Oscar Heyman and Bros.
The famous American firm of Oscar Heyman & Bros. can trace its origins back to the Fabrege workshop in Russia, where the brothers gained invaluable experience working with platinum and creating tools for the jewelry industry. Upon completion of their training in 1906, the elder brother’s immigrated to America to avoid military service. Oscar and Nathan, were joined a year later by brother Harry in New York. There the brother’s skills in platinum working, the newest and most in demand metal in the jewelry industry, were in high demand. Each brother quickly found employment. Oscar Heyman was hired by Pierre Cariter in 1908 to work the newly established New York workshop, he became the first non-French speaking bench jeweler at Cartier.
In 1912 the remaining three Heyman brothers and three sisters left Latvia to join the family in New York, and the firm of Oscar Heyman & Bros. was established on Maiden Lane in Lower New York City. The family took pride in their work and created a self-contained system of manufacture where quality was closely monitored every step of the process. The firm still makes its own tools, alloys its own platinum and gold, and designs and creates each piece to meet demanding specifications.
The firm gained fame for its attention to detail and superb craftsmanship. A self-proclaimed jeweler’s jeweler, Oscar Heyman & Bros. produced pieces for Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, J.E. Caldwell, and Shreve, Crump & Low, as well as retailing its own pieces through the company’s storefront. Oscar Heyman & Bros. was reportedly the first American firm to master the invisible setting technique pioneered by Van Cleef & Arpels in 1936. The firm became known for its stunning floral pieces and won a gold medal for Best in Show at the New York World Fair of 1939 for a collection of orchid, pansy and gardenia brooches. In 1969 Oscar Heyman & Co. was asked by Cartier to design and produce a setting for the famous Taylor-Burton diamond. The firm’s designs reflected Oscar’s saying that “jewelry should never be a candidate for redesign but should transcend time like a fine painting, never losing its appeal.”
Today, the firm continues to be run by the third generation of Heyman’s who continue to create their own tools, over see every aspect of design and production, and various patents for manufacturing techniques.
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