intricately detailed cufflinks, unique waistcoat buttons, and intricate chains and fobs for pocket watches quickly became popular for gentlemen. Men wore gold signet rings with family crests engraved, while stick pins and cufflinks reflected the gentleman’s past times, often decorated with hunting animals or sporting emblems.

Instead of using wallets gentlemen used money clips to hold notes as they were easier to tuck into jacket pockets. Not only did the jewellery serve as adornment but it could also have practical uses as well. An example of practicality were pocket watches, worn as fob watches or as by King Henry VIII in the 16th century, pendant style. They were easily portable and could be intricately decorated or set with gemstones.

In the late 18th century well known designers started making striking pieces of jewellery for gentlemen. In 1837 the well-known jewellery house Tiffany and Co. was founded, with Kutchinsky in 1893 and Van Cleef and Arpels in 1906. They made pieces especially for gentlemen such as intricately decorated or stone set cufflinks, heavy gold link bracelets or chains and large gem-set statement rings.

Trends in jewellery among gentlemen has changed over the eras but beautiful design and exquisite craftsmanship never goes out of fashion.

Whether you are looking for a unique statement piece for adornment or something for practicality, at Berganza there is something suitable for every person.  Choose from our vast collection of ancient, antique and vintage jewellery for an accessory that is sure to help you express your individual style and personality.

Cartier Mirage gold cufflinks berganza hatton garden
Cartier Mirage G8 cufflinks, French, circa 1968.
Ref: 23810
Vintage Tiffany & Co. sapphire Cufflinks berganza hatton garden
Tiffany & Co. sapphire Cufflinks, American, circa 1950.
Ref: 24468
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Updated 16/04/2024 at 10:48AM

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