Sotheby’s announces that it will offer men’s accessories and watches from the collection of the late John Traina this December in New York. Mr. Traina was a shipping executive, vintner, noted collector, author and a mainstay of San Francisco society, legendary for his great style and warm personality. Sotheby’s will offer 92 lots of jeweled dress sets and cufflinks, cigarette cases and objets d’art from Mr. Traina’s personal collection in the single-owner sale The Elegant John Traina – A Portrait in Style on 7 December, featuring designs by Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Harry Winston, Schlumberger, David Webb, Bulgari, Verdura and Taffin. In addition, a selection of pocket watches and wristwatches from Mr. Traina’s collection will be featured in the sale of Important Watches & Clocks on 6 December. Both sales will be on exhibition in Sotheby’s York Avenue galleries beginning 3 December, alongside the annual auction of Magnificent Jewels.
18 Karat Gold, Sapphire and Emerald Dress Set, Harry Winston, comprising a pair of cufflinks and three studs (Est. $20,000-30,000) and 18 Karat Gold and Sapphire Cigarette Case, Van Cleef & Arpels, Paris, Circa 1935 (Est. $20,000-30,000). Photo: Sotheby’s.
“It is a privilege for Sotheby’s to present a selection of John Traina’s jeweled accessories at auction this December,” commented Lisa Hubbard, Sotheby’s Chairman, North & South America, International Jewelry Division. “John’s collection is a testimony to a man with effortless style and a boundless zest for life. He was the ultimate connoisseur of beautiful objects, and the pieces he wore, whether formal or more whimsical in design, are a reminder that the occasion still exists for a man to dress elegantly.”
Mr. Traina’s son Trevor Traina said, “Our father was a beloved figure and a San Francisco icon. His elegance was both legendary and innate, and I hope that this auction will help his personality and style to inspire a new generation of collectors.”
Mr. Traina’s daughter Samantha Traina added, “He was driven by his sense of adventure and curiosity to discover captivating stories and exotic treasures. Our father’s interest in finding rare pieces went beyond their obvious beauty, as he was inspired equally by the history and legacy behind each of his collections.”
Born in San Francisco, John Traina grew up with a mother who loved opera and a father whose candy business was sold to See’s Candies just before the 1906 earthquake. After graduating from Stanford, Mr. Traina worked as a shipping executive for American President Lines and Prudential Cruises, before founding Pearl Cruises – the first western cruise line to travel to China. Mr. Traina was married to Diane “Dede” Buchanan Wilsey, and later to author Danielle Steel.
Mr. Traina began collecting early, first as a child with armies of toy soldiers, and later as an adult with jewels and Fabergé. He was fascinated by the great design houses, as well as jewels with storied owners. He shared his fascination in writing, with Extraordinary Jewels published in 1994 and The Fabergé Case: From the Private Collection of John Traina in 1998. Mr. Traina’s collection of Fabergé cigarette cases was the largest in the world at one time, and he lent several to the 1996 exhibition Fabergé in America at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The Elegant John Traina – A Portrait in Style – 7 December 2011
The dress sets, cufflinks, cigarette cases and Fabergé-like items on offer in the December single-owner sale of John Traina’s collection reflect a man of great style and flair. Highlights from the many pieces that showcase Mr. Traina’s passion for celebrated design houses include: a Platinum, Cabochon Sapphire and Diamond Dress Set, Cartier, Paris, circa 1920, comprising a pair of cufflinks, four buttons and two studs, in a signed and fitted box (est. $10/15,000*); an 18 Karat Gold, Sapphire and Emerald Dress Set, Harry Winston, comprising a pair of cufflinks and three studs (est. $20/30,000); and an 18 Karat Gold, Diamond and Enamel “Night and Day” Dress Set, Verdura, comprising a pair of cufflinks and four studs (est. $2/3,000).
The sale will also offer pieces from Mr. Traina’s famed collection of cigarette cases, featuring: an 18 Karat Gold and Emerald Cigarette Case, French, circa 1940 (est. $25,000-35,000); an 18 Karat Gold and Sapphire Cigarette Case, Van Cleef & Arpels, Paris, circa 1935 (est. $20/30,000); and a Platinum, Agate, Sapphire and Diamond Cigarette Case, Cartier, New York, circa 1920 (est. $5/7,000).
Important Watches & Clocks – 6 December 2011
Pocket watches and wristwatches from John Traina’s collection will be offered as part of the Important Watches & Clocks sale the previous day. The group will be highlighted by a number of beautiful Cartier pocket watches, including an 18 Karat Yellow Gold Ruby-Set Open-Faced Watch With Chain, circa 1925 (est. $8/12,000); an 18 Karat Yellow Gold, Onyx and Enamel Square Open-Faced Watch, circa 1920 (pictured right, est. $8/12,000); and a Fine and Rare Rock Crystal, Platinum, Gold and Enamel Open-Faced Diamond-Set Watch, circa 1925 (est. $10/15,000).