Phantom Cuff Silver
Phantom Cuff Silver: A single iconic link wrapped and elongated around the wrist in sterling silver by Hoorsenbuhs. Size medium
International Designer: Hoorsenbuhs
Photographer-turned-jewelry-designer Robert Keith was a child when he discovered a black-and-white photo in a trunk filled with his great-grandfather’s possessions. It was of a Dutch merchant ship, built in the 16th century, that Keith’s ancestors had operated, trading precious metals and gems. Printed on both the port and starboard sides in large white letters was the name—HOORSENBUHS.
The enormity of the hull and anchor chain made an indelible impression on Keith.
I was immediately struck by the image, as it conjured up all the lore of the grand voyage,” he says. “There’s something mystical about the search for precious and beautiful things and the exploration of other worlds.
When he decided in his thirties to create a line of unisex jewelry, he looked to his family’s seafaring roots. Keith’s first designs alluded to that anchor chain. He also found inspiration in the thick and heavy jewelry of the 1970s (like the chains worn by Kojak actor Telly Savalas).
Keith and his partner, Kether Parker, launched the company, which Keith named after his forbears’ vessel, in 2005, carrying the weighty aesthetic through even the most delicate of their necklaces, cuffs, rings, and earrings. But the most direct reference to the Hoorsenbuhs is the tri-link pattern incorporated into many of the pieces, which are handmade in Los Angeles.