COMSTOCK HERITAGE

Comstock Heritage, established in 1886, claims the honor of America’s Oldest Western Silversmiths. Beginning in San Francisco under the name J.C. Irvine Company, it was sold to Christian Stegman in the 1920s. Christian passed the business to his three sons, and in 1971 Howard Stegman moved to Carson City, Nevada and re-christened the company Comstock Silversmiths, after Nevada’s famous Comstock Lode silver mine.

Howards’s son James Christian Stegman was born into a family of silversmiths, but he did not consider himself a craftsman by birth. Craftsmen are made, not born—this motto gets to the heart of James’ work.

When he left Comstock Silversmiths with his family’s blessing to re-launch Comstock Heritage, James inherited a warehouse of tools and machines, handmade by his grandfather, which no one knew how to use. So he taught himself. It was not some grandiose gesture of birthright—these were good tools, and he wanted to use them to make something beautiful. That is the legacy of Comstock Heritage: a tradition of craftsmen, of earning before receiving, and of freedom to explore.

February 17, 2016 by Stirling Thomas

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