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Seaman Schepps Sapphire Cabochon and Diamond Bracelet, New York, circa 1935

$75,000

About

A bracelet composed of five segments of flower design set with cabochon sapphires with diamond accents; mounted in platinum • 44 cabochon sapphires • 196 round diamonds • Signed Seaman Schepps Seaman Schepps was inspired by the bright, colorful designs of Verdura at Chanel, Boivin, Belperron, and Cartier. He traveled to Paris, where he saw the great jewelers, but then he went on to explore the world becoming particularly enamored with Hong Kong and the unusual corals, carved snuff bottles, and ivory chess pieces that could be turned into remarkable jewelry pieces. In his Madison Avenue showroom, he catered to the newly independent and newly affluent (typically American) woman. His creations were bright and oversized, taking the bold designs of the French jewelers he admired and supersizing it for the New York market. Composed of cabochon sapphires in varying hues on platinum cushions accented with diamonds, this flower-form bracelet creates a statement when worn on the wrist. A Schepps cabochon and sapphire bracelet appeared on the cover of Vogue magazine in December of 1935, prominently featured on a pair of hands typing a bow, and again in April 1941, this time on a hand turning a magazine page. Schepps’s designs were powerful enough to carry the cover of the top fashion magazine, alone, not as an accessory to a clothing ensemble. This wonderfully oversized bracelet appears to be an almost random composition at first glance, evincing the assemblage feel of a Schepps piece. At closer look, however, the flower forms emerge and the designer has cleverly arranged the centers so the flowers are tilted in different directions, to keep the piece off-kilter avoiding strict symmetry and maintaining a playful quality. This remarkable bracelet is just as wonderful and wearable as when it was first created.

Details

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    Ships From: New York, NY
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About the Designer

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.
About the Seller
5 / 5
Located in New York, NY

Siegelson is a world-renowned gallery offering rare collectible jewels. Third-generation gem and jewelry dealer Lee Siegelson has been credited with bridging the gap between art and jewelry design, in the process transforming estate jewelry into a vibrant part of the luxury goods and collectibles world. Focusing on a piece’s design rat...

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Established in 1920
1stDibs seller since 2020
8 sales on 1stDibs
Typical response time: 1 hour
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