The History of Cufflinks

The history of the cufflink is interwoven with the evolution of the shirt.  Originally men’s shirts were simple tunics without fastenings but they gradually evolved to become more decorative and sleeves were tied with fine ribbons or coloured strings as necks had been for some time.  One of the earliest references to these sleeve strings being replaced by detachable fastenings came in 1684 when The London Gazette referred to a pair of “cuff buttons” set with diamonds and this was followed two years later by a description of a pair of enamelled gold “sleeve buttons”.  

Cufflinks Hancocks

By the end of the 17th Century they were becoming more popular and this continued in to the 18th Century although they were still very much the preserve of the aristocracy. Silver, gold, diamond, paste and painted portrait miniature examples have all survived from this period and all are of the double ended chain link design.  

Towards the end of the 19th Century the emerging middle class, the development of the tailored shirt and the industrial revolution all combined to make cufflinks more necessary, more affordable and more popular than ever.  The designs changed and evolved with single ended styles appearing and chain links competing with bars, swivels and press-stud styles. Cufflinks became a socially acceptable fashion accessory for men to wear – a way to add personality to an otherwise starched and formal outfit. 

Today there are myriad  styles and designs to choose from but we think you can’t beat a pair of finest quality, keep forever, personalised cufflinks made here in the UK by our wonderful craftsmen.