Collect them on their own or as a part of a larger collection, for example of military uniforms and accessories; cufflinks in general; or cufflinks and men’s jewellery.
There is something inherently gallant about cufflinks. And what to say about army cufflinks! In short: an officer, and a gentleman too!*
After this explanation, it will come as no surprise to those who know me that I was fascinated to discover that people buy and sell old army cufflinks on bidorbuy, in militaria section.
So, I decided to delve deeper into this subject matter and share my findings with you.
First things first. When and wherefore did this rapport between humans and cufflinks arise?
Cufflinks sprung from our unwillingness to be dictated to by our anatomy. Those big holes at the bottom of shirt sleeves, made necessary by the girth of our hands, had to be somehow taken in around our slender wrists.
In came – not the cufflinks, but their predecessor, a ribbon or a piece of string. The biggest problem was that wrist ribbons, just like shoelaces, require two hands to tie them… The bourgeoisie that came onto the scene in the late 18th century with Industrial Revolution would have none of it and cufflinks were duly invented.
As a more casual trend in clothing took off in 1970s, cufflinks became mainly associated with formal wear.
Same goes for cufflinks on military uniforms: you will not see them on combat attire. Instead, they are to be worn as an accessory to more ceremonial outfits and need to confirm to strict regulations. According to the South African army dress code, cufflinks are classified as buttons and – among other things – need to be “buffed clean and free of residue and fatty marks”.
The militaria-related cufflinks to be found on bidorbuy are usually adorned by enamel or relief regimental emblems. It is these emblems that make the cufflinks so attractive and desirable to collectors. Take a look:
Militaria cufflinks are a beautiful thing to collect, on their own or as a part of a larger collection, for example of military uniforms and accessories; cufflinks in general; or cufflinks and men’s jewellery.
Whichever angle you opt for, remember the first rule of cufflink collecting: condition is paramount. So, take good care of your collection. Store each cufflink individually, in a sealed plastic bag, protected from light and humidity.
To start your collection or to add new items to it, browse the bidorbuy militaria category. If you are conducting a search within that category, do note that you may get slightly different results depending on whether you search for cufflinks or cuff links.
*Reference to the Hollywood film of the same name.