Not surprisingly, difficult and expensive design techniques come in and out of fashion over time, most often with the rise and fall of cultural vitality & prosperity. Guilloche is a perfect example. Artisans used a special "rose" lathe to engrave repetitive patterns on metal surfaces as early as the 18th Century (earlier on ivory and wood) and was frequently employed to make luxury items such as snuff boxes and jeweled buttons for the French court. However, the industrial revolution transformed “engine-turning” into a mechanized art form capable of producing uniformly flawless delicate, and intricate designs. Faberge made the technique world-famous by layering translucent enamels over the engraved metal bodies. In addition to the renown Easter eggs for the Tsars, Faberge produced thousands of guilloche picture frames, parasol handles, cane tops, cigarette cases, medals & boxes of all description. Largely due to the patronage of the Romanovs, the decorative technique became an international standard of elite taste. Our French, guilloche & enamel cuff links were manufactured at the end of the 19th century when demand for luxury items in the Russian imperial style was at its peak internationally. They are sterling silver with gold wash, enameled in translucent royal blue and carry a small sterling script “A” holding a diamond chip; the design was likely available in all letters of the alphabet. They are marked “ALEXY” on the back. ALEXY cuff links from the period do occasionally come up for auction and, depending on their condition, are generally well received. Condition: Excellent. Size: .5" across the top.