Antique Black Starr & Frost Sterling Silver Nut Berry Bowl
History of Black Starr & Frost: (wiki: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black,_Starr_%26_Frost)
Founded in 1810 by Isaac Marquand – a silversmith whose family immigrated from France – Black, Starr & Frost opened as Marquand & Co. in New York City, making it the oldest continuously operating jewelry firm in the United States. At that time, two store clerks – William Black and Henry Ball – eventually joined the firm, which became Black, Ball & Company. In 1912, the company – by then named Black, Starr & Frost – moved to New York City offices at the southeast corner of Fifth Avenue and 48th Street, known as the diamond district.
Black, Starr & Frost has had a number of notable clients, such as the Rockefellers, Vanderbilts, Carnigies, Guggenheims, Bunny Mellon, Elizabeth Taylor, and Zsa Zsa Gabor.
1833: Black, Starr & Frost is the first to use plate-glass windows to display merchandise to pedestrians.
1837: Black, Starr & Frost crafted fist class ring for West Point; continued to manufacture for West Point until 1909. Famous West Point grads who wore Black, Starr & Frost rings include President Ulysses S. Grant, General George A. Custer and General Douglas MacArthur.
1851: Black Starr & Frost’s pure gold four-piece tea service displayed at the London Crystal Palace Exhibition.
1859: Black, Starr & Frost provided more than $100,000 in pearls and diamonds to the bride Frances Amelia Bartlett as a gift from the groom Don Esteban Santa Cruz de Oviedo in the “Diamond Wedding” at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
1860: The Company received an order for more than $12,000 of jewelry and silverware from Edward, Prince of Whales.
1860: Built the finest business structure and most famous shop of its time on Broadway and Prince Street. The first fireproof building in New York, it was constructed of white marble, and in its vaults the modern safe deposit system was fashioned.
1863: The company created the Kearny Cross for acts of valor during war.
1865: Mary Todd Lincoln owed $64,000 to the firm at the time her husband was assassinated, which represents $11 million today.
1876: Cortlandt Starr and Aaron Frost joined the company, which officially became known as Black Starr & Frost.
1876: Black, Starr & Frost built the first apartment building and jewelry salon on 28th Street and Fifth Avenue.
1911: Black, Starr & Frost made the key for the ceremonial opening of the New York Public Library.
1912: The C.T. Cook residence on Fifth Avenue and 48th Street was converted into the new home of Black, Starr & Frost. Not until the 1920s did other jewelers and diamond dealers join Black, Starr & Frost in this part of the city, which is recognized worldwide today as New York City’s “Diamond District.”
1915: The first auto-racing trophy, known as The Astor Cup, was created by Black, Starr & Frost.
1917: Black, Starr & Frost sold a diamond necklace for $200,000 to stage star Peggy Hopkins Joyce, the inspiration for Marilyn Monroe’s character in “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.”
1921: Designed and produced the silver platter for The Davis Cup for the U.S. Lawn Tennis Association.
1929: Black, Starr & Frost merged with Gorham Corporation, and was renamed Black, Starr, Frost-Gorham.
1930: Black, Starr & Frost acquired the diamonds and jewels of “Diamond Jim Brady,” a financier.
1931: Acquired the 25-carat “Lucky” Baldwin Ruby, named after California gold mining pioneer E.J. “Lucky Baldwin” The ruby was purchased from Harry Winston, a gemstone broker.
1939: Displayed two unique jewel-encrusted Mystery Clocks – the only square-faced Mystery Clock in the world and the “Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil” clock – at the New York World’s Fair. Black Starr & Frost was one of five jewelers invited to exhibit at the New York World’s Fair that year.
1949: Carol Channing played Lorelei Lee, inspired by Peggy Hopkins Joyce, on Broadway and is the first to sing “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend,” which mentions Black Starr & Frost. Marilyn Monroe as Lorelei Lee in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes sings “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend,” which mentions several top echelon jewelers.”
1953: Marilyn Monroe portrays Lorelei Lee on the big screen in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and sings “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend” with the verse “Tiffany, Cartier, Black, Starr, Frost-Gorham. Talk to me Harry Winston. Tell me all about it.”
1956: Manufactured the “Princeton Mace” – a ceremonial club – used at Princeton University for key observances at the school.
1962: Marcus and Company acquired Black, Starr, Frost-Gorham, and restored the name to Black, Starr & Frost.
1962: Black, Starr & Frost purchased Cartier USA. This was the first of many steps that expanded Black, Starr & Frost.
1972: Kay Jewelers acquired Black, Starr & Frost and expanded to 33 locations.
1986: New York’s famous The Plaza Hotel became home to another Black, Starr & Frost jewelry salon.
1990: Sterling Inc. acquired Kay Jewelers and Black, Starr & Frost.
1991: Paul Lam, Costa Mesa, California, acquired Black, Starr & Frost.
2006: The Molina Group acquired Black, Starr & Frost.
2012: Black, Starr & Frost sold the Archduke Joseph Diamond, a 76-carat, D-color, internally flawless diamond, the largest D color internally flawless Golconda diamond in the world for $21.5 million at Christie’s Geneva Magnificent Jewels auction, setting three world records for the sale of a colorless diamond.
2014: Chairman Alfredo J. Molina publishes 1810: Celebrating Two Centuries of American Luxury.
2015: Black, Starr & Frost designed and crafted The Empress: A $4.5 million necklace which features 30 ultra rare untreated Burmese sapphires totaling 11.9 carats; 34 oval diamonds, weighing 10.56 carats; and 404 round diamonds totaling 82.61 carats – all hand set in the pure platinum.
2015: Black, Starr & Frost, America’s oldest watchmaker, debuts the first new collection of luxury timepieces, its first new designs in three decades.