I had two interesting invitations last Wednesday. One for the opening of a chocolate store billed as the adult version of Willy Wonka on steroids, and the other for world-renowned Manhattan based jeweler, David Webb,  an iconic jewelry house steeped in history . Tempting as a chocolate induced euphoric experience might be, nothing will ever dissuade me from an opportunity for Jewels to play amongst the jewels!

It’s no secret that Jewels loves jewels

earned my nickname! So off I toddled on my stilettos to an exquisite reception in their new Beverly Hills store. Champagne, tiny coronettos filled with tuna tartare, and bite size potatoes topped with caviar were passed amongst the elegant bejeweled crowd. I was delighted to find David Webb patrons actually socialize as opposed to the usual Hollywood preference for networking. It is an infinitely more pleasant experience to hold entire conversations with eye contact, whilst astonishingly tweet and Google free.

Jewels playing amongst the jewels

You can actually learn some fascinating facts, such as… did you know that first lady Jacqueline Kennedy appointed David Webb as the official designer of state gifts for the White House in 1962?

Turquoise & my favorite gold cuff (bottom left corner… hint, hint)

Or, that society doyens Doris Duke and Babe Paley, along with the Duchess of Windsor, Princess Grace of Monaco, Diana Vreeland, and Elizabeth Taylor all flocked to the man who would create hand crafted, designs that expressed their individual personalities in precious gems?

In fact, there was a spectacular ruby necklace originally commissioned  by Doris Duke on display. Legend has it that she headed straight for Mr. Webb upon her return from a trip to India where she had acquired the flawless cabochon cut gems. He drew up four or five designs (as was his usual practice) for her to choose from before creating the magnificent piece.

Coral jewelry window

My grandmother and mother were also customers. On more than one occasion I’ve been known to look on wistfully as mom wears her leopard broach, Webb circa the 1960’s, but I’ve also been the lucky beneficiary of one of his, then ground breaking, chunky hammered gold rings circa the 1970’s.

David Webb was more than a jeweler, he was a prolific artist. Any designs that were not chosen by the customer they were created for at the time were then archived. Even though he died tragically young, almost forty years ago, his legacy thrives – you can still purchase David Webb’s original designs in new, never before seen pieces today!

Emeralds and sapphires reminiscent of Elizabeth Taylor in Cleopatra, yes please!

Although he is probably best known for his nature and animal influenced designs of the 1950’s and 1960’s, it was his modernized take on ancient Greek and Egyptian influences that have always been my favorites. In fact, how very Elizabeth Taylor  is this window full of emeralds and sapphires I lusted after?

Susan, Jewels, and Bobbie in jewelry wonderland

Very Cleopatra darling! Oh yes, my favorite environment to play that imaginary game I told you about during the Art in the Streets exhibition last year, flourishes in jewelry stores. Instead of thinking “ooh, I’ll have that painting and hang it over the fireplace in the living room,” it’s “which dazzling gems would I like dangling from my neck and ears, or gracing nearly every other appendage?” Jewels does love jewels, so if any of you are stumped over what to get me for the holidays – I’ve made mental notes on all my favorite David Webb pieces!

PS. Which piece is your favorite? Leave it in a comment below, because you never know where Santa goes looking for ideas!

PPS. If like me, precious gems are a little rich for your budget – family, friends, and colleagues will  love the gift certificates that help them get fabulous dinners from the fridge to the table in a snap – while affording them the luxury of time. Available in one month, three months, and yearly certificates to fit every budget. They also make unique party bag and stocking stuffers, hostess and holiday gifts.

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  • November 20, 2012
    12:30 pm

    Well how could I not comment on this post – I’m in AWE of the craftsmanship.

    Absolutely breathtaking.

    I’m in love with the necklace in the coral display. I saw it and instantly got inspired to make a wire version (of course not using the design he did, but a bib necklace nonetheless) and am working on it THIS WEEKEND!

    You are so lucky to have been invited to such an event, Jewels!

    BTW – your sparkle outshines any jewelry in the room.

    And thank you for reminding me about the gift certificates – I know a lot of people that are trying to get back to normal due to Sandy and PCA is a HUGE HUGE HUGE way of preparing for emergencies.

    Having a very full freezer keeps the food fresh longer when there’s a power outage. And because I had PCA’d to the hilt before the storm, my freezer was PACKED.

    • November 20, 2012
      12:53 pm

      I’m sure your necklace will dazzle as well, Jodi!

    • November 20, 2012
      1:58 pm

      Are you kidding Jodi?? Your work is right up there with the stunning factor of these pieces! I haven’t seen one piece of yours I would say no to.

  • November 21, 2012
    9:06 am

    I didn’t get entranced by jewelry until these past few years. Money for such a luxury just doesn’t exist. But, if Santa really wants to get me something special, a cuff bracelet would be very welcome. Somehow, I suspect that the only jewelry appearing in my cache will be pieces that I make on my own and I really need to finesse my pieces a bit more before anyone longs to own one. My project for the new year, learn as much as possible about different techniques and try them out on new pieces.

  • November 21, 2012
    9:25 am

    I love a resourceful woman, Ruthee – if you can’t buy it, create it (and I know you can).

  • November 22, 2012
    6:26 pm

    I have a huge soft spot for sapphires. They were my Mother’s birthstone and I just love the vibrancy of the blue!!

  • November 22, 2012
    6:38 pm

    I could barely take my eyes off that ring – it was one of the most beautiful sapphire rings I’ve ever seen.

    • December 27, 2012
      11:58 am

      Making silver fiilgree needs lot of patience and is a master art. i also try same in India. the method is little different. still the out come is also similar. i will try similar items here too. Thanks for the nice video.