Property from the estate of San Francisco socialite John Traina among various notable collections on offer at Bonhams in November

Period Art & Design including the Estate of John Traina
18 Nov 2012
San Francisco

San Francisco — The Period Art & Design auction at Bonhams, November 18, will present Property from the Estate of John A. Traina Jr. Mr. Traina was a well-known businessman, entrepreneur, collector and bon vivant who was renowned for his impeccable style and limitless charm. As a serious collector of fine art, antiques, designer decor, natural curiosities and objet d'art, he curated a collection that was the epitome of worldly elegance and San Francisco chic.

Special highlights from the Estate will include a pair of fourth-quarter 20th century Neoclassical style gilt-bronze-mounted rock crystal obelisks (est. $1,800-2,500); two faux narwhal tusks on stands, attributed to Tony Duquette (est. $1,600-2,500); a 20th century contemporary Baroque style giltwood and parcel ebonized side table (est. $1,000-1,500); and a pair of giltwood masks of Kannon (est. $1,000-1,500).

Property from the Estate of Gloria Lowengart, San Francisco, will also highlight the sale. Ms. Lowengart hired Sister Parish to design the interior of her Pacific Heights home in the early 1980s. Sister Parish (Dorothy May Kinnicutt), 1910-1994, was a most important American interior designer who decorated the family rooms of the White House for former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy. Comfort, class and charm are signature trademarks of the Parish look. Items from this Estate will include a Pleyel mahogany cased grand piano (est. $4,000-6,000); two separate lots of Sister Parish floral chintz drapery panels (each est. $800-1,200); as well as contemporary furniture and lighting fixtures and Chinese-style porcelain vases of varying estimates.

Also featured in the auction will be Property from the Estate of Charles and Eleanor de Limur, San Francisco. Items are from a collection the de Limur's started two generations ago, and most were acquired during the de Limur's long tenure living in Paris at the Palais Royale in the 1960s. Items on offer will include a Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec lithograph, "Brandes et la Bargy, dans Cabotins," (est. $2,500-3,500); a pair of early-20th century carved jade elephants (est. $2,000-3,000); an 18th century fine famille rose enamelled porcelain vase, Qing dynasty (est. $2,000-3,000); a German 800 standard silver large cartouche form table box with panel decoration of putti at various pursuits (est. $2,000-2,500); and a fourth quarter 19th century Louis XV/XVI transitional style gilt bronze mounted walnut commode (est. $1,000-1,500).

Top highlights of Property from a Private San Francisco Estate, whose residuary beneficiaries include the California Pacific Medical Centre Foundation, will be on offer, including a first-quarter 19th century Empire gilt bronze and brass mounted mahogany vitrine cabinet and 20th century console table (est. $2,500-3,500); an early 19th century Empire mahogany bergere en gondole (est. $1,200-1,800); and a French Baroque walnut dough box on stand and a Louis XVI iron mounted walnut panetiere (est. $1,000-1,500). Additional highlights will include a fourth-quarter 20th century Michael Taylor Romanesque style cast stone and glass table (est. $800-1,200); an assembled suite of engraved glass stemware with Russian motifs (est. $800-1,200); and a pair of 18th century Baroque walnut over-door figural panels emblematic of Justice and Liberty (est. $800-1,200).

Souvenirs of the Grand Tour, including The Collection of Joseph Klein (1899-1987), will showcase examples of objects after the "antique," purchased by travellers in Europe on their obligatory "grand tour," including a large selection of bronze decorations, antiquities and vessels. Of interest to be offered is a patinated bronze model of the tomb of Henry IV the Righteous (Henryk IV Probus) (c. 1258–1290), High Duke of Poland second-half 19th century ($500–700).

The sale will also offer a second round of first-time offerings from the collection of San Franciscan real estate developer, cabinet maker and aspiring concert pianist Ronald Antonioli. Property from the Ronald F. Antonioli Collection will include a Baroque style cast stone and granite garden table (est. $2,000-3,000); a 20th century Italian Baroque style walnut and mixed wood bibliotheque (est. $1,500-2,500); and a pair of Contemporary claret and white Fortuny style silk upholstered club chairs (est. $800-1,200), among many other items.

Rounding out the sale will be highlights from the various owners portion of the sale, including Serge Ivanoff's "The Spanish dancer," (est. $10,000–15,000); a Selden Connor Gile watercolour on paper, "Mule team descending a hill," 1931 (est. $2,000-3,000); a late 19th century French gilt bronze and porcelain censer (est. $1,200-1,800); and a pair of first-half 20th century Renaissance style patinated bronze and rouge griotte figures: Venus and Thor (est. $800-1,200).

The sale's illustrated catalogue will be available online in the weeks preceding it, for review and purchase at

Auction Preview: November 16-18, San Francisco
Auction: November 18, San Francisco


Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son & Neale. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street and Knightsbridge; and a further three in the UK regions and Scotland. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Connecticut in the USA; and Germany, France, Monaco, Hong Kong and Australia. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to

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