Regarding Derek Anastasia, ISCLA

NCLS Member Profile: Derek Anastasia
THE LINK - The National Cuff Link Society - Summer 1998 Volume 6, No. 3

This feature was adapted from an article by Laurie A. Scott.

Derek refers to himself as a 'true collector.' He only buys; he never sells and just sometimes trades. It's not just a passion; it's not just a collection -- in the truest sense of the word it is his one and only obsession.

Derek collects only Antique Enameled Cuff Links - strictly enameled, mind you. As of this writing, his collection has grown to 1,433 pairs and 596 singles (a cuff link who has lost his mate).

Dealers often send treasures via the US Postal Service - his collection grows daily. He currently has the largest and most pristine antique enameled cuff link collection that anyone knows of. And that's a result of hours, days, weeks and years of endless networking, searching, researching -- and just plain begging and pleading!

Derek's single-minded affair with cuff links was first awakened 15 years ago when his grandfather presented him with an antique gold pair upon his graduation from The Indiana University School of Business. Moving to New York City and working on Wall Street were instrumental in Derek eventually becoming a 'Super Collector.' "I was in an environment where people were wearing French cuff shirts -- mainly bankers and lawyers -- a working situation that fostered stylish dressing," he explained. "At first I collected all antique cuff links and then became more familiar with enamels. My eye naturally gravitated toward them; there is something about the gem-like brilliance of enameling that just stands out and above the rest. To me, the enamel just seems to capture the fire from which it was made."

Derek's collection reflects the impact of each of the various design movements on enamel cuff links. "I have pieces which are representative of Victorian, Art Nouveau, Arts and Crafts, Edwardian, Art Deco, etc. -- every one of the major art trends. To me they are a representation of the history and craftsmanship in the evolution of enamel cuff links."

Although Derek's collection contains too many special pairs to name a "favorite," he concedes that one pair stands out. He calls it the "Mother of All Enamels" ; it is a two-sided pair that has the image of the Tour de Guillocher machine on one side and the image of an industrial firing kiln on the other. Says Anastasia of his emotions at the time of the purchase, "Can you imagine? A pair of cuff links bound with the image of its maker. Finding it was like divine intervention -- only I knew the significance and immeasurable value of this find."

One of Derek's biggest collecting moments was at the National Cuff Link Society's 1997 convention in Chicago. "It was the first time that I displayed my entire collection. Myself and other jaded cuff link collector's and dealers were in awe and a bit stunned at the enormity of it. The amazing array of brilliant colors, the pristine condition of the pieces, the sheer size of the collection, along with the fact that these links are so elusive, was a sight to behold."

Indeed, Derek Anastasia is an Antique Enameled Cuff Link Collector ... Extraordinaire. The National Cuff Link Society is very proud to count Derek among its members.

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