Property from the Estate of San Francisco socialite John Traina leads November Period Art & Design auction at Bonhams

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, presented Property from the Estate of John A. Traina Jr., a well-known businessman, entrepreneur, collector and bon vivant, 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. Highlights from the Estate included a 20th century, patinated bronze portrait bust of Czar Nicholas II, after a model by Leopold Bernhard Bernstamm, after the Sèvres model, sold for $6,875 (est. $2,500-3,500); a pair of fourth-quarter 20th century, Neoclassical style, gilt bronze mounted rock crystal obelisks, sold for $6,875 (est. $1,800-2,500); a second-half 19th century, Grand Tour, gilt bronze souvenir of the Egyptian Obelisk of Luxor in the Place de la Concorde, Paris, sold for $3,500 (est. $1,500-2,500); and a Pierre Marie Brisson mixed media on canvas "Manger de cravate," sold for $2,375 (est. $800-1,200).

Property from the Estate of Gloria Lowengart, San Francisco, also stood out in 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. Top lots from the Estate included a pair of contemporary patinated copper and mixed metal pendant lighting fixtures, sold for $750 (est. $400-600); 15 volumes of fine bindings by Alexandre Dumas, 1984, sold for $525 (est. $100-200); a group of four, Sister Parish, floral chintz drapery panels, printed with tropical lilies on off-white vermicile pattern ground, sold for $500; and a group of eight, Sister Parish, floral chintz drapery panels and four valances, printed with blue hydrangeas on yellow striped ground, sold for $500.

Also important in the auction was Property from the Estate of Charles and Eleanor de Limur, San Francisco. Items were 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. Highlights included a Hercules Brabazon Brabazon pencil and watercolour of "Santa Maria della Salute, Venice," sold for $3,750 (est. $1,200-1,800); an attributed to Hercules Brabazon Brabazon of "A North African street scene," sold for $3,250 (est. $800-1,200); 18 Minton bone china dinner plates and 17 matching salad plates, featuring Neoclassical-style, raised gilt acanthus scrollwork, laurel garlands and beeded festoons, retailed by Davis Collamore & Co. Ltd., New York, 1915, sold for $2,750 (est. $500-700); 12 Ludwigsburg porcelain plates, circa 1770, painted with different lively port scenes, sold for $2,250 (est. $800-1,200); a German 800 standard silver large cartouche form table box, with panel decoration of putti at various pursuits, by Storck & Sinsheimer, Hanau, first-quarter 20th century, sold for $2,000; and a second-half 18th century, Continental soft paste porcelain barrel-form covered hot milk pitcher, sold for $2,000 (est. $100-200).

Top lots of Property from a Private San Francisco Estate, whose residuary beneficiaries include the California Pacific Medical Centre Foundation, included a pair of 19th century, Louis XVI style, gilt bronze three-light bras de lumière, each in the form of a quiver of arrows with mask of Diana, issuing three leaf cast candlearms, sold for $4,000 (est. $600-800); a pair of 20th century, Empire style, gilt bronze, navette form brûle parfume on marble plinths, sold for $3,500 (est. $700-900); and five late 20th century, malachite table boxes and an obelisk, sold for $2,000 (est. $300-500).

Souvenirs of the Grand Tour, including The Collection of Joseph Klein (1899-1987), showcased 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 were two, 19th century, Italian Grand Tour patinated bronze figures, after the antique, sold for $2,500 (est. $600-800); a pair of first-half 20th century, patinated bronze and marble allegorical figures of Night and Day, in the manner of Michelangelo, sold for $2,500 (est. $700-900); and a group of 12 antiquities: including an Egyptian faience triad amulet with modern 14k gold mount; Egyptian faience amulet of Taueret the hippopotamus Goddess, with modern 14k gold mount; three classical terracotta heads; a Greek terracotta figure; Western Asiatic gold earring with bronze core, and five other items, sold for $2,500 (est. $600-800).

Notable lots of European paintings included an 18th Century, oil on canvas Italian School of "Figures by a stream amongst classical ruins" and a companion painting, sold for $5,000; a follower of Giovanni Francesco Barbieri (il Guercino) oil on canvas of "The vision of Saint Jerome," sold for $2,500; and a follower of Sir John Everett Millais, PRA oil on canvas of "Darning a sock," sold for $2,500.

American art highlights included an Abel George Warshawsky oil on panel of "Village homes," sold for $3,750 and a Circle of Sanford Robinson Gifford oil on canvas of "Mountains and lake in autumn," sold for $2,500.

Comprising Modern & Contemporary works of mention were a François Gall oil on panel of "Eugénie assise, plage d'Arcachon," 1951, sold for $4,750 (est. $2,000-3,000); a Michael Bergt bronze with steel base of "Man," 2000, sold for $4,500 (est. $2,000-3,000); a Lundy Siegriest oil on canvas of "Cows in a pasture," 1982-84, sold for $4,375 (est. $800-1,200); a François Gall oil on masonite of "Eugénie et ses enfants, plage d'Arcachon," 1951, sold for $2,750; a Jacob A. Pfeiffer oil on panel of "Self reflection," 1999, sold for $2,750 (est. $800-1,200); and a Richard Burlet collage and mixed media on canvas of "Titian," sold for $2,750 (est. $1,500-2,500).

Rounding out the sale were furniture and decorative arts highlights, such as a pair of first-half 20th century, Renaissance style, patinated bronze and rouge griotte figures of Venus and Vulcan (Vulcan probably after a model by Tiziano Aspetti), sold for $5,250 (est. $800-1,200), and a late 17th/early 18th century Aubusson or Felletin verdure tapestry, sold for $3,500. Rugs and carpets also sold well, with such highlights as an Heriz carpet, sold for $5,250, and a Chinese carpet, sold for $2,500.


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