Tradition and modernity

Yellow gold cufflinks by Paul Lévy from Paris, 1920s

The elegant cufflinks from Paris presented here allow us a glimpse into the diversity of fashion in the French capital in the years between the wars. Made of yellow gold and decorated with bold stripes of black enamel, the fronts of the buttons display floral garlands in the Louis Seize style. This style, named after Louis XVI, was originally the decorative style of the years between 1760 and 1790, but it became fashionable again in the mid-19th century and we know many elegant jewellery designs of the years around 1860 which make use of these forms. These cufflinks, however, were not made until the 1920s, as they bear the master mark of Paul Lévy, who did not register his goldsmith's workshop on the Boulevard Magenta with this mark until January 1919. At a time when Art Deco was enjoying its greatest successes in Paris, Lévy decided not to follow this new international style, but instead chose the very French forms handed down through history and revered for their elegance and serenity. Obviously, not only was the fashion of these years much more pluralistic than one might easily believe. It seems much more as if this very reference to France was particularly sought after by his clients. We can easily imagine how, in an epoch in which so much was changing, they wanted to have a piece of the reliable French way of life with them at all times, at least in the small and supposedly insignificant things like the cufflink. The cufflinks are in first class condition and are stored in their antique clamshell box. We like them very much as a surprising testimony to the multifaceted nature of modernity - and we would be delighted to know that this little piece of France is in good hands.
Read more
Size & Details
Our Promise

Our Promise

We want you to be 100% satisfied! For that reason, we examine, describe and photograph all of our jewellery with the utmost care.

You can rely on our years of experience in the trade and our expertise as a professional art historians for reviews of the antique jewellery. As a member of various trader organisations and the British Society of Jewellery Historians, we remain committed to the highest possible degree of accuracy. In our descriptions, we always also indicate any signs of age and defects and never hide them in our photos — this saves you from any unpleasant surprises when your package arrives.

Should you for some reason not be satisfied, please don’t hesitate to contact us so that we can begin to find a solution together. In any case, you can return any article within 30 days and we will refund the full purchase price.