David Webb

Founded 1945 - )

jewelry designerDavid Webb was born in Asheville, North Carolina in 1925. As a young man, he lived in an Asheville boarding house, currently the Carolina Bed and Breakfast on Cumberland Avenue, which his mother ran during the Great Depression.

Webb moved to New York City at the age of 17. In 1945, after a three year apprenticeship in New York, he opened his first shop in Manhattan’s Madison Avenue with his partner Nina Silberstein.  Webb’s designs were remarkable for their bold use of color, dimension and meticulous attention to detail.  Webb’s hallmark enameled jewelry featured animal themes, and bangles host zebras, crocodiles or intertwining dragons.  Webb’s designs also feature carved crystal, abstract enamel designs, mixed with an eye catching combination of diamonds and semi-precious stones.

In the 1960s Webb's popularity soared and he established himself as the quintessential American jeweler. He relocated to Fifty-Seventh Street, where he sold his designs to private clients in an upstairs salon while maintaining relationships with Bonwit Teller and Bergdorf Goodman.

David Webb took inspiration from nature and the animal kingdom and from master jeweler designers such as Faberge, Cellini and other jewelers from the 1800s and early 1900s. He also took inspiration from the art of the ancient Greeks, Chinese, and Egyptians.  His repertoire of design influences spanned everything from Etruscan culture to 18th century jewels from Jaipur, India.  Webb reinterpreted the boldness of those designs and adapted them to contemporary times using the latest materials. Many of his pieces feature beautiful south sea pearls, colored gemstones, and diamonds.

David Webb was an innovator, his hallmark pieces were brightly colored bold animal motifs, and luxurious necklaces.  The "Strolling Tiger Clip", "Circus Horse Clip", and "Mythical Unicorn Clip" are among some of his exotic animal pieces.

In the past Webb’s designs have been treasured by socialites and Hollywood celebrities such as the Rockefellers, Gloria Vanderbilt, Doris Duke, Andy Warhol, Princess Grace of Monaco, the Duchess of Windsor, Merle Oberon, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Diana Vreeland, designer Diane Von Furstenberg, Ava Gardner, Elizabeth Taylor and Lana Turner. Today’s stars have also rediscovered David Webb’s beautiful jewelry. Tory Burch, Gwen Stefanie and Jennifer Lopez have been spotted wearing David Webb creations.

David Webb died in 1975 at the age of fifty from pancreatic cancer. He left behind a legacy as one of the pioneers of American jewelry design. 

Today, David Webb, Inc. is under the directorship of his partner Nina Silberstein, CEO, who together with her children Stanley Silberstein (President), and Sharon Silberstein (Vice President and Creative Director) controls the production of beautiful jewelry and objects d’art.  Each of Webb’s designs continues to be reproduced and is thoroughly crafted by skilled artisans in a workshop located above the flagship Madison Avenue store, the last of its kind in New York City.  David Webb has become a highly sought after fine jewelry company throughout the United States and worldwide.  In 2008, David Webb celebrated its 60th anniversary. 

David Webb Inc filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York in Manhattan in 2009. On May 2010, the company was bought by three jewelers; Mark Emanuel, Sima Ghadamian and Robert Sadian for $11 million. David Webb’s company was owned by the Silberstein family since 1975.

David Webb also has a branch at the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, California.