d5330283l

A diamond and emerald leopard brooch, by David Webb. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd 2010

Designed as a crouching circular-cut diamond leopard, with a marquise-cut diamond collar and pear-shaped emerald eyes, mounted in platinum and 18k gold. Signed Webb for David Webb. With a copy of an invoice dated 23 August 1973 from David Webb. Estimate $60,000 - $80,000

Figural forms and vibrant color combinations define these exquisite pieces by David Webb...

Characterized by bold colors and large gemstones, David Webb was among the leaders of a new breed of jewelry designers who began to emerge in America following World War II alongside names including Olga Tritt, Jean Schlumberger and Fulco di Verdura. With his business partner Nina Silverstein, he established his firm in New York’s diamond district on West 47th street in the late 1940s. Within a decade he had moved uptown to West 57th Street, selling through both Bonwit Teller and Bergdorf Goodman.

For design inspiration, Webb looked to the Ancient World, incorporating the influences of Greece, Rome, Assyria and India into his pieces. His craftsmanship mirrored his understanding of Mediterranean and Meso-American cultures and his admiration for the work of 18th and 19th century masters including glassmaker and jeweler René Lalique and renowned Russian jeweler Karl Fabergé.

Originally offering abstracted designs in the polychromatic style of the 1950s,Webb introduced his now famous animal jewelry in the early 1960s. He created an array of animals, from bulls to frogs as well as a range of jungle creatures. As exemplified by this ‘Love Birds’ brooch and ruby, diamond and enamel ‘Magic Unicorn’ brooch, Webb’s animals bear little detailed resemblance to the real animals, as the designer has taken full advantage of imaginative color and texture combinations.

Webb achieved international acclaim in the 1960s, when his line of enamel animals, influenced by the earlier work of Cartier’s Jeanne Toussaint, caught the attention of the fashion world and heralded a return to the use of figural forms in strong, brilliant color in contemporary jewelry.

d5330226l

A diamond, emerald and enamel panther bracelet, by David Webb. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd 2010

Designed as an articulated hinged bangle, the two opposing white enamel panthers, with bezel-set pear-shaped emerald eyes and a circular-cut diamond nose and collar, holding a circular-cut diamond hoop in their teeth, their white enamel bodies decorated with sculpted 18k gold stripes and spots, mounted in 18k gold and platinum, 2 3/8 ins. diameter. Signed David Webb. Estimate $20,000 - $30,000

d5330236l

A diamond, ruby, emerald and enamel "Capricorn ram" bracelet, by David Webb. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd 2010

The articulated hinged bangle designed as a green enamel ram with sculpted 18k gold spiraled horns and spots, bezel-set with cabochon ruby eyes and forehead, his face decorated with circular-cut diamonds, his green enamel body forming the hoop, to his sculpted gold tail, set with circular-cut diamonds and a cabochon emerald, mounted in 18k gold and platinum, 2¼ ins. diameter. Signed David Webb - Estimate $20,000 - $30,000

d5330275l

A diamond, ruby and enamel frog bracelet, by David Webb. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd 2010

Designed as an articulated hinged bangle, the two opposing green enamel frogs set with circular-cut diamond lips and cabochon ruby eyes, their 18k gold spotted bodies forming the hoop, joined at the top and bottom by an oval-cut cabochon ruby, mounted in 18k gold and platinum, 2½ ins. diameter. Signed David Webb - Estimate $20,000 - $30,000

d5330278l

A diamond, sapphire and enamel "confronting lion" bracelet, by David Webb. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd 2010

Designed as a hinged articulated bangle, the two opposing black enamel lions set with circular-cut diamond noses and collars, with bezel-set pear-shaped sapphire eyes and oval cabochon sapphire spots, their black enamel bodies forming the hoop, decorated with sculpted gold stripes, mounted in 18k gold and platinum, 2½ ins. diameter. Signed David Webb - Estimate $20,000 - $30,000

With a copy of an invoice dated 14 December 1967 from David Webb, and a copy of a letter dated 2 April 2010 from Nina Silberstein of David Webb, attesting to the authenticity of the bracelet

d5330282l

A diamond, ruby, emerald and amethyst "lovebird" double-clip brooch, by David Webb. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd 2010

Designed as a pair of circular-cut diamond lovebirds, with circular-cut ruby eyes, their wings and bodies decorated with circular and calibré-cut amethysts, to their 18k gold beaks and feet, surrounded by cabochon emerald and amethyst blossoms and leaves, mounted in platinum and 18k gold, 1963. Each signed Webb for David Webb - Estimate $20,000 - $30,000

With a copy of a letter dated 1 May 2008 from Stan Silberstein of David Webb, attesting to the authenticity of the brooch

d5330235l

A diamond, ruby, emerald and enamel fish bracelet, by David Webb. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd 2010.

The articulated hinged bangle designed as a white enamel fish with sculpted 18k gold scales and cabochon emerald eyes, accented by a cabochon ruby, within a circular-cut diamond surround, with circular-cut diamond lips and detail, the fanned tail decorated with circular-cut emeralds, mounted in 18k gold and platinum, 2¼ ins. diameter. Signed David Webb - Estimate $15,000 - $20,000

d5330284l

An emerald and diamond ring, by David Webb. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd 2010.

