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tline3open  What should I do with this Shiebler cufflink?

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Author Topic:   What should I do with this Shiebler cufflink?
Polly

Posts: 1910
Registered: Nov 2004

iconnumber posted 02-18-2017 04:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Polly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I found a cute little unmarked Shiebler cufflink. It's marked only Z, but I recognized the links as two of the faces in Shiebler's Etruscan (or Homeric?) series. (An online search currently turns up a Shiebler marked charm bracelet with both faces as charms.)

Am I allowed to take it apart and turn it into earrings?

I know, anathema!! In the previous thread, Paul was just raging at people who do things like this, and I agree with him! But it's a single lonely cufflink, I'm never going to find its mate, and I wear earrings all the time and cufflinks never.

Another choice would be to take it apart gently and reversibly, and use the ends as buttons--but on what? I guess I could sew them onto a jacket or something.

What do you think, silver friends? Keep it intact as a useless object to admire, or turn it into something I would actually wear?

(If it makes any difference, I've often spent more on a cup of hot chocolate than I did on the cufflink.)



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Scott Martin
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Posts: 11321
Registered: Apr 93

iconnumber posted 02-18-2017 05:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
While i think of my answer...

Pierced wire, pierced posts or clip-on?

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June Martin
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Posts: 1210
Registered: Apr 93

iconnumber posted 02-18-2017 06:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for June Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Maybe a crazy idea, but could it be used for a cloak clasp assuming the cloak had matching holes at the collar? Or maybe used to cinch something else together like a belt or jacket?
It is a really neat piece. Great find.

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dragonflywink

Posts: 971
Registered: Dec 2002

iconnumber posted 02-18-2017 07:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dragonflywink     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi Polly - sweet little piece. Can tell you that it would be desirable to most cufflink collectors, who generally still want singles if they're unusual. Started collecting buttons over forty years ago, and the thought of those being altered shakes me, but can understand wanting to use them (I had a pair of post earrings made from a single British gold cufflink years ago, but it was quite ordinary, with little age), do believe earrings could be made without removing the shanks. Somewhere in the back of my mind, recall a button dealer selling findings that the shank would slip through, but they were base metal and I don't recall how the buttons were held in place; I've done some simple pieces with an appropriate size wire, rod or tube slid in the shank to hold it tight (use the same method when I frame buttons). Feel sure a good jeweler or silversmith could work out a simple mount that would accommodate the shank; a wirework artisan might be able to make an interesting design that would also leave the shank in place. I know you like hair ornaments, perhaps they could be set into a comb or barrette...

~Cheryl

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Polly

Posts: 1910
Registered: Nov 2004

iconnumber posted 02-18-2017 10:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Polly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thank you for the interesting ideas, friends! I see my earring plan is meeting resistance, which is no surprise. I expect you'll talk me out if it.

Scott, I had thought pierced posts, but the button loops (shanks) would get in the way, so that would probably involve removing them.

June, the cufflink is really pretty tiny--much too small to support a cloak, belt, or jacket. It looks big in the pictures, but the buttons are smaller than dimes.

Cheryl, I like the idea of finding a fitting that would allow the shanks to stay in place.

Maybe I could use it as a clasp for a ribbon choker. Those seem to be in fashion at the moment (chokers, I mean). But it would involve sewing buttonholes, which I haven't attempted since my 6th grade sewing class, which was more than several years ago...

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wev
Moderator

Posts: 4084
Registered: Apr 99

iconnumber posted 02-18-2017 11:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for wev     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I would think it would be quite easy to make a piece with two 'legs' that could be slipped through the loop and bent parallel to the medallion, which would lock it in position. If the top part was flattened and had a post attached, you could wear them without altering the originals -- they could be restored by removing the piece and reattaching the cuff loop. I would draw you a picture, if I was clever.

(Recycling jewelry has been going on since the Romans redid all that stuff the Greeks made from the Minoan originals. . . )

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ahwt

Posts: 2124
Registered: Mar 2003

iconnumber posted 02-18-2017 11:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ahwt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It looks to me that one could convert these to earrings without damaging the back of the medallions.
Could one not remove the existing link and then insert a new wire on back of each medallion that was suitable for pierced ears?

