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Monday, 28 February 2011

The Opal series: J.E. CALDWELL opal ring


In 1839, James Emmott Caldwell, a New York City trained jeweler, began to supply wealthy Philadelphians with stylish European jewelry, silver, and objets d'art.  Business soon flourished and over several decades, the store moved to more fashionable premises in Chestnut Street also changing owners several times. In 1868, the firm was officially established as J.E. Caldwell and Co.and towards the end of the nineteenth century, the firm began to hand fabricate beautiful gem-set jewels which are heralded among the finest examples of American Art Nouveau and Art Deco jewelery. Caldwell were 'the' jeweler to the establishment in the city of brotherly love, their clientele consisting mostly of married and conservative people. Around the turn of the century, finely chased surfaces, were combined with unusual gemstones such as Opals, complimented with typical Nouveau motifs: curvaceous women, vines, garlands, flowers, and insects. Throughout the 1920’s, the firm produced fine pieces of Art Deco jewelry, now well sought after by collectors. The company’s tradition of using fine Opals continued into the Deco period, and beyond, whereas Opal was no longer the gemstone of choice in the new era. J.E. Caldwell continues to offer high quality jewels according to the current styles.