Trabert & Hoeffer to Close Last-Standing Store

IndependentsApr 26, 2019

Trabert & Hoeffer to Close Last-Standing Store

The store, which is located in Chicago, will put a portion of its inventory up for auction ahead of its closing in June.

This diamond and pink tourmaline brooch is expected to bring between $15,000 to $20,000 at auction this May.

Chicago—Trabert & Hoeffer is set to close its last-standing location in Chicago in June as its owner prepares for retirement, the jewelry store announced earlier this month.

Its first store opened on New York’s Park Avenue in the 1930s, later expanding to Palm Beach, Florida; Beverly Hills, California; Atlantic City, New Jersey; and Chicago.

Chicago native Don Levinson bought the location in 1968, importing designs from Europe and Asia and adding more Swiss watches to the inventory.

The store is known for its elaborate, seasonal window displays, draping fine jewelry over pumpkins or ice skates.

Originally located on Michigan Avenue, Trabert & Hoeffer moved to East Oak Street in 1995, but has never strayed far from the Magnificent Mile, the Midwest equivalent of New York’s Fifth Avenue.

Ahead of its June closing, the retailer will partner with Hindman LLC, which owns auction houses Leslie Hindman Auctioneers and Cowan’s Auctions, to sell some of its inventory.

“After more than 50 years with Trabert & Hoeffer, it’s time for me to announce my retirement and I can’t think of a better partner than Hindman to move the store’s spectacular inventory,” Levinson said in a statement announcing the store’s closure.

Assisting with the sale is Katie Guilbault, director and senior specialist of fine jewelry and timepieces at Hindman and a former Trabert & Hoeffer employee with a familial connection to the store. Her grandfather owned the Chicago Trabert & Hoeffer and was the one who sold it to Levinson in the late ‘60s.

She got her start at the store, working with Levinson for nearly eight years as a sales associate and appraiser.

“We have a lot of happy memories. A lot of people do,” said Guilbault, who described being a part of the end of the store’s legacy as “bittersweet.”

She recounted the loyal customers who would visit year after year, commemorating birthdays and anniversaries with a special something from the store.

Guilbault also is familiar with the store’s inventory and has a hunch about which pieces will be showstoppers at auction.

The inventory includes pieces that were created via a partnership with acclaimed Parisian jeweler Mauboussin, which also sold the store some of its inventory when it decided to close its New York location.

Some designs created in the 1930s through the early 1950s feature a Trabert & Hoeffer/Mauboussin stamp, which Guilbault said could draw buyers.

A Retro platinum, diamond and pink tourmaline brooch by Trabert & Hoeffer/Mauboussin valued between
$15,000 and $20,000 is expected to be an auction standout.

Another auction highlight is a 6.11-carat marquise-cut diamond ring that is D, IF and valued between $280,000 and $380,000.

The jewelry auction will also feature about 200 original, hand-colored drawings of custom design pieces, some marked up with notes from the designer and comments from customers.

“These pieces truly are incredible and I’m grateful they will find homes with collectors who understand and appreciate this brand’s unmatched quality and expansive legacy,” Levinson said in the statement.

The sale, featuring more than 340 lots, will be held at Hindman’s Chicago headquarters on May 15.

Collectors can preview the offerings in New York from April 30 to May 1, in Atlanta on May 3, and in Chicago May 10-May 15.

To schedule an appointment, contact Leslie Hindman Auctioneers at 312-280-1212 or visit the auction house’s website.
Lenore Fedowis the associate editor, news at National Jeweler, covering the retail beat and the business side of jewelry.

The Latest

Elton John’s leopard print Rolex Daytona watch
AuctionsFeb 22, 2024
Elton John’s Leopard-Print Rolex Roars at Auction

Two Cartier watches also topped their estimates at Christie’s “The Collection of Sir Elton John: Goodbye Peachtree Road” evening sale.

Buccellati header
TrendsFeb 22, 2024
Buccellati to Open ‘Prince of Goldsmiths’ Exhibition

Set to be held in Venice, it’s a look through the maison’s history.

813-carat “Constellation” diamond in rough form
SourcingFeb 22, 2024
Lucara, HB Group Partnership Revived

It is another 10-year sales agreement in which all the larger rough recovered from the Karowe mine will go to HB Group for manufacturing.

