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Art Nouveau Cufflinks

Krementz mermaid and swan cufflinks crafted in 14kt gold. (J9382)

Mermaid and Swan!

A mermaid holding a sceptre sits amid gently swaying cattails while a swan glides by over the rippling water.  The scene is beautifully sculpted and the finely worked gold glows with the light of an early sunrise.  A masterpiece of Art Nouveau design.  Crafted in 14kt gold, circa 1900.

Krementz mermaid and swan cufflinks crafted in 14kt gold. (J9382)

Although Art Nouveau jewelry was first created in France during the 1890's,  the new style was quickly embraced by jewelers in the United States.

These cufflinks were created by Krementz & Company, a fine jewelry maker founded in 1866 in Newark, New Jersey.  According to the firm's history, in the mid 1890s one of the sons of George Krementz, the eponymous founder of the firm, embarked on a bicycle trip through Europe while on summer break from Yale.  During his travels he became entranced with the jewels of the Art Nouveau and urged his father to explore the new style.  These cufflinks are likely a result of the son's new found passion.

Krementz mermaid and swan cufflinks crafted in 14kt gold. (J9382)

One of the nice features of these cufflinks is that the mermaid and swan vignette is repeated on the backs.  Around 1900 the backs of most cufflinks were unadorned or merely engraved with the initials of the wearer.  This left the backs looking somewhat plain.  To rectify this situation Krementz & Co. created a small collection of cufflinks with decorated backs that repeat the design of the fronts or a related motif.  These cufflinks with decorated backs are sometimes known as "Krementz doubles".

Krementz mermaid and swan cufflinks crafted in 14kt gold. (J9382)

The beauty of the design of these cufflinks is matched by the precision of the craftsmanship and goldsmith's attention to small details.  The fronts and decorated backs are connected with sturdy curved bridges and strong quad ("four footed") brackets.  The curve of the bridges helps keep the cufflinks properly aligned on the cuff while the sturdiness of the design assures that the cufflinks remain safely attached when worn.

Close up of maker's mark of Krementz & Co. (J8846)

The maker's mark of Krementz & Co. is stamped on the bridges just to the right of the "14K" gold purity mark.  The Krementz mark has been described as a "two-handled umbrella" or a "nose and moustache,"  but in fact it is a stylized profile of a collar button that Krementz & Co. was famous for manufacturing during the late 1800s and early 1900s.

Name:  Mermaid and Swan

Cost:  $1,325

Measurements:  These elegant 14kt gold cufflinks weigh a total of  8.5 grams.  The oval fronts are  just under 3/4" long and  1/2" wide.  The oval backs are 1/2" by 3/8".

References:  To learn more about Krementz & Co. and the elegant cufflinks the firm created,  please visit Krementz Double Cufflinks.  Additional examples of Krementz & Co. cufflinks can be found in the Antique Cufflink Gallery.

Here are a few more elegant cufflinks from the past ...

Carrington jade cufflinks. (J9288)Krementz writhing serpent cufflinks. (J9284)Late Victorian dragon and turquoise cufflinks. (J9347)

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