Art Nouveau Cufflinks
Mermaid and Swan!
| A mermaid holding a scepter sits amid cattails
gently swaying in the breeze while a swan peacefully glides
past. The scene is beautifully sculpted and the finely
detailed goldwork glows as if illuminated by the early light
just before sunrise. A miniature masterpiece of Art
Nouveau design. Crafted in 14kt gold, circa 1900.
A nice feature of these cufflinks is that the mermaid and swan motif 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 backs that repeated the design of the fronts or offered a similar vignette. These cufflinks with decorated backs became known as "Krementz doubles".
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.
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
Although Art Nouveau jewelry was first created in France during the 1890's, the new style was soon embraced by jewelers in the United States. Among the early adopters was Krementz & Company, a fine jewelry maker based in Newark, New Jersey. The firm's history tells how in the mid 1890s one of the sons of George Krementz, the firm's founder, embarked on a bicycle trip through Europe while on summer break from Yale. During his travels he became entranced with the exotic jewels of the Art Nouveau and upon his return urged his father to embrace the new style. These cufflinks are likely a result of the son's new found passion.
Estate Jewelry Cufflink Gallery
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(603 674-8678) or send us an email.