Inspired by sea Seaman Schepps
Sea air, warm sand, sunshine playing on the surface of the water – this is inspired by sea Seaman Schepps jewelry made of shells. Even in the name of the designer Seaman – “man of the sea” is heard surf and predestination of fate. But he was not the sea wolf, he was a lover of the gifts of the ocean. Manager of antique jewelry shop Mr. Schepps once had a chance to see what Fulco di Verdura, Duke and Marquis, was doing out of the ordinary shells, Seaman Schepps was impressed. Admiration turned into decoration, quite reminiscent of jewels by his idol – aristocrat from the coast of Sicily. However, Schepps brought his own vision in jewelry design.
The freshness and variety of style, use of natural materials (sea shells, pearls, coral, sandalwood, walnut, carved rock crystal) are associated with his name’s relentless refinement. The legacy of master is admirable, intriguing.
Seaman Schepps loved to tell stories that designer David Webb (then still a very young man) shamelessly stole his ideas, for hours peeping in the window shop. And once he broke down and proposed a “guest”: “David, you’re probably very tired. Do you need a chair? “. It is worth mentioning that Schepps himself was inspired by the works of talented colleagues – French jewellery designer Suzanne Belperron, Jeanne Toussaint, not taking into account Fulco di Verdura.
Seaman Schepps, like Falco, turned spiral shells into fancy earrings, carefully entwined with gold wire and topped with colored stones. Sandalwood or ebony gathered in stunning bracelets, hitting contemporaries with rare neighborhood of wood and gold; from rock crystal arose stunning ring; Black Ebonite if accidentally played precious diamonds …
Customers brought him boring, outdated and tired decorations in the hope to add glamour, style and modernity. Everything inspired Seaman Schepps – a butterfly on a flower, painted by a child baby chicken, fish dish on the table … and even a collection of other jewelers.
The main role in his work was assigned to the raw material. The material was not supposed to leave at least someone indifferent – this is where the master began to create from natural stones, pearls, baroque, corals, shells.
And another remarkable quality of Schepps: he could see the magic in banality. Seaman Schepps lived ninety-one years and died in 1972. The business inherited his daughters – Patricia and Virginia. Twenty years later, the family business was sold to Jay Bauer and Anthony Hopenjam.
The brand Seaman Schepps is alive: modern products of this brand can be bought at the luxury shop on Park Avenue in New York City, on the campus in Palm Beach (FL), the boutique on the island of Nantucket.
Archive of firm Seaman Schepps contains five thousand six hundred and fifty drawings and shapes of castings, which allows represent genuine Seaman Schepps design.
Yankees nicknamed Schepps “the American court jeweler.” One has only to look at the list of former and current clients to understand how this nickname deserved. Among his admirers nice family magnates – DuPont and the Rockefellers, the Hollywood elite, led by Katherine Hepburn, Jacqueline Kennedy, wife of the president, the artist Andy Warhol … The fan of Seaman Schepps including the most stylish Europeans – trendsetter Coco Chanel, the Duchess of Windsor, Queen Maxima …
The designer not immediately found his niche. At the end of the XIX century the young Seaman Schepps – the son of immigrants from the East Side, tirelessly traveled from California to New York, searching for goods for antique shop in Los Angeles.
In 1931, in New York, 47 year-old Schepps started all over again, but changed direction – now he was not engaged in the implementation of other people’s work, but created and sold his own. Newborn designer opened the first retail outlet on Madison Avenue, 516. Things were going uphill. A few years later the company moved to a bigger store at Madison Avenue, 399.
Fans waited for the arrival of jewelry like Schepps on the jewelry market – the next twenty years, his products enjoyed remarkable success. Similar in size and form jewelry appeared in the twenties. But in the work of this designer lies a special, bright personality – the stones, as if having casual and eclectic mix of color combinations, suddenly developed in a strange harmony. Today, some 50 years after his death, he continues to inspire modern jewelers.