Lion and Lamb Collection

Ancient Crafting Techniques

Helen's Bio


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Helen's clients began asking to have the ancient amulets mounted to wear as jewelry. She recalls resisting initially: “I felt if something survived 3,000 years, it should be left intact, not tampered with.” Upon consideration that the amulets had been created originally to be worn on the body, Helen decided to create mountings which would act as environments for the ancient pieces; she wanted to bring the culture of the object to the present, yet not damage the object or its integrity. “Creating my own jewelry allowed me to combine everything--my love of history, art, ancient objects and sculpture. It enabled me to bring my musings to life.”

To date, Helen has created 315 one-of-a-kind pieces of jewelry incorporating ancient elements such as Egyptian amulets, Chinese jade, Greek and Roman intaglios. They are part of private collections throughout the world. Helen designs these rare pieces only on occasion now, due to the scarcity of fine-quality ancient elements.

In 1968, Helen closed her Madison Avenue store to design jewelry for Georg Jensen on an exclusive basis. By the late 1960’s, Helen was one of only three young designers who were working under their own names along with Elsa Peretti at Tiffany and Aldo Cipullo at Cartier.

When Georg Jensen was sold in 1974, Helen left the company to design for other prestigious retail firms such as Peacock’s in Chicago, Caldwell’s in Philadelphia, and Gump’s in San Francisco. While working with these larger stores, Helen missed the sense of continuity and family she had experienced with her collectors in her first store.

This realization prompted her to open her second store on Madison and 65th Street where she remained for ten years. In 1988, Helen moved to Fifth Avenue and 57th Street, her last retail home. It was an elegant atelier with floor-to-ceiling French doors overlooking Central Park, fireplaces, and beautiful art. The ambiance allowed Helen to greet her collectors in a peaceful and intimate environment.
In the spring of 1994, after 30 years of retailing, Helen decided to close her atelier. Now her jewelry is sold exclusively at the prestigious James Robinson, Inc., in New York City. She is now able to devote her time to what she loves best--creating new treasures for the collection.

Today, working with 18K gold, intaglios and unusual stones, her contemporary designs incorporate antique crafting methods, such as granulation and bezel settings, that evoke the classic sensibilities of bygone ages. Her design concepts and techniques have been widely imitated, but Helen continues to be unique. Her objective is not to produce technical reproductions, but to breathe life into her jewelry by drawing from the spirit of past cultures.

Helen’s desire to place something of value and beauty into the world remains the motivating force behind her business. Quality is of paramount importance to her, a belief clearly evident in the extraordinary craftsmanship of her creations. For more than 25 years, Helen's creations have been brilliantly brought to life by her master jeweler John Chirinian.

Helen’s work brings to mind the mysteries of mythology and dynasties, and the grand majesty of Renaissance courts. She joins the past with the present in a way which is undeniably original. By carrying forth the creative thread of ages past, Helen continues her modern legacy of fine jewelry.


The Helen Woodhull Collection is sold exclusively through James Robinson Inc. at

James Robinson Inc. 480 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10022

To order direct, please contact James Robinson Inc.

© 1998 Helen Woodhull All rights reserved.
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