The Art of David Webb: Jewelry and Culture

Style No. DW-75-BK


When David Webb came to New York at the age of 17, he was captivated by the museums, architecture, and fashions of the day. By the time he opened his shop in 1948, the city had become his muse. In his only published article, “Why Not Hang Gems?” (1963), he wrote that jewelry deserved to be regarded as art and collected by museums.

In this exquisite book, the captivating work of painters, sculptors, photographers, architects, and couturiers seamlessly complements David Webb’s sumptuous jewelry, creating a visually stimulating dialogue.

Thoroughly researched and beautifully photographed, this publication undeniably proves that David Webb jewelry is both a captivating art form and a reflection of culture.

  • Publish Date: September 05, 2023
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Category: Design - Jewelry
  • Publisher: Rizzoli
  • Trim Size: 10 x 12-1/2
  • Pages: 256
  • US Price: $85.00
Shipping & Returns

For purchases from our boutiques or, David Webb will arrange an exchange or issue a store credit within 30 days of original purchase. All exchanges must be in the original condition and must be accompanied with the original packaging and sales slip. Please note that David Webb does not offer refunds for purchases from our boutiques or online store.

Custom-ordered pieces are final sale and cannot be returned or exchanged. For more information, please contact us at
+1 (212) 421-3030, or email us at

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The Art of David Webb: Jewelry and Culture

Author Ruth Peltason, Photographs by Ilan Rubin

That belief fuels The Art of David Webb. Imaginative pairings, in-depth descriptive captions, and elegant design form a compelling visual dialogue, offering resounding proof that jewelry is both art and culture. As a jewelry historian, author, and editor Ruth Peltason brings a knowing eye showcasing the many complementary relationships between David Webb’s signature pieces and the history of art and design. Here is jewelry shown as art in 120 images—all specially photographed for the book—that speak to the variety of artistic and cultural periods that inspired David Webb and the company he founded.

open coffee table book with pages showing art grid pattern designs in fashion and jewelry
open coffee table book with pages showing black and white designs in fashion and jewelry

Artworks drawn from ancient times to the present include sculpture, painting, fashion, photography, architecture, design, and decorative arts. Among the highlights are David Webb’s beautifully carved coral Chrysanthemum Brooch with its remarkable likeness to Hokusai’s 19th century print of a chrysanthemum; the striking Coiled Dragon Brooch inspired by a Scythian gold animal pommel, 6th century BCE; hammered gold and gemstone Tree of Life Necklace evoking Gustav Klimt’s masterpiece of the same name, 1909; the Banded Gold Cuff echoing Frank Lloyd Wright’s Guggenheim Museum, 1959; and the graphic enameled and diamond Mondrian Bracelet, an homage to Piet Mondrian’s Broadway Boogie Woogie, 1942-43, and Yves Saint Laurent’s 1960s sheath dress with its famed color blocking.

Look Inside


“Like so much of David Webb jewelry, the zebra is both figural and abstract.” 

- Ruth Peltason


“Splendor and rarity rank high in the history of jewelry.” 

– Ruth Peltason


"This gold cuff comprising ridged bands of gold has its architectural counterpart in the Guggenheim Museum, with its iconic stack of organic curves."

– Ruth Peltason


“In the world of performance, jewelry and dance have long been partners. Consider this diamond necklace, its collar as flexible as a dancer’s back, its extension as soaring as a dancer’s leap.”

– Ruth Peltason

About The Author

Ruth Peltason is an author, editor, jewelry historian, and lecturer. Her books include Elizabeth Taylor: My Love Affair with Jewelry, which made the New York Times Bestseller List; Living Jewels; and David Webb: The Quintessential American Jeweler, named the best gift book of the year in 2013 by the Los Angeles Times