Thomas Jefferson sent Lewis and Clark to find the west coast because he had a dream of San Francisco. Forty-five years later gold was discovered not many miles from here. By 1852, inventors, artists and entrepreneurs were rewarded for their successes with fine timepieces and jewelry from the showcases of the world-renowned Shreve and Company.
By the 1860s Shreve & Company had already established its reputation as the finest silver and goldsmiths in America, bar none. Many of Shreve’s spectacular pieces were used by presidents, business tycoons, establishment families, and those same pieces now belong in museums and private collections around the world.
Teddy Roosevelt especially treasured a 10-inch tall solid gold “Teddy Bear,” crafted by Shreve and commissioned as a gift by the citizens of San Francisco. By 1906 Shreve had moved from Market Street to a brand new, seven story building at the corner of Post & Grant. A month later, the great earthquake hit the city and the Shreve building was one of the only still standing.
The building was built of modern reinforced concrete construction and survived completely intact. The interior had to be rebuilt as you an see from the pictures below. When the restoration on the store at Post & Grant was completed, business returned to normal and the interior showroom was the magnificent pantheon to jewelry, that it would remain until 2015.
Historic sterling spade used by President William Taft to break ground in 1911 for the Panama Pacific International Exposition, 1915, made by Shreve & Co.