Buttoned Up - Early Silver Cufflinks
The ingenuity of the human mind never ceases to amaze. Having begun life as buttons for a jacket or coat, it is apparent that they were made for a person of some means. Long ago someone opted to redesign and make the buttons into a pair of doubled-faced cufflinks. Perhaps Spanish or French in origin, the thick and deeply cupped shells are constructed of silver. (See the book "Joyas Populares" from the Museo del Peublo for example of earrings with the same motif as a top knot). See also "Bijoux des regions de France" by Claudette Joannis for similar workmanship in a cross on page 174.
With separately cast silver loop shanks attached to the backs, they were then fitted with silver links to form the cufflinks. Accented with a rich deep patina, the surfaces of the buttons display a handsome radial pattern with graduated recessed beading.
Although ideal as modern cufflinks, if desired, the links can easily be returned to their original state as buttons.
Measurements: 5/8 of an inch (1.6 cm) in diameter. Weight of 5.7 grams (3.66 dwt) for the pair.
Condition: Very good; later modification to cufflinks.
Date & Origin: Circa mid to later 18th or early 19th century and is Continental in origin.
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