I don’t usually buy antique jewellery intended for men but sometimes I see something that is attractive or which is a bit different, in this case, some Edwardian era shirt studs and a pair of cuff links. These are functional jewellery items.
Let’s start with the shirt studs. Here is a beautiful set of three gold shirt studs, still in their original box. A photo is at the start of this post. They are made of mother of pearl with a ruby set in the centre. These studs are meant to be worn with a dress shirt and tuxedo. Shirt studs began to be worn in the mid 19th century with tails and continued to be used when tuxedos became more common. The back of the stud is a screw with a flat back. The box is leather with cream satin and velvet linings. Unfortunately the name of the jeweller has worn away and the address not readable, except for a few bits such as ’17’ and ‘Regent’. These are very elegant, high quality studs.
The next functional items are cuff links. These are also Edwardian and are meant to represent gambling and other vices. One set of cuff links has a horse and jockey on one link and a bottle of champagne and a champagne glass on the other.
With the second set of links, one cuff shows a can-can dancer while the other shows some playing cards.
The cuff links are set in 9ct gold, with gilt metal backs. Meant to be a bit of fun and a talking point, these cuff links are also still in their original leather case.
These cuff links were called ‘the Four Vices’ or the ‘Road to Ruin’. Expensive versions came in gold with enamelled fronts and are very rare. Less expensive versions were produced, like these which have been printed and covered with glass, but still set in gold.