The jewelry may not have had the David Webb pizzazz the jeweler came to be known for, yet it was a coup to have his earrings featured on the cover of Vogue in 1950, only two years after starting his own company. At the time, Webb was only twenty-five.
Britt Ekland was a Swedish import with plenty of sizzle. She was proof-positive in this fashion shot from 1972 that pearls could be sexy.
A company ad from 1964, featuring diamond jewelry with an emphasis on floral brooches. One standout addition: a spectacular Maltese diamond cross brooch.
By 1970, gold was “in” at David Webb, and as the jeweler liked to say, the more ancient or barbaric the better.
The ad was put together in 1964 and the bracelets are all iconic. From the top: the Leopard Bracelet, Double-Headed Unicorn Bracelet, Double-Headed Giraffe bracelet, and on the model, the Double Cobra Bracelet.
The op art graphics of the 1960s were the perfect foil for the sumptuous torsade of David Webb pearl and diamond bracelets, and declarative large pearl and diamond ring.
Denise Hale, long an international style icon, had David Webb make her this brooch, what she calls her “drop dead pin.” Since it was made in 1966, Mrs. Hale has worn it consistently over the years.
One of the major social events of 1966 was a charity chaired by society matron Mildred Hilson and the Duchess of Windsor. For the event—also the first time the Duchess and Jackie Kennedy were formally introduced—David Webb made 36 unique “precious objects.” Also on display were replicas of some of the Gifts of State that had been commissioned by President and Mrs. Kennedy.
Coral was big news in the mid-sixties, as showcased in this ad from December 1966.
The sparkle on this Christmas cover from Harper’s Bazaar in 1968 comes form the ruby and diamond ring and the blue star sapphire ring.
By 1968, when this photo appeared in Vogue, psychedelia and flower power were big news. The fashion press was happy to endorse the surge in the use of bright color and pattern, and David Webb’s rings were part of the change.
The great philanthropist, heiress, and art collector Doris Duke was also a fan of fine jewelry. In David Webb she met the ideal collaborator. Duke supplied most of the rubies and pearls for this impressive creation, resulting in the Doris Duke Ruby Fringe Necklace of 1969.
David Webb was attracted to classic motifs, which he endlessly adapted. Here, the fleur-de-lis, Maltese cross, and Indian paisley or teardrop form got a fashion facelift with pearls, diamonds, and fabulous gold chains.
The pretty brunette, Minnie Cushing Beard, was hip, young, and socially connected. She was newly married to wildlife photographer Peter Beard and a Newport blueblood—and perfectly suited to show off David Webb’s rock crystal cuffs.
Charlene Dash was an important African-American model and here shows qualities of grace and beauty in this image from Vogue, 1970. She also shows off to great effect how easy it can be to wear a lot of Webb gold jewelry, including iconic Webb pieces.
Not all ice in jewelry has to be diamonds, and in the early 1970s David Webb decided that rock crystal was more versatile and allowed for beautiful forms and patterns. This fabulous sautoir of gently carved scallop waves features three differently shaped pieces of crystal, each rimmed in diamonds.
David Webb anticipated the interest in jade and what Life magazine called “Chineseness” with a spectacular selection of jade brooches in 1971, as shown in this company ad from 1971
A fashion deuce: two fluted cuffs in rock crystal and coral, from 1971.
Everyone loved the colorful cutout ads produced by the company in the 1980s. The inspiration was Picasso collages, shown at New York’s Museum of Modern Art.
This rock crystal and amethyst suite is updated Art Deco—graphic and very wearable.
Who better to sound the clarion call of Webb’s ascendance than the new goddess of all things fashionable in the 1960s? Diana Vreeland had a set of the zebra jewelry, including the earrings seen here.
A public figure so well known that we all liked to imagine we knew her. And yet the famously private Jackie Kennedy captivated us for decades. Here she wears a special pair of earrings made for her by David Webb, today known as the Jackie Athena Earrings.
New York magazine once described the Duchess of Windsor as “small woman, big stones.” One thing was certain: she loved jewelry. Here she shows off a diamond and enamel dragon brooch.
Elizabeth Taylor was crazy for animals, men, and of course jewelry. This pearl necklace, with its double-headed diamond lion clasp, was specially made for the star. She wore it in her film, Ash Wednesday, as well as at many social outings.
What a voice! What nails! Barbra Streisand was already a star by the young age of twenty-two when she appeared in this fashion shot, wearing all David Webb.
David Webb and Hollywood got along just fine, and his jewelry was featured in a number of films in the early 1960s, including Pillow Talk, Back Street, and Midnight Lace. Here, Lana Turner wears a major turquoise and diamond suite in Madame X, opposite Ricardo Montalban.
From Doris Day, the friendly blond of the 1960s, to Cameron Diaz, the funny blond of such films as There’s Something About Mary. Here, Cameron Diaz wears the Twilight Ear Pendant Earrings.
Renee Zellwegger shows how the most sumptuous diamond earrings can look young and thoroughly sexy. She is wearing the Marquise Madness Diamond Earrings as well as David Webb’s dramatic diamond ring, designed in 1974.
The Dressy Doorknocker Earrings reflect the brightest of smiles, especially on the woman with best dimples, Jennifer Garner.
The earrings were first designed in 1972, and on Eva Mendes they are beautifully vibrant in white enamel and tiger’s eye.