David Webb 1925-1975
1925 David Webb was born and raised in Ashville, North Carolina.
1936 Webb started work in his Uncle's workshop at Asheville North Carolina
1941 David Webb went to New York aged only16 to learn the jewellery design and making on 47th Street.
1948 Webb was introduced Nina Silberstein who was an accountant. They started a partnership where she secured the company finances and he designed. They opened David Webb Inc. at a 47th Street location.
1959 Webb had moved to 6 West 57th Street, retailing their jewellery through the famous and well-frequented department stores Bergdorf Goodman and Bonwit Teller.
1963 The firm opened its own first salon at 7th, East 57th Street.
Jackie Kennedy and Richard Nixon were regular customers to the firm when looking for diplomatic gifts, and Vogue Magazine featured his brightly enameled, animal-motif cuffs in their spreads. David Webb jewellery was synonymous with boldness and confidence for trendy Americans and clients from around the world who were wearing ‘daytime jewellery’.
Webb became notorious for his ‘Jewelled Jungle’, who he said was influenced by Cartier’s Jeanne Toussaint, “She is the inspiration of us all”; he said speaking of her animals. Webb’s creations were colourful, confident and became highly sought after.
1964 The Duke of Windsor buys a frog bracelet from David Webb for the Duchess of Windsor.
1970s Webb remarked on the change of times in the jewellery industry, “the day of the million-dollar baby has passed”, he observed. In response to the changing times, he produced some pieces made of rock-crystal, set in gold with small diamonds which were more subtle than his coveted animal cuffs.
1975 David Webb died tragically of pancreatic cancer. The firm continues to produce jewellery from Webb’s vast collection of rich and diverse sketches under the direction of the Silberstein family. He was described as an outgoing, talkative man who was a great cook and of course was hugely creative, both with his work and his garden.
1990 Webb moved to the present site at the corner of 789, Madison Avenue. Each piece is still carefully made by craftsmen in a workshop above the flagship store. Every aspect of production from design, to stone setting and production takes place there. David Webb also has a branch in the Regency Beverly Wiltshire Hotel in Beverly Hills.
2008, David Webb celebrated its 60th anniversary. David Webb remains an entirely family run operation with Nina Silberstein, Webb’s original business partner as the Chief Executive Officer, Stanley Silberstein, her son, is the President and Sharon Silberstein, her daughter, is the firm’s creative director.