David Webb

Shop for David Webb Designer Jewelry

In the world of American jewelry, David Webb is one of the most important designers of the mid-20th century. A native of Asheville, North Carolina, Webb became the jeweler to go to by socialites and Hollywood celebrities during the 1960-70’s cultural rebellion. At the peak of his illustrious career, he ran two huge jewelry workshops with hundreds of master jewelers and setters. As a jewelry designer, he redefined jewelry by catering to women’s desire for unique pieces and producing jewelry that featured vivacious color and bold designs.

Raymond Lee Jeweler’s inventory includes a number of extraordinary David Webb jewelry: earrings, pins, necklaces and other beautiful pieces made with gold, platinum, enamel, diamonds, and other precious stones. David Webb’s famous animal-inspired pieces are just the start of his one-of-a-kind jewelry collection. He also has a complete line of creative jewelry, including bracelets with baguette diamonds and other pieces encrusted with semi-precious stones.

Designer History

David Webb started his career at quite a young age. He was still in his teenage years when he began a jewelry line in New York City after he moved there in the 40s. In addition to his genius in design, David Webb was also highly skilled in jewelry making and took the time to teach his artisans the precise techniques in crafting his creations. With his sharp eye for detail, even the littlest things of his every piece were given attention. It didn’t take long for design and style connoisseurs to become admirers of his work. The story of the David Webb jewelry house, despite his death in 1975, will go down in history as that of success and innovation.

David Webb passed away from pancreatic cancer at the relatively young age of 50 but he left behind a treasured line of bold and intricate jewelry that is undoubtedly extravagant and diverse. After Webb’s death, the business of running his jewelry house was taken over by the Silberstein family. In 2010, the ownership of the business was transferred to another group of jewelers consisting of Robert Sadian, Sima Ghadamian and Mark Emanuel. This trio now steers the company following the spirit and traditions of David Webb. Every piece of David Webb jewelry continues to be crafted completely with utmost care by skilled jewelry artisans. Their workshop can be found right above the flagship store in Madison Avenue in New York, the last of such workshops in the city. To this day, original David Webb jewelry remains incredibly collectable.

Motifs, Design and Materials

David Webb jewelry collections feature interesting choices for both fashionable women and men. All of his jewelry pieces such as earrings, rings, pins and bracelets have been and still are carefully made by skilled hands. His jewelry has a recurring wild animal motif where monkeys, butterflies and giraffes are turned into wonderful and extraordinary jewelry pieces. One David Webb ring is formed as a snake with its own tail in its mouth. His iconic 1964 frog bracelet features two frogs facing each other. On David Webb brooches, leopards, frogs and zebras delight wearers.
While his animal-inspired jewelry is the first to come to mind when speaking of David Webb, he has a diverse line of fine jewelry pieces that have no animal motifs. These treasures are equally captivating as his animal-themed Kingdom collection, making use of distinct colors and daring shapes. Webb is also notorious for his attention to detail. His Ancient World collection, for instance, includes intricate textured gold earrings, rings necklaces and cuffs with some pieces interspersed with diamonds.

David Webb jewelry makes use of materials that are themselves precious. In addition to high quality gold, silver and platinum, he also uses precious and semi-precious stones such as peridot, emerald, citrine, rubellite, turquoise and aquamarine to give incredible color to his pieces. A zebra brooch has eyes made of cabochon rubies. A drop of emerald is attached to an all-diamond David Webb panther necklace. Numerous other materials are put to use for Webb’s unique pieces. Multi-colored enamels, corals, rock crystals and shells are cleverly used on several David Webb jewelry collections to offer exuberant and innovative pieces. His famous Headlights Collar with faceted rock crystals was a must-have fashion accessory when it came out in 1970. In fact, his entire Twilight collection, which features rock crystals, became a fashion sensation.

Inspiration and Influences

As a self-taught jewelry artist, the inspiration for David Webb’s jewelry design came from various different sources from gardens to museums and old reference materials. Aside from nature, particularly animals, Webb’s sense of design was influenced by other master jewelers such as Faberge and Cellini. He was also inspired by the ancient arts and cultures of the Greeks, Egyptians, Syrians, Africans and other past civilizations. Taking bold aesthetics and reinterpreting them to suit the current times has resulted in David Webb establishing his own unique and groundbreaking style, which has made his jewelry house the best destination for designer statement jewelry.

Who Wears David Webb Jewelry

From the legendary Elizabeth Taylor to today’s fashionable celebrities, stars have been drawn to David Webb jewelry. Webb’s fabulous creations have been loved by film stars and socialites practically right from the start. Classic Hollywood beauties Lana Turner and Ava Gardner are known to wear David Webb jewelry on- and off-screen. Style icons like Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Princess Grace of Monaco were also staunch customers.

In her book “My Love Affair with Jewelry”, Elizabeth Taylor showed off her prized jewelry collection and included several pages of David Webb jewelry in addition to making Webb’s Double-Headed Lion Necklace which he custom-designed for her the cover of her book. Celebrated Harper’s Bazaar editor Diana Vreeland is often seen with her favorite Webb Zebra Bangle with black-and-white enamel and a mane of small circular diamonds and ruby eyes set in platinum and gold.

Throughout the years, this New York jewelry house has managed to impress high-end designer jewelry buyers, including today’s stars and fashion icons from the likes of Jennifer Lopez, Chloe Sevigny and Gwen Stefani. Start shopping for David Webb jewelry – a long-time favorite of women with fabulous personal styles and bold fashion choices.

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