Jewelry Historian ‘Dr. Joe’ Dies

Dr. Joseph Sataloff, a world-renowned expert on antique and estate jewelry, especially art nouveau jewelry, died Sept. 26. He was 89.

His Art Nouveau Jewelry: A Practical Guide to Its History and Beauty is still considered the definitive reference standard for antique and estate jewelers.

“He literally and figuratively wrote the book on art nouveau,” says Diana Singer, D&E Singer, antique, period, and estate jewelry expert in New York. “He had a deep and profound respect for it, long before it became the collectable fashion.”

Sataloff started the Maine Conference on Antique and Period Jewelry and Gemstones—now known as Jewelry Camp—in 1979. “He wanted to educate people,” says jewelry historian Joyce Jonas, who bought Jewelry Camp from Sataloff in 1992. “He relished every minute of life and had a true passion for people and jewelry. He’d personally greet everyone by name, making them feel special. He was a wonderful man. Even when he was giving you advice, he was doing so as a friend.”

Sataloff received his bachelor’s degree in 1940 from the University of Pennsylvania and earned a medical degree from Hahnemann University Hospital in 1943.

Sataloff, an otolaryngologist, made historic contributions to hearing conservation, including as scientific advisor to then-President Nixon in developing hearing protection standards for the Occupational Safety and Health Act.

Sataloff is survived by his wife, Ruth; a daughter, Jody; a son, Robert; and five grandchildren.