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pair of cufflinks
  • pair of cufflinks
    Calder, Alexander, born 1898 - died 1976
  • Enlarge image

pair of cufflinks

  • Place of origin:

    Paris (made)

  • Date:

    1930-40 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Calder, Alexander, born 1898 - died 1976 (designer and maker)

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Lucienne Papadaki Darby

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Jewellery, Rooms 91, The William and Judith Bollinger Gallery, case 30, shelf B, box 6 []

The American sculptor Alexander Calder (1898-1976) was born in Pennsylvania into a family of locally prominent sculptors, and trained initially in engineering. He is best known for his invention of the mobile, a term devised by Marcel Duchamp in response to Calder’s innovative kinetic sculptures in the early 1930s.

By his own account, his first jewellery was made for his sister’s dolls when he was aged 8, out of discarded copper wire. Wire remained an important element in his larger work and his preferred material for jewellery. He worked in both silver and brass, either hammering or twisting the wire to achieve strong, simple forms.

This pair of cufflinks, each made from a single length of brass wire which has been coiled and beaten, was made for Calder’s friend the architect and writer Stamo Papadaki. Papadaki – who worked with Le Corbusier and Niemeyer – had first met Calder in Paris in the 1930s. Some years later when Papadaki and his wife, the artist Audrey Skaling, were looking to move their young family out of Manhattan, Calder suggested a neighbouring property to his own which became their home. Both families moved in the same artistic circles and the friendship lasted over many decades.

Physical description

Each cufflink is made from a single length of brass wire, the ends of which have been coiled then beaten to form flat discs which are connected by a short section of the unbeaten wire.

Place of Origin

Paris (made)


1930-40 (made)


Calder, Alexander, born 1898 - died 1976 (designer and maker)

Marks and inscriptions


Object history note

The cufflinks were made by Calder for his friend the architect Stamo Papadaki, father of the donor.

Descriptive line

Pair of cufflinks, brass, by Alexander Calder, Paris, probably 1930-40




Jewellery; Metalwork


Metalwork Collection

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