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Family Jewels

A southern son shines on Sullivan Street.

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Berry Beautiful: Holland's 18-karat-gold dewberry earrings.   

Jewelry is in David Lee Holland’s blood. (Well, figuratively, anyway.) His father, Homer, was an early member of the American Gem Society and still teaches at the Holland School for Jewelers in Selma, Alabama. His mother, Doris, runs an upscale jewelry shop in the same town. And now David has a shop of his own, David Lee Holland (69 Sullivan Street; 212-925-1944; davidleeholland.com), which opened last month in a small space on a quiet block in Soho, where he displays his work in twenty black boxes set into the walls and dramatically illuminated with theatrical lighting.

Holland’s love of the textures of nature is evident in his designs—a lapel pin fashioned after a delicate branch, with a gorgeous black pearl in place of a bud; acorn-cap earrings; a Chinese privet-leaf cuff bracelet; a poppy crossover ring. All of these botanically inspired pieces are handmade of 18-karat gold, some embellished with naturally colored diamonds, black South Sea cultured pearls, or Japanese Akoya cultured pearls. Prices range from $500 for a coffee-bean ring to $15,000 for an 18-karat-yellow-gold eucalyptus necklace. Even a golden apple, it seems, doesn’t fall too far from the tree.


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