Of bombé design, set with a square-cut emerald, weighing approximately 23.68 carats, to the three-tiered marquise-cut diamond gallery and circular-cut diamond shoulders, mounted in platinum. Signed Webb for David Webb - Estimate $15,000 - $20,000

d5330230l

An enamel, diamond and ruby bracelet, by David Webb. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd 2010.

The black enamel articulated hinged bangle designed as a horse, with circular-cut ruby eyes, a pavé-set diamond and sculpted 18k gold mane, holding a pavé-set diamond hoop in its mouth, joined to its black enamel tail with diamond detail, mounted in 18k gold, 2¼ ins. diameter. Signed Webb for David Webb - Estimate $12,000 - $15,000

d5330234l

A diamond, ruby, coral and enamel panther brooch, by David Webb. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd 2010.

Designed as a black enamel panther, with gold stripes and cabochon ruby eyes, with an oval cabochon coral collar, his body decorated with collet-set and circular-cut diamond spots, suspending an articulated fringe of oval cabochon coral, mounted in 18k yellow and white gold. Signed Webb for David Webb - Estimate $10,000 - $15,000

d5330231l

A diamond, ruby and enamel "magic unicorn" brooch, by David Webb. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd 2010.

Designed as a green enamel unicorn, with 18k gold spots, bezel-set cabochon ruby eyes and a circular-cut diamond nose, the sculpted circular-cut diamond horn topped with a cabochon ruby, his gold hooves resting atop an oval cabochon ruby fence, mounted in 18k gold and platinum. Signed David Webb - Estimate $8,000 - $12,000

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A diamond, emerald and enamel zebra brooch, by David Webb. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd 2010.

Designed as a black and white striped enamel zebra head, bezel-set with pear-shaped emerald eyes, the top and bottom of his mane decorated with circular-cut diamonds, mounted in 18k gold and platinum. Signed David Webb - Estimate $8,000 - $12,000

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A group of gold, diamond and cultured pearl jewelry, by David Webb. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd 2010.

Comprising a pendant brooch, designed as a hammered 18k gold sculpted plaque, centering upon a band of circular-cut diamonds; and a ring, set with a baroque cultured pearl, measuring approximately 18.15 mm, to the circular-cut diamond shoulders and hammered 18k gold tapered hoop, mounted in 18k gold and platinum. Each signed Webb for David Webb (2) - Estimate $8,000 - $12,000

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A pair of diamond, rock crystal and gold ear pendants, by David Webb. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd 2010.

Each suspending a polished 18k gold hexagonal pendant, centering upon a fluted oval cabochon rock crystal, within a circular-cut diamond surround, the circular surmount centering upon a fluted oval cabochon rock crystal, within a circular-cut diamond and polished gold surround, mounted in 18k gold and platinum. Signed Webb for David Webb - Estimate $8,000 - $12,000

d5330279l

A pair of diamond and gold ear clips, by David Webb. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd 2010.

Each centering upon a circular-cut diamond spiral, to the fluted 18k sculpted surround, mounted in 18k gold and platinum. Signed Webb for David Webb - Estimate $8,000 - $12,000

d5330276l

A diamond, emerald and enamel panther brooch, by David Webb. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd 2010.

Designed as a crouching black and white enamel panther, set with a pear-shaped emerald eye and circular-cut diamond collar, mounted in 18k gold and platinum. Signed David Webb - Estimate $8,000 - $12,000

d5330237l

An amethyst and enamel necklace, by David Webb. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd 2010.

Designed as a graduated series of large fluted amethyst beads, spaced by green enamel rondelles, to the hammered 18k gold boule clasp, 18¼ ins. Signed Webb for David Webb - Estimate $6,000 - $8,000

d5330271l

An enamel and gold necklace, by David Webb. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd 2010.

Designed as an alternating series of scalloped oval and circular-shaped white enamel links, spaced by hammered 18k gold hoops, 31¼ ins, (may also be worn as a choker, 15 3/8 ins. and two bracelets, 7 7/8 ins. each). Signed Webb for David Webb (2)  - Estimate $6,000 - $8,000

d5330280l

A set of diamond, emerald and enamel jewelry, by David Webb. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd 2010.

Comprising an 18k gold bangle designed as a leopard, with cabochon emerald eyes and a circular-cut diamond forehead, his black enamel spotted body forming the hinged hoop; and a pair of ear clips en suite, mounted in 18k gold and platinum, bracelet 2 ins. diameter. Bracelet signed Webb for David Webb; ear clips signed David Webb (2) -  Estimate $6,000 - $8,000

d5330285l

A diamond and rock crystal ring, by David Webb. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd 2010.

Designed as a sculpted rock crystal bombé band set with two rows of circular-cut diamonds, mounted in platinum and 18k white gold. Signed David WebbEstimate $6,000 - $8,000

d5330201l

A group of gold jewelry. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd 2010.

Comprising a brooch, designed as a sculpted 18k gold lion's head, (with pendant hoop for suspension); a second brooch, designed as a smaller sculpted 18k gold lion's head, set with pear-shaped emerald eyes; a ring, designed as a polished 18k gold scalloped band; and a brooch, designed as two interlocking lozenge-shaped sculpted 18k gold links, links brooch with French exportation mark and maker's mark. Larger lion brooch and ring signed Webb for David Webb; smaller lion brooch signed le Beau; links brooch signed France (4) - Estimate $5,000 - $7,000

Christie's, New York Jewels, 15 June 2010, New York, Rockefeller Plaza www.christies.com