J.E. Caldwell

(1839 - present)

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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.

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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 featuring finely chased surfaces, unusual gemstones, as well as the typical Art Nouveau motifs of 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. They continue to offer high-quality jewels in accordance with current styles.

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Lavender-Blue Star Sapphire Diamond Ring by J. E. Caldwell & Co.
Photo Courtesy of Lang Antiques.

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Multi-Hued Sapphire Floral Brooch by J. E. Caldwell & Co., Circa 1950's.
Photo Courtesy of Lang Antiques.

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Art Deco Diamond and Platinum Ring by J. E. Caldwell & Co., Circa 1920's.
Photo Courtesy of Lang Antiques.


  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.