One of the designs that made Seaman Schepps legendary for his imagination is wit is the Jazz cuff bracelet! Can you believe believe it was originally designed/created in the 1930s? It’s absolutely of-the-moment nearly 75 years later.
Schepps designed a series of oversized “barbaric”-style bracelets. Here’s an original Seaman Schepps Cuff, c. 1944:
Seaman Schepps Jazz Cuffs, modern and vintage, are picture above. Clockwise from bottom left: A modern Jazz Cuff in sapphire and diamond; Cabochon and faceted emeralds with diamonds in yellow nad white gold, c. 1935; Cabochon and engraved emeralds, sapphires, and rubies with garnets and diamonds in white and yellow gold, which originally belonged to Mrs. Axel Wnner-Grem. c. 1940, now in a private collection.
It’s 9am on March 13, 2012. The day of the Seaman Schepps Spring/Summer 2012 catalogue shoot. Our model Yulia T has arrived and is getting ready for what will be an elaborate transformation into a ’40s siren. Makeup artist Bryan Z begins…
More footage of Miss Yulia’s transformation to come!
For each finished image in the catalog, we sometimes have to take hundreds of shots before we get the right one. For this particular series, a total of 398 shots were taken! It’s nice to go back now and look through the ones that didn’t make the cut. There are so many good ones… the editing process is brutal!
The Snuff Bottle Bracelet is Schepps at the height of whimsy and imagination. Originally made from snuff bottles hand-carved from sem-precious stone (see an original at the top of the image), our newest version is a stunning combination of blue chalcedony, faceted iolite, rock crystal, with diamond and sapphire accents mounted in 18k white gold.
The newspaper article is from the Washington Post in 1968. Society columnist Maxine Cheshire dubbed Schepps “America’s Court Jeweler” in this very article! She also notes, “David Webb, Pierre Schlumberger and even costume jeweler Kenneth J. Lane credit Schepps with being the daddy of them all.”
S.S. vacationed with his family in La Baule (Brittany) from 1927-1928. I imagined his sketch/inspiration book during this time for the Schepps catalogue… The photos at left are of S.S., his wife Nell, and daughters Patricia and Diane at La Baule. The renderings of the jewelry are for designs he made for the Duchess of Windsor Wallis Simpson (a gift commissioned by the Duke) and for the First Lady Roosevelt. I had so much fun raiding our archives during the making of this catalogue! The little coral figure was in a box with all of S.S’s personal effects. Rather than put together the collages digitally and using the oh-so-horrible fake “drop shadow” effect, I really wanted all the objects to come off the page. Hence, each page was assembled from real objects and shot as separate plates, then stitched together into a spread using Photoshop! More to come…
May I present to you…the cover of the Seaman Schepps Spring/Summer 2011 catalogue, featuring our iconic Mousetrap Bracelet in 22k gold, diamond and emerald. The photo tucked under the watercolor rendering is the illustrious Blanche Knopf (Mrs. Alfred P. Knopf) wearing 3 Mousetraps on one fabulous wrist while on a yacht. Legend has it that when she found out that another woman had also acquired a Schepps Mousetrap bracelet, she increased her collection to three. A woman after my own heart!
I don’t want to let the cat out of the bag too early but I just can’t help myself…. For the Seaman Schepps Spring/Summer 2011 catalog, we wanted to draw upon the heritage and the history of Schepps by playing with the concept of an imaginary sketch or inspiration book that belonged to Mr. Schepps… to tell a story about the jewelry and what might have inspired Mr. Schepps to create such fabulous pieces. Sneak Preview: here’s a shot of me setting up one of the pages with our classic mixed wood Link Bracelet…. That’s the dapper Seaman Schepps in the photo. The manila envelope is an authentic vintage artifact from 1941. Nellie Schepps was of course Mrs. Seaman Schepps!