A maker who stands unequaled in his bold use of colored enamel and love of animal motifs, David Webb’s creations offer a playful escape from the everyday.
In 1945, the North Carolina native opened, what remains today, one of the most successful American jewelry houses of the century. His strikingly imaginative designs filled with eye-catching geometric elements and remarkable use of color quickly became the favorite amongst celebrities and fashion aficionados alike. Amongst his elite clientele are celebrities like Ava Gardner, Elizabeth Taylor, Diana Vreeland, as well as Princess Grace Kelly of Monaco and the Duchess of Windsor.
A skilled jeweler as well as an innovative designer, Webb often worked closely with the production of his pieces. With extreme attention to detail and devotion to the quality of his work, Webb’s creations form a unique marriage of fashion and luxury. The designer’s signature style, often contrasting enamel and both precious and semi-precious gemstones, remains unmistakable.
Webb was fond of using enamel to add color to his designs. Enamel is a decorative coating applied to a metal; and in Webb’s case, his metal of choice was usually yellow gold. The contrast of bright yellow gold with his enamel detailing creates a bold look that is quintessential Webb—as seen in Fortuna’s upcoming David Webb offerings: a whimsical Ruby and Enamel Frog Brooch which pairs beautifully with the bold Enamel Bangle.
Perhaps the jewelry that Webb is most known for are his wide-ranging collection of animal bracelets, brooches and pins. Animals are common in jewelry everywhere, but nobody does animals like David Webb; the first of David Webb’s animal pieces was a bracelet he designed in 1957. By 1963 the jewelry house had designed enough imaginative animal motifs to form an animal kingdom of their own.
Fortuna Auction is pleased to offer many fine examples of the iconic designer whose timeless creations continue to be a coveted staple of any sophisticated jewelry collection today. For the understated jewelry collector: a pair of Hammered Gold Pineapple Earclips; the lover of bold adornment, a Diamond and Blue Enamel Brooch/Pendant or a charming Enamel Zebra Ring; and for the fan of classic gemstones with a unique twist, an exquisite and versatile Coral Emerald Lapiz Lazuli and Diamond Brooch set with a cabochon coral and carved emerald leaves. Covering a broad range of tastes, these jewels boast the modern elegance and timeless singularity that epitomize Webb’s creations.