The Deakin & Francis Vintage Collection has been hand made in our workshops from the original dies used by our craftsmen in the early 1900s.
James Deakin was in one of our dusty die stamp workshops a few months ago and made an amazing discovery, finding a collection of old dies of classic cufflinks. He decided to polish up a few of the older designs to see if they could still be used. He found some unique classic designs and traced their origin back to 1908.
This along with the growing trend for vintage jewellery inspired the new collection which features 10 designs, all hand enamelled and hand made with the original fetter chain fittings.
James Deakin discovers die stamps in a dusty workshop used by Deakin & Francis in the 1900s.
The stamps are carefully cleaned to preserve the designs and prepared for the stamping machine.
The cufflink designs are then stamped onto sterling silver. The Vintage Collection stamps are very delicate due to their age, so our craftsmen have to be extra careful with the manufacturing process.
The flat designs are then fitted with a small loop ready for the chain fitting, or a silver stem for the unique Deakin & Francis sprung back fittings and are then sent through to the enamellers.
Vitreous enamelling is a skilled process which dates back to the Pharaohs. Glass colours are ground with distilled water to create a fine powder and a fine nib is used to apply the colours to the cufflink design. After each coat, the designs are placed in a specialist kiln to set the glass, each design will need up to seven coats.
The cufflink designs are then pumiced to create a smooth finish.
From the enamellers, the cufflink designs then go back to the craftsmen who fit the sprung oval or chain link fittings to create a cufflink shape.
The cufflinks are given a polish before being sent to the Birmingham Assay Office where they will be laser marked with the Deakin & Francis Assay Mark and the 925 mark to certify that they are sterling silver.
Once back from the Assay Office the Vintage cufflinks are given a final polish and oxidised finish to complete the vintage look.
Watch the video of how a pair of vitreous enamel cufflinks are made in the Deakin & Francis workshops.