Kaspar & Esh 1916–2016: A Century of Tradition & Quality

Kaspar & Esh 1916–2016: A Century of Tradition & Quality

First Generation

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Barnett Esh (on left with arms folded) in first K&E factory 1917

For nearly 100 years Kaspar & Esh has been manufacturing exceptional jewelry defined by the fashions of the times and the desires of loyal customers.
Styles have come and gone,but Kaspar & Esh’s commitment to quality and service has not.

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Barnett Esh, 1953
Kaspar & Esh
Rachael Esh, 1953

That commitment was first made in 1916 when Barnett Esh, a talented bench jeweler and Mae Kaspar, a dynamic saleswoman met and became partners.

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The original K&E factory; 284 Pearl Street
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Yellow gold monogrammed watch fob handmade by Barnett Esh
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Barnett and Rachael Esh, 1945

At first, Barnett worked alongside a few additional jewelers, polishers and setters in a factory in lower Manhattan. Mae—the lone salesperson—traveled across the country with her line of samples tucked under her sleeper car pillow for safety.
Within a year however their lucrative business partnership had grown into something more. Twenty-nine year old Barnett and thirty-seven year old Mae married and Mae changed her name to Rachael.

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Barnett and Rachael Esh with employees

Early sketches for Longines Wittnauer watchcases

In the late 1920’s the Great Depression changed everything and the market for gold and diamond jewelry disappeared almost overnight. Timepieces however were selling, so Kaspar & Esh switched gears and began manufacturing watchcases for Longines Wittnauer.

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Barnett, Rachael, and Kaspar & Esh were prospering again by the mid-1930’s and Barnett along with two partners bought Longines Wittnauer outright.

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K&E factory; 126 West 46th Street (1940-1990)

Through the early 1940’s Kaspar & Esh continued producing watchcases but also began manufacturing fine jewelry once again. Needing more space, the company moved uptown to a 7,000 square foot factory in the diamond district. The firm would remain there for the next fifty years.

Second Generation

In 1940 Stanley Sternberg married Barnett and Rachael’s eldest daughter, Esther, and went to work for his in-laws.

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Stanley Sternberg, 1959
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Esther Sternberg, 1959
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WW2 U.S. Navy range finder manufactured by K&E

During World War II, having secured a government contract, Kaspar & Esh manufactured range finders for the United States Navy. And after the war Stanley and Esther worked together, taking the business over from Esther’s parents.
Stanley assumed the role of President and CEO in 1974 and the company’s growth continued unabated.

By this time Kaspar & Esh had severed its ties with Longines Wittnauer, but the number of fine jewelry collections the company produced grew exponentially and the Add-A-Link line of bracelets was trademarked.

Kaspar & Esh’s cutting edge designs and superb
craftsmanship routinely won industry accolades.

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To satisfy the company’s growing demand for fine diamonds Stanley frequently travelled to Antwerp and Tel Aviv, shipping more than 20,000 carats a year to New York.

Kaspar & Esh opened an office in Belgium and began its own diamond cutting operation back in New York; Precision Gem Cut, PGC.

Kaspar & Esh had a dozen salesmen, more than 100 factory and office workers and 1,700 dedicated customers.

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Stanley & Esther Sternberg, 1991

Third & Fourth Generations

When Stanley passed away in 1992, his son Lewis Esh Sternberg took the business over and when Lewis retired fifteen years later, the leadership of the company passed to the family’s next generation.

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Lewis Sternberg, retired 2007
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Today Lewis’ son owns and manages Kaspar & Esh and like his father, grandfather and great grandfather before him offers a wide range of exquisite fine jewelry.

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Through four generations of owner—operators and nearly a century in business, Kaspar & Esh has established a tradition of excellence.

We invite you to share in that fine tradition.