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Seaman Schepps

A scrappy, self-made artist who transformed turbo shells into decadent earrings and crystal chessmen into bold bracelets, Seaman Schepps (1881–1972) tirelessly worked his way up from the tenements of New York’s Lower East Side to become “America’s Court Jeweler.”

Born to immigrant parents who named him for the Seamen’s Bank for Savings that his mother could see from the hospital — or so the legend goes — Schepps dropped out of school at the age of 14 and never had any formal jewelry training. He later moved to California, where he opened his first jewelry shop in 1904. In 1921, he returned to New York to build on the success he’d begun to enjoy as a jeweler on the West Coast, but it wasn’t long before his Manhattan house, which counted Broadway stars and theater patrons among its clientele, was hit hard by the stock market crash of 1929. Schepps used this disruption to rethink his approach to jewelry, debuting a new store in 1934 on Madison Avenue, where he would make his mark in playful custom adornments.

While many high-end jewelers of his era focused on the purest and most valuable gemstones, Schepps chose his materials for their color and shape, elevating flawed stones others disregarded in collage-like formations involving unconventional materials such as fine wood, coral, seashells and flea-market finds. Passersby of his New York City shop could find a frog-shaped brooch carved from rosewood, a vintage snuff bottle broken into links for a bracelet and loose-drilled pearls plugged with diamonds. Schepps’s whimsical pieces found fans in fashion icons who appreciated his unique statements, including Doris Duke, Andy Warhol and the Duchess of Windsor.

Following Schepps’s death in 1972, his daughter, jewelry designer Patricia S. Vaill, ran the jewelry house for two decades before it was taken over by Jay Bauer and Anthony Hopenhajm of Trianon jewelry. Following the closure of the company’s Park Avenue store in November 2020, sales for Seaman Schepps is now based in its boutique location out of Palm Beach, Florida, where the legendary brand carries forth its founder’s spirited designs.

On 1stDibs, find a distinctive collection of vintage Seaman Schepps jewelry, including brooches, bracelets and other accessories.

Average Sold Price
$6,520
Styles
Seaman Schepps Blue Pink Yellow Sapphire Peridot Yellow Gold Earrings
By Seaman Schepps
Located in New York, NY
These fabulous Seaman Schepps clip-on earrings are crafted in 18k yellow gold and feature round and oval sapphires and peridots. The gemstones are genuine and feature typical inclusi...
Category

1980s Vintage Seaman Schepps

Materials

Peridot, Sapphire, Yellow Gold

Seaman Schepps Gold and Rock Crystal Earrings
By Seaman Schepps
Located in Atlanta, GA
The shrimp design Seaman Schepps earring is a true classic. Rock crystal is probably the most popular and collectable. Approximately 1 inch in size. Your new everyday earring.
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Contemporary Seaman Schepps

Materials

Rock Crystal, Gold, 18k Gold

Vintage Seaman Schepps Cabochon Emerald and Diamond Earrings in 18k Yellow Gold
By Seaman Schepps
Located in Philadelphia, PA
This pair of vintage Seaman Schepps earrings feature 12 cabochon emeralds totaling approximately 13 carats set in 18k yellow gold, as well as 3 carats of round brilliant cut diamonds...
Category

1980s Vintage Seaman Schepps

Materials

Diamond, Emerald, 18k Gold, Yellow Gold, Platinum

Seaman Schepps Knight Brooch
By Seaman Schepps
Located in San Antonio, TX
Seaman Schepps Knight Brooch set in Wood accented with Citrine and Pearls.
Category

1980s Vintage Seaman Schepps

Materials

Citrine, 18k Gold

  • Seaman Schepps Knight Brooch
  • Seaman Schepps Knight Brooch
  • Seaman Schepps Knight Brooch
  • Seaman Schepps Knight Brooch
H 2.0 in. W 1.5 in.
Seaman Schepps Amber & Gold Earrings
By Seaman Schepps
Located in New York, NY
A pair of 18 karat yellow gold and amber earclips, Seaman Schepps. The “Shrimp” earclips formed of scalloped amber half hoops horizontally striped with ropework gold. Length approx...
Category

1980s Vintage Seaman Schepps

Materials

Amber, Gold, 18k Gold

Bracelet Seaman Schepps
By Seaman Schepps
Located in Taormina, ME
Seaman Schepps bracelet of USA origin with a citrine topaz of about 80 carats and natural rubies, 18kt gold and tubogas clasp
Category

1960s Art Deco Vintage Seaman Schepps

Materials

Ruby, Topaz, 18k Gold

Seaman Schepps Ebony Wood Cuff
By Seaman Schepps
Located in New York, NY
Solid ebony wood cuff with accenting 18K yellow gold rope twists. Signed by Seaman Schepps.
Category

20th Century Seaman Schepps

Materials

18k Gold

1990's Seaman Schepps Blue Chalcedony Amethyst 18 Karat Gold Cabochon Ring
By Seaman Schepps
Located in Philadelphia, PA
Three stone ring features three basket set cabochons secured with talon prongs Centering a 12.0 x 14.0 mm sugarloaf cabochon of blue chalcedony Pastel and translucent with very lig...
Category

1990s Contemporary Seaman Schepps

Materials

Amethyst, Chalcedony, Platinum, Gold, 18k Gold, Yellow Gold

Browse all Jewelry from Seaman Schepps
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Seaman Schepps Sellers

Nadine Krakov Collection
5.0
Stella Rubin Jewelry
5.0
Yafa Signed Jewels / Maurice Moradof
5.0
David Precious Gems
4.9
Select Antique Jewelry Inc
5.0
Eric Originals and Antiques LTD
5.0

Seaman Schepps jewelry & watches for sale on 1stDibs

Find Seaman Schepps jewelry & watches available on 1stDibs. These unique items were designed with extraordinary care, often using gold. While looking for the most stylish antique or vintage Seaman Schepps jewelry to pair with your ensemble, you’ll find that Seaman Schepps diamond jewelry & watches can add a particularly distinctive touch to your look, from our inventory of 43. This collection contains 156 pieces as well as a number of other designs by this jeweler. Modern and contemporary are among the most popular styles of Seaman Schepps watches and jewelry available on 1stDibs. While this collection reflects work that originated over various time periods, most of these items were designed during the 20th Century. If you’re looking for additional options, many customers also consider jewelry & watches by Ilias Lalaounis, Angela Cummings and , Henry Dunay. Prices for Seaman Schepps watches and jewelry can vary depending upon gemstone, time period and other attributes. Price for these items starts at $1,200 and tops out at $75,000, while pieces like these can sell for $9,000 on average.

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