THE NEW ULTRA-SOCIETY CRAZE
Male" Exotics" and their Unseen Jewels
A recent and still pending case in the police-courts in which the under valet of a certain peer is charged with robbing his employer of a quantity of personal jewellery amounting in value to several thousands of pounds, has caused attention to be directed to the general question of the extent to which jewellery is now worn by men. It has long been known that his Majesty the King occasionally indulges himself by wearing a bangle on his wrist. The late Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha wore a heavy gold curb bracelet for years previous to his death, and it was Lord Brampton's fancy when sitting upon the bench as Mr. Justice Hawkins to wear quite a number of similar adornments.
The custom of wearing jewellery is rapidly gaining ground amongst men in England. The practice is not confined to any particular class or section of male society. A "Daily News" representative spent several hours in the West End making inquiries of a number of the best-known jewellers with reference to the increasing practice among men of wearing jewellery. In the course of his perambulations he discovered that, not only are men in easy circumstances more prone to wear jewellery nowadays, such as pins, tie-clips, and fasteners, shirt studs, and solitaires, not to mention for the moment more specifically finger rings, but in many cases are they addicted to the habit of wearing curious and costly articles of jewellery, such as snakes and the like, around their arms, waists, necks, and legs beneath their ordinary clothing.
Men will in these days, the press representative was assured, pay far more for the scarf-pins, shirt-studs, cuff links, watch guards, and solitaires which they use ordinarily than ever they were in the habit of doing previously. A lot of people now wear two pairs of links in one pair of shirt cuffs—one at the top of the wristband and the other at the bottom. On the subject of finger rings, one gentleman in a very large way of business as a jeweller said that he had recently made an analysis of his business accounts, and had satisfied himself that for every half-dozen finger rings he sold a couple of years ago he now disposed of ten of eleven. "But." added this gentleman, "what, apart from the 'exotic' male who adorns himself with weird jewellery that is unseen of anyone else, what I regard as the most extraordinary vogue is that which possesses so-called 'smart' men for wearing costly jewelled buttons for evening waistcoats. Enormous sums of money are constantly being paid for them."
Source: Evening Express - 5th October 1901