In the 1970s, David Webb designed the Motif collection as a series of pendant necklaces with strong symbols and geometric designs to hang in layers with other chains or to wear on their own. While smaller in scale than many David Webb designs, this necklace remains strong and uplifting today.

David Webb

Born in Asheville, North Carolina in 1925, David Webb got his start as an apprentice in his uncle’s silver shop prior to moving to New York, where he worked repairing jewelry in Greenwich Village. A charming and talented young man, the social elite were enamored by him and, with the backing of wealthy patron Antoinette Quilleret, he eventually opened his own shop in 1945. He swiftly became successful enough to buy out Quilleret in 1948 and established David Webb, Inc. in 1948.

Webb was a self-taught jewelry designer and developed his unique style through years of studying ancient jewels from Greece, Mesopotamia, and Central and South America, as well as traditional jewelry styles from China and India. These sources, coupled with the contemporary trends emerging in American and European jewelry—especially the figural and natural themes of industry titan Cartier and their creative director Jeanne Toussaint—led Webb to develop his own visionary motifs that propelled his company to immense success.

His bold, colorful designs could be seen on some of the most influential jewelry collectors of the 20th century, including Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Diana Vreeland, Elizabeth Taylor, and Ava Gardner. Webb’s animal-themed jewels were especially popular: the Duke of Windsor purchased an enameled frog bangle for his wife in 1964, and Diana Vreeland was particularly fond of her dramatic and bold zebra bangle. Tragically, Webb’s life was cut short by pancreatic cancer at 50 years old. Despite such a monumental loss, the company continued and today remains one of the most important jewelry firms in the world, producing imaginative and bold jewels from the workshop above Webb’s flagship store on Madison Avenue in New York.

Auction Results David Webb

DAVID WEBB, Twin frog bracelet | ragoarts.com

David Webb

Twin frog bracelet

estimate: $25,000–35,000
result: $30,000
DAVID WEBB, Repoussé lion cuff | ragoarts.com

David Webb

Repoussé lion cuff

estimate: $10,000–12,000
result: $28,600
DAVID WEBB, Emerald and diamond necklace | ragoarts.com

David Webb

Emerald and diamond necklace

estimate: $20,000–30,000
result: $25,000
DAVID WEBB, Gem bead necklace | ragoarts.com

David Webb

Gem bead necklace

estimate: $15,000–20,000
result: $18,750
DAVID WEBB, Coral, diamond, and gold bracelet | ragoarts.com

David Webb

Coral, diamond, and gold bracelet

estimate: $12,000–15,000
result: $13,750
DAVID WEBB, Star sapphire and diamond ring | ragoarts.com

David Webb

Star sapphire and diamond ring

estimate: $10,000–15,000
result: $13,000
DAVID WEBB, Diamond hoop earrings | ragoarts.com

David Webb

Diamond hoop earrings

estimate: $3,000–5,000
result: $9,375
DAVID WEBB, Diamond brooch | ragoarts.com

David Webb

Diamond brooch

estimate: $8,000–12,000
result: $8,750
DAVID WEBB, Emerald, ruby, and cultured pearl necklace | ragoarts.com

David Webb

Emerald, ruby, and cultured pearl necklace

estimate: $7,000–9,000
result: $8,125
DAVID WEBB, Diamond and gold necklace | ragoarts.com

David Webb

Diamond and gold necklace

estimate: $8,000–12,000
result: $6,250
DAVID WEBB, Diamond and enamel hoop earrings | ragoarts.com

David Webb

Diamond and enamel hoop earrings

estimate: $4,500–5,500
result: $6,250
DAVID WEBB, Diamond and gold ring | ragoarts.com

David Webb

Diamond and gold ring

estimate: $4,000–5,000
result: $5,525
DAVID WEBB, Serpent ring | ragoarts.com

David Webb

Serpent ring

estimate: $4,500–6,500
result: $5,440
DAVID WEBB, Jade and ruby ring | ragoarts.com

David Webb

Jade and ruby ring

estimate: $4,000–6,000
result: $5,000
, Gold, ruby, and diamond bracelet | ragoarts.com

Gold, ruby, and diamond bracelet

estimate: $4,000–5,000
result: $4,688
DAVID WEBB, Jade and gold ring | ragoarts.com

David Webb

Jade and gold ring

estimate: $3,500–4,500
result: $3,380
DAVID WEBB, Gold ropework earrings | ragoarts.com

David Webb

Gold ropework earrings

estimate: $3,000–4,000
result: $2,860
DAVID WEBB, 'Flight' diamond and gold necklace | ragoarts.com

David Webb

'Flight' diamond and gold necklace

estimate: $3,000–4,000
result: $2,750
DAVID WEBB, Tiger's eye and gold ring | ragoarts.com

David Webb

Tiger's eye and gold ring

estimate: $2,000–3,000
result: $2,500
DAVID WEBB, Gold Sagittarius cameo brooch | ragoarts.com

David Webb

Gold Sagittarius cameo brooch

estimate: $3,000–4,000
DAVID WEBB, Gold and ruby fish brooch | ragoarts.com

David Webb

Gold and ruby fish brooch

estimate: $4,000–6,000
DAVID WEBB, Star sapphire and diamond ring | ragoarts.com

David Webb

Star sapphire and diamond ring

estimate: $25,000–30,000
DAVID WEBB, 'Flight' diamond and gold necklace | ragoarts.com

David Webb

'Flight' diamond and gold necklace

estimate: $3,000–4,000