PaperCity Magazine

May 2018- Houston

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H istory repeats itself when these two historic jewelry houses — both American, both rife with stories to tell — look to their archives to produce the most modern of masterpieces. Tenenbaum Jewelers brings both David Webb and Seaman Schepps to Houston, seeking out the most beautiful examples of vintage creations, as well as the newly crafted. CASTING A WEBB The quintessential American jewelry designer, Webb was born in North Carolina in 1925. He established his jewelry business in New York City in 1948, and the company skyrocketed. Some of Webb's most beloved designs depict bejeweled and fantastical creatures, such as tigers, panthers, giraffes, elephants, monkeys, frogs, and snakes, inspired by his love of ancient gold and Greek, Roman, Egyptian, and pre-Columbian artworks, according to Ruth Peltason, author of the first monograph on Webb's oeuvre, David Webb, The Quintessential American Jeweler (Assouline). As for his fascination for the "enamel jungle" (as Vogue magazine called the collection in the 1960s) Mark Emanuel, co-owner of David Webb, says that the company has Jacqueline Kennedy, Gloria Vanderbilt, and Elizabeth Taylor to thank for that. These glamorous women were fans of Webb's animal jewelry, and their feedback, says Emanuel, "encouraged Webb to create Kingdom — a decision which would fundamentally change the trajectory of his career." Webb won the prestigious Coty Award in 1964 for his animal designs. Harper's Bazaar editor Diana Vreeland was often photographed wearing his zebra bangle with its cabochon-ruby eyes, and the Duke of Windsor gifted the Duchess with a frog bracelet in 1964. "The zebra bracelet, with its striking enamel work and intricate craftsmanship, is probably David Webb Heraldic Maltese Cross Coral Brooch, 1966, one of his earliest Maltese cross designs. From David Webb, The Quintessential American Jeweler (Assouline) JEWELS WITH A PAST IF THESE JEWELS COULD TALK THEY WOULD TELL TALES OF LOVE, BETRAYAL, POWER AND POLITICAL INTRIGUE. PERHAPS IT'S BEST THEY'RE THE STRONG SILENT TYPE. B Y R E B E C C A S H E R M A N Lana Turner wears David Webb in Madame X, 1966

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