Christie's is selling all lots in this sale as agent for an organization which holds a State of New York Exempt Organization certificate. Seller explicitly reserves all trademark and trade name rights and rights of privacy and publicity in the name and image of Doris Duke. No buyer of any property in this sale will acquire any right to use the Doris Duke name or image. Seller further explicitly reserves all copyright rights in designs or other copyrightable works included in the property offered for sale. No buyer of any property in the sale will acquire the rights to reproduce, distribute copies of, or prepare derivative works of such designs or copyrightable works.
David Webb: The Quintessential American Jeweler
David Webb opened shop in the late 1940s in New York's jewelry district, but it wasn't until the early 1960s that Webb's popularity soared and he established himself as the quintessential American jeweler. He relocated to Fifty Seventh Street where he sold his designs to private clients in an upstairs salon, while maintaining relationships with Bonwit Teller and Bergdorf Goodman.
The 1960s were a period of change in American culture, as women gained greater independence and confidence; and David Webb captured that sentiment to create bold jewels that make a statement for the wearer. He was enamored of unusual gemstones, baroque pearls, and semi-precious stones, which he combined in modern and innovative designs. David Webb attracted a celebrity clientele. The Duchess of Windsor, Elizabeth Taylor and Jacqueline Kennedy visited his New York boutique and purchased his jewels and President Kennedy commissioned several gifts of State from him.
Doris Duke began to frequent David Webb's boutique in the early 1960s and often selected suites of jewels. She purchased dangling ear pendants, brightly colored necklaces and other bold pieces including lots 35, 36 and 38. It is not surprising that Doris Duke felt an affinity for David Webb's designs. Webb often used imagery from the Far East based on his studies of 18th century jewels from Jaipur, India. Doris Duke's life-long fascination with Indian jewelry and art began decades earlier and made Webb a natural choice for the commission of the Indian inspired fringe necklace, lot 79, and the emerald bead necklace, lot 84. Miss Duke actually supplied the cultured pearls, rubies and emeralds for the designs. Lot 94, the large cultured pearl and diamond ear pendants are also of obvious Indian inspiration.