J.E. Caldwell

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J.E. CALDWELL (1839 - present)

Edwardian Diamond and Pearl Pendant Necklace by J. E. Caldwell & Co.
Photo Courtesy of Lang Antiques.

Venerable American jeweler from Philadelphia known for its Art Nouveau and Art Deco jewels. In 1839, James Emmott Caldwell began to supply wealthy Philadelphians with stylish European jewelry, silver, and objets d'art. Previously Caldwell had trained as a silversmith in New York City. Upon opening, Caldwell’s business quickly flourished. Over several decades, the store changed locations and owners a handful of times. In 1868, the firm was officially dubbed J.E. Caldwell and Co. After fires ravaged the city in that same year, the store was rebuilt at 902 Chestnut Street. Towards the end of the nineteenth century, the firm began to create beautiful gem-set, hand fabricated Art Nouveau jewels. Its pieces are among the finest examples of American Art Nouveau jewelry; they feature finely chased surfaces, unusual gemstones, as well as typical Art Nouveau motifs: curvaceous women, vines, garlands, flowers, and insects. In 1916, J.E. Caldwell relocated to a more fashionable and affluent part of town, at the corner of Juniper and Chestnut Street.[1] Throughout the 1920’s, the firm produced fine pieces of Art Deco jewelry for which it is still known. Since then, they continue to offer high quality jewels in accordance with current styles.

Lavender-Blue Star Sapphire Diamond Ring by J. E. Caldwell & Co.
Photo Courtesy of Lang Antiques.
Multi-Hued Sapphire Floral Brooch by J. E. Caldwell & Co., Circa 1950's.
Photo Courtesy of Lang Antiques.
Art Deco Diamond and Platinum Ring by J. E. Caldwell & Co., Circa 1920's.
Photo Courtesy of Lang Antiques.



J.E. Caldwell Jewelry Maker's Mark

J.E. Caldwell Co.

JE Caldwell & Co.svg

J.E. Caldwell Co.
USA
Chestnut Street, Philadelphia
e.1839

Specialties

1839

  • First ad for the business appeared in the United States Gazette.

1840 - 1859

  • Located at 140 Chestnut St.

1843 - 1848

  • Caldwell & Bennett partnership.

1848

1859

  • 822 Chestnut St.

1868 - 1916

  • 902 Chestnut St.

1881

  • Death of James E. Caldwell.
  • J. Albert Caldwell, son and successor ran the business until his death in 1914.
  • J. Emott Caldwell, grandson headed the business until his death in 1919.


JECaldwell Mark.jpg Jec1.jpg Jec2.jpg

Notes

  1. Healy & Proddow, 21.

Sources Consulted

  • Proddow, Penny & Debra Healy. American Jewelry: Glamour & Tradition. New York: Rizzoli, 1987.
  • J.E. Caldwell Website: www.jecaldwell.com.
  • Sataloff, Joseph. Art Nouveau Jewelry: A Practical Guide to Its History and Beauty with Pictures of Over 150 Pieces of Jewelry and a Compendium of International Jeweler’s Marks. Bryn Mawr, PA: Dorrance and Co. Inc., 1984.
Sataloff includes a photo of an Arts and Crafts necklace by Caldwell in his book, but he
notes that piece was unusual for the firm.
Lang Antiques
Lang Antiques