The Baer & Wilde company was incorporated in 1919, having previously been a subsidiary of the Attleboro Manufacturing Co (Attleboro later became Swank Inc.). In 1918 Baer & Wilde introduced the KUM-A-PART Cuff Buttons that were such a huge success, they stopped producing all other lines of jewellery and specialised on the Kum-A-Parts. By 1931 they were specialising in the plates for Swank Collar Bars. B&W ceased operating as a separate company in 1931.
BAER & WILDE HALLMARKS
Information provided by Member AEJC on Swank Kum-A-Part Cufflinks:
“Baer & Wilde, the men’s division of the Attleboro Manufacturing Co., began making Kum-A-Part links in 1918. Early links (1918 – 1923) are marked Baer & Wilde. The links were wildly successful, and Attleboro stopped making women’s jewelry. Once the US patent was issued in 1923, the marking was updated to B&W pat’d 1923 (links from c. 1924 – c. 1935). Baer & Wilde used seven regional distributors in the United States. The Swank name was used as a brand name in advertisements starting in 1927, but not used on Kum-A-Part links during that decade. B&W merged with its regional distributors in 1936 to form Swank Products Inc. (renamed SWANK, Inc. in 1941). Kum-A-Part links were not co-branded with the SWANK mark until some point in the mid- to late- 1930s.
So the offered cufflinks are mid-1930s at the earliest, and possibly from the 1940s. While they are newer than advertised, they are also rarer: B&W produced over a million Kum-A-Part links annually during the 20s (I’ve read figures as high as 4 mil/year). After 1931, the line was not as popular, so seeing a pair co-branded with the SWANK mark is far less common than seeing a B&W branded pair.”
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