Want to ogle gems once coveted by Elizabeth Taylor and maybe snag a bauble for yourself?
M. Flynn is the only Boston shop to carry David Webb, which has boutiques on Madison Avenue and at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills. The brand, launched in 1948, is known for animal jewels with lifelike faces — tiger rings with emerald eyes and black enamel stripes, a frog bracelet with twin heads and ruby eyes, an Elizabeth Taylor lion necklace made of pearls.
This week, M. Flynn jeweler-owners Megan and Moria Flynn hosted a reception with Webb archivists Dianna Batista and Levi Higgs featuring a presentation by Museum of Fine Arts jewelry curator Emily Stoehrer to honor the collection. The MFA carries pieces by Webb.
“Emily is a big fan of exhibits with Hollywood jewelry,” Megan Flynn says. “We wanted to showcase a connection between Boston and the line.”
The pair launched their own jewelry business 15 years ago, starting with costume jewelry and selling it to trade shows. They opened their South End store nine years ago. They’re known for mixing high-end with low.
“People like layering different types of jewels — a $15 bracelet with an expensive diamond piece,” she says.
This accessibility dovetails with Webb’s new, relatively lower-priced offerings, which Megan Flynn says have an entry point of $3,500 up to $7,500 (which is a bargain compared with, say, a $69,000 frog bracelet).
She marvels at the business’s attention to detail and its intimate nature.
“We like that it has a lot of the feeling that we have in our own business; things are very personal. Some of the people who work for David Webb have worked there since the 1970s and 1980s. When a customer comes in and [says], ‘This is my David Webb piece,’ you can literally take it to David Webb, and the woman who carved the stone can say, ‘I remember that piece.’ It’s that personal,” she says.
She’s also proud to carry such an elite brand. If a trip to Madison Avenue isn’t in your future, consider stopping by the South End, even to look.
“We’re a very different store for them. They probably would never imagine they would be in a store like ours. They’re in Beverly Hills. Our store is very casual,” she says with a laugh.
Customers aren’t, though.
“It appeals to anybody who says, ‘More is more.’ Elizabeth Taylor. Jackie Onassis,” she says.Kara Baskin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.