Unusual late Victorian gilt brass cuff buttons or studs in a rectangular shape each feature a glass-topped compartment displaying a smoothed lock of dark blonde hair.
Popular throughout the Victorian era, sentimental hair jewelry was nearly old-fashioned by the time these cuff buttons were manufactured, which makes them doubly unusual, as their shank-and-flexible base construction is rather new-fangled for the period. The search for the perfect cuff button or stud led to a proliferation of dozens upon dozens of patented designs in the late 19th and early 20th century, but the design here—which anticipates the later T-post or swivel bar—is quite unique.
Another interesting design feature, aesthetic rather than mechanical, is the two short, curved side "walls" to the hair compartment, which creates the illusion that the glass top is curved as well and provides a pleasing contrast to the grooved rectangular frame.
The cuff buttons measure ¾" x 5/8" and have a worn stamp on one side of the shanks which appears to be a patent date. Unfortunately, all that remains legible is "PTDEC"—likely for `Patent, December"; the numbers beneath are rubbed almost smooth.
Very good condition, with age-related wear to the finish of the backs.
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Antique through Vintage Fashion & Jewelry