A few months ago, we posted about the Seaman Schepps bracelets discovered in Andy Warhol’s secret stash of jewels and watches. Look what was found in our archive of original renderings! It looks like this bracelet of diamond studded engraved stars and ruby accented hinges was originally designed for Mrs. Ernest Horvath. I wish I knew the story of how it ended up in Andy Warhol’s collection. Regardless, how fantastic is it to be able trace the design back to its origin? Pretty darn fantastic, I’d say.
The woman above is of course the eminently recognizable Babe Paley, as photographed by Richard Avedon. What does she have to do with Mrs. Harvey Cushing and the bracelet pictured below?
Sifting through the Seaman Schepps archive of 5,000+ renderings is like taking a journey through time. As was the custom, many of the renderings bear the names of the clients for whom the pieces were specially designed. Many of the names I recognize as prominent New Yorkers of the time–such as Mrs. Alfred Knopf, Mrs. John Astor, Mrs. Carole Brandt. My inner sleuth kicks in: Who were these women, and why were they drawn to Schepps?
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!
To die for! My heart stopped when I came upon these renderings in our archives. Research into a Mrs. H.E. Dewing, for whom the link bracelet was designed, reveals that Mr. Dewing was a prominent member of the Stock Exchange in the 1920s. Looking at these designs–particularly the cuff bracelets–reminds me a lot of what we’re seeing in costume jewelry today, especially by designers Dana Lorenz of Fenton/Fallon and Dannijo. To think that Mr. Schepps beat them to it by about 70+ years!
Sifting through our archives of Mr. Schepps’ original renderings… There are thousands of wonderful and whimsical designs. Here you see some of our more iconic pieces, designed for Wallis Simpson (Duchess of Windsor) and Marguerite Wenner-Gren, the opera diva and wife of Swiss industrialist Axel Wenner-Gren. And a photo of Mr. Schepps in his garden in Great Neck, Long Island.