A fine pair of cufflinks is something to be passed down generations – developing a beautiful patina and backstory in the same way as a watch or ring. Deakin & Francis is a family business that has been making cufflinks since the 18th century, and is currently in the care of its seventh generation – James and Henry Deakin, who learnt their craft from their father as well as other tradesmen in Switzerland.
The company has created over 2,000 cufflink designs since launching in 1786, and to celebrate 230 years in business, is releasing a capsule collection of six designs in a total limited edition of 230 pairs – each priced at £205.
Each of the designs resembles an old coin, “a nod to the treasure that pirates were hunting for back in the 16th century,” explains James, the company’s creative director. The story has particular resonance for Deakin & Francis: it is believed that a naval-officer ancestor was rewarded with the Deakin family crest 500 years ago for heroism at sea – he was second in command on a warship that was attacked by pirates.
Designs include the Deakin & Francis crest (third picture), with an armoured arm clutching a hatchet, rising from a crown; the Birmingham Anchor; Royal Britannia; the Deakin & Francis Building in Regent Place, Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter (second picture); a silhouette of a workman at an anvil; and the ultimate, iconic pirate symbol: the skull and crossbones. Each sterling silver, gold-plated cufflink bears the commemorative date of 1786 on the reverse.