A-Z of Jewelry: Z is for... Zebra

By Sotheby's

W e finish our tour of the alphabet with Z is for Zebra. While not as frequently featured as lions and panthers, the zebra, with its distinctive black and white stripes, has found its way into the visual vocabularies of several esteemed jewelers and watchmakers. What a wonderful coincidence it is, then, that a herd of zebras is referred to as a dazzle.

The pattern of stripes found on each zebra is unique, much like human fingerprints. The evolutionary purpose of these stripes is open to debate, but the sharp contrast between black and white is highly effective when applied to precious objects.

David Webb is the most prolific purveyor of zebra jewels with offerings including their trademark enamel bracelets as well as brooches, rings and earclips.

Contemporary Italian jeweler Michele della Valle, well-known for his conversation-starting designs, sweetly captures mother-and-child in a brooch, pavé-set with black and white diamonds.

Watchmakers like Rolex and Audemars Piguet have also gone stripy, taking a more abstract approach to the motif.

We hope you have enjoyed our exploration of the world of fine jewels, from Art Deco to Zebra. We encourage you to discover more about the many other collecting categories handled by Sotheby’s at

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