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[Tidbits] An American Jeweler

Let me begin by saying I am a huge proponent of “Buy American”. If
not us… then who?

That said… let’s play: “Name that Jeweler”. We’ve played it before.
I’m sure you all know how it works. For those of you who don’t… all
you have to do is… “Name that Jeweler”. Quaint… eh wot?

I am going to show you a picture of a Rock Crystal and Diamond
Necklace. It’s pretty nice looking at first glance. Nothing
apparently special really. It’s made with alternating pave diamond
links and matching carved rock crystal links. It’s 18 karat white
gold. It’s 15 inches long. It’s valued at $55,000 plus. But here’s
the thing of it. Our jeweler died in 1972… that’s roughly 40 years
ago in case you don’t have a calculator on hand… and those carved
rock crystal links not only match perfectly to the diamond pav=e 18
karat white gold links… but they also seemingly match perfectly
with each other.

I digress to admit I am not a gemologist… I am not a lapidary…
and I am not a stone carver. But still I am inordinately impressed by
those perfectly matched carved rock crystals. How did he do that? By
hand? By machine? And could a machine dating minimally back to over 40
years ago do that kind of carving?

I looked as closely as I could at the pave setting to see if it was
Royal Pave but I dare not venture a guess. (Grin) However… as an
aside… I do believe the setter used a “Hochfuss” (not sure of
spelling)… an old world tool used for fine pave setting… these
days not available for purchase. To the best of my knowledge it has
to be hand- made. Or at least I have had to hand-make mine. Another
aside for those of you who may not have heard of this tool… not
having heard of it does not mean it does not exist.

As to our jeweler… well… he was born in 1881… son of an
immigrant in the lower east side of New York. He was a scant 23 years
old when he opened his first jewelry salon in Los Angeles. He was 40
years old when he relocated to New York’s Sixth Avenue. He was 48
years old when the market crashed and he had to close.

But faint heart never won fair jewelry salon… and he re- opened on
Madison Avenue when he was 53 years old… offering nothing but
unique and original designs. Life flies when you’re having fun…
does it not?

He made gem-set animal jewelry popular. His jewelry was characterized
by the prominent use of colored precious and semi-precious stones.

When he was 75 years old he relocated again… this time to Park
Avenue where his jewelry continues to be sold to an eclectic
clientele. He was 91 when he died. He was a jeweler deserving of the
highest admiration.

So. Do you know who he is? Hmmm? Go ahead. Guess. And let me know.
And in return I’ll let you know by return email if you’re right.

For those of you who are new to this thing called Tidbits…may I
direct you to my home page at where you
will scroll down the left side menu till you get to the area that
says Current Tidbits… click it… and you will see represented on
our pages an image of diamond and rock crystal link necklace.

And there ya have it.
That’s it for this week folks.
Catch you all next week.
Benjamin Mark

Hello Benjamin, Sounds like David Webb, but I’m not positive. Could
you talk about that "Hochfuss? I’ve never soon one so they must not

Take care.
Tom Arnold

Yes, it IS possible to make links like the ones in that piece by
hand without the use of a machine.

I know this because I have seen images of links of jade chain that
interlocked with each other that were carved for one of the early
Emperors of China that had just as high a degree of regularity and an
equally high polish.

(If I manage to find that image again, I’ll try to remember to link
it here for everyone to see.)

Lindsay Legler
Dreaming Dragon Designs

I looked as closely as I could at the pave setting to see if it
was Royal Pave but I dare not venture a guess. (Grin) However... as
an aside... I do believe the setter used a "Hochfuss" (not sure of
spelling)... an old world tool used for fine pave setting... these
days not available for purchase. 

With great deal of hesitation, since I have no idea what Royal Pave
is, I am going to wade into the deep water of pave technique. I do
recognize the term Hochfuss. Russian jewellery school is founded on
German traditions, and some terminology is still used by old timers.
Hochfuss - in english means high heel. For a graver to cut, there
has to be a clearance between cutting surface and the cutting edge.
The angle of clearance depend on whether surface is flat, convex, or
concave. If engraver (setter) has to cut in the area of limited
access, like between stones, in order not to damage the stone, the
graver is shaped with artificially high clearance. Another case where
it is useful, is cutting on highly convex surface. The control of the
graver is better with such configuration.

Such graver is called Hochfuss, because if one looks from the side,
it reminds of a foot wearing high heel shoe.

I wasn’t aware that one has to buy such graver, because it is easily
made from regular graver. That said, I may be totally off the mark
here, since the tool was mentioned in relation to Royal Pave, and I
have no idea what it is.

Leonid Surpin


A bit of research required but an excellent reward in learning. Are
we discussing Seaman Schepps?

Tidbits is a fascinating addition to Orchid.