Seaman Schepps, son of immigrants, grew up in New York’s Lower East Side and was famous for his clunky retro and 1950’s jewelry. He traveled from New York to California at the turn of the century as a part of a deceptive get-rich-quick scheme. He arrived in Los Angeles with a great deal of cash and opened a store known for its antiques, jewelry and other expensive objects.
Schepps’ efforts during the next twenty years produced great success and received a great deal of attention. He was shown on the covers of Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. Although the idea of clunky jewelry had been around since the twenty’s, his jewelry was different in that it contained varying color combinations and unorganized placements of gemstones. He preferred colored gemstones to diamonds for his jewelry collections. Schepps enjoyed using pastel colors, such as water blue aquamarines, light sapphires, emeralds and rubies, as well as topaz, citrine, pale pink quartz and rock crystal. He also found jade, turquoise and lapis hardstone interesting material to work with. Schepps enjoyed whimsical themes of sea life and animals. His use of ebony, coral and turquoise created interesting curb-linked bracelets. His work included the use of uncommonly cut gemstones which made his jewelry unconventional and fascinating. Katherine Hepburn, Anthony Warhol, President Roosevelt, the Duchess of Windsor and certain members of the DuPont, Mellon and Rockefeller families were among some of his clients.
In the 1960’s, Seaman Schapps retired and his daughter, Patricia, took over the business. In 1992, Jay Bauer and Anthony Hopenjam purchased the business and, to this day, still produces jewelry in the stylish Seaman Schapps style.