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Polly

Posts: 1910
Registered: Nov 2004

iconnumber posted 02-19-2017 12:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Polly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Because the shaft is in the center of the button, the button would keep trying to face the floor. But yes, I bet someone clever has solved the balance problem.

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Scott Martin
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Registered: Apr 93

iconnumber posted 02-19-2017 08:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Perhaps something like:

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Polly

Posts: 1910
Registered: Nov 2004

iconnumber posted 02-19-2017 09:11 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Polly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Scott, that would not hang straight. I've tried it before with buttons. Because the shaft is in the center of the button, the button does its best to face the floor. I know there's another little loop at the bottom so the button can't actually slide down to face the floor, but it would still lean out as far as it could and slide around side to side, because it's unbalanced.

I found a thread on a big craft site discussing converting buttons like this to earrings, and the crafters all ended up agreeing you have to hot glue the top of the wire to the button to keep it from flopping around--not an elegant solution, and probably not good for the button.

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Scott Martin
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Posts: 11321
Registered: Apr 93

iconnumber posted 02-19-2017 09:53 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I never have had pierced ears or earrings of my own wink ..... one more idea:

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Polly

Posts: 1910
Registered: Nov 2004

iconnumber posted 02-19-2017 10:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Polly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That design would slide forward in the ear piercing so that the face of the earring was at a 45 degree (or so) angle to the ground.

I'll have to get some wire and play around with it. I'm sure there must be SOME way.

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wev
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Posts: 4084
Registered: Apr 99

iconnumber posted 02-19-2017 04:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for wev     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I tried something with an old button. The wire is too light and the technique is crude to say the least, but does this get closer?

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Scott Martin
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Posts: 11321
Registered: Apr 93

iconnumber posted 02-19-2017 05:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Nice work up WEV.

It got me noodling this again. At this rate I'm gonna have to pierce my ears eek to do any further thinking.

Hopefully my last:

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wev
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Posts: 4084
Registered: Apr 99

iconnumber posted 02-19-2017 05:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for wev     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Nice work up WEV.

Okay, but I still feel like I should send back my metal working merit badge. . .

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Polly

Posts: 1910
Registered: Nov 2004

iconnumber posted 02-19-2017 06:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Polly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
All that's left for me is to marvel at human ingenuity.

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Paul Lemieux

Posts: 1758
Registered: Apr 2000

iconnumber posted 02-19-2017 09:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul Lemieux     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have had many cool single cufflinks over the years and always wondered what to do with them. in the past I came up with 2 designs for pendants that allow you to interchange single cufflinks without altering them irrevocably.

Here is a very quick sketch of the one that applies to your style of cufflink (the other more complicated one I did was for swivel-back cufflinks):

You simply slide the loop on the back of the cufflink halves over the top of the bar. The other bars on the back (it looks like an inverted trident) both keep the buttons from flipping around and compensate for the added depth caused by the loop. There is a large enough opening at the top of the bar to slide a chain through, including the jump ring at the end of the chain. this enables you to remove the chain and interchange the cufflink halves (should you have additional single cufflinks of this form). It also works for certain buttons and you can mix-n-match.

BONUS: for the example I made before, I used the S-shaped element that joined the original cufflink halves as the clasp on the chain.

caveat 1--I am hoping the loops on the backs of your medallions are perpendicular to the verticality of the faces (the one I made before was for geometric guilloché enamel cufflinks, so that wasn't an issue, but if it is a scenic or figural cufflink like yours, the design may be crooked if the loops aren't attached perpendicularly--this would apply to my pendant design as well as some of the earring designs above)

caveat 2--depending on construction and loop size relative to the thickness of the central bar, the top button could slide down and overlap slightly on the lower one. many Shiebler brooches featured overlapping medallions, so maybe not an issue here.

i did one in blackened copper and one in ordinary silver.

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Polly

Posts: 1910
Registered: Nov 2004

iconnumber posted 02-20-2017 09:05 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Polly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ingenious, Paul!

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