Oscar Heyman Brothers
Oscar Heyman & Brothers was founded in New York in 1912 by three brothers Oscar, Nathan and Harry Heyman. All three brothers had emigrated from Latvia a few years prior in 1906. Oscar and Nathan (the eldest of 9 children) had spent five years as apprentices at their great-uncles jewelry manufacturing workshop in Kharkov before coming to New York. Once settled Nathan began work as a tool maker for a large firm and Oscar found employment at the bench of a small manufacturing jeweler. Cartier opened a branch in New York in 1909 and Oscar Heyman became the first non-French jeweler to work for them. Just three years later the brothers gathered together to establish themselves independently and an advert was placed in the October 1912 issue of the Jeweler’s Circular trade magazine announcing the opening of ‘Oscar Heyman & Bros. Inc.’ They located themselves in the heart of the jewelry district at the time at 49 Maiden Lane. Their brothers Louis, William and George as well as sisters Lena and Frances also joined the business. Their client list included Cartier, Tiffany, Black Star & Frost, J.E.Caldwell and Marcus & Co. Between 1916 and 1942 they earned seven exclusive patents for advances in both jewelry design and manufacturing processes. In 1939 the World’s Fair came to New York and Heyman produced all but one of the collections exhibited making them a powerhouse of behind the scenes jewelers. Van Cleef & Arpels opened their first branch in New York at this time and Heyman began manufacturing for them. In fact all of the VCA mystery set jewelry made in America came from the Heyman workshop all the way until the end of the 20th Century!