GIA id100
Brought to you by
Full Disclosure at Your Fingertips

Distinguishing natural diamonds from laboratory-grown stones – now more available than ever – has been difficult for jewelers. Until now.

Sebastian Clarke and Katherine van Dell of Heritage Auctions
AuctionsFeb 22, 2024
Heritage Auctions Adds 2 New Hires to West Palm Beach Office

Sebastian Clarke and Katherine van Dell, frequent appraisers on “Antiques Roadshow,” will join the new office.

Weekly QuizFeb 22, 2024
This Week’s Quiz
Test your jewelry news knowledge with this short test.
Take the Quiz
National Jeweler columnist Sherry Smith
ColumnistsFeb 21, 2024
On Data: January Was a ‘Mixed Bag’ for Independent Jewelers

Sherry Smith dishes on the month’s highs and lows and the two categories consumers were loving ahead of Valentine’s Day.

Stock image of diamonds
GradingFeb 21, 2024
GIA’s Same-Day Service Now Available Everywhere

The new service, introduced to stem fraud related to lab-grown diamonds, will be offered at no cost for the time being.

flashforge pic.png
Brought to you by
WaxJet: Revolution in Jewelry Manufacturing

The WaxJet 400, recognized as the world's fastest wax printer, is bringing in a new era of precision and efficiency to industry.

Jam + Rico Claire’s jewelry
CollectionsFeb 21, 2024
Jam + Rico Debuts Second Claire’s Collection

Founder Lisette Scott was inspired by the intricacy, colors, and symbolism of African art and architecture.

Rapaport logo
SourcingFeb 21, 2024
Rapaport to Hold Another Natural Pearl Auction

Viewings start this week in New York and bidding will close on March 8.

National Jeweler columnist Peter Smith
ColumnistsFeb 20, 2024
Squirrel Spotting: Life After Rolex

Peter Smith shares advice from independent jewelers who used losing this cornerstone brand as a catalyst for reinvention.

Neile Adams McQueen and Steve McQueen
AuctionsFeb 20, 2024
Jewels from Neile Adams McQueen Shine at Bonhams

All 13 lots belonging to the actress and first wife of Steve McQueen sold at the recent “California Jewels” sale.

Stuller bench jeweler
Events & AwardsFeb 20, 2024
Stuller to Host Bench Jeweler Workshop in March

Registration is also open for its “Battle of the Benches” challenge.

Jade Ruzzo gold and diamond Tennessee Torque necklace
CollectionsFeb 16, 2024
Piece of the Week: Jade Ruzzo’s Tribute to Tennessee

The movement of the 18-karat gold and diamond “Tennessee Torque” necklace is subtle.

Jared Goff and Claudia Cividino
MajorsFeb 15, 2024
Detroit Lions’ QB Jared Goff Going to Jared

Goff, whose fans hold up “He Went to Jared” signs at games, has signed a partnership with the retailer.

De Beers Venetia diamond mine
SourcingFeb 15, 2024
De Beers’ Production Down 8% in 2023

The company recovered 31.9 million carats of diamonds in 2023, compared with 34.6 million in 2022.

Gina D’Onofrio Heritage Auctions
AuctionsFeb 15, 2024
Heritage Auctions Names New Co-Director of Fine Jewelry

Industry veteran Gina D’Onofrio has rejoined the auction house.

Indian Diamond and Colorstone Association (IDCA) awards
Events & AwardsFeb 15, 2024
IDCA Hands Out Awards in Tucson

The association also celebrated its 40th anniversary.

A selection of engagement rings
TrendsFeb 14, 2024
5 Engagement Ring Trends for 2024

From three-stone rings to fancy shapes, experts weigh in on what consumers could be looking for this year.

Boucheron Power of Couture
CollectionsFeb 14, 2024
Boucheron’s New High Jewelry Collection Pays Homage to Ceremony, History

“Power of Couture” recalls Frédéric Boucheron’s love of fabric using diamonds and rock crystal.

Rough diamonds from Gahcho Kue diamond mine
SourcingFeb 14, 2024
De Beers’ Rough Diamond Sales Improve Slightly

The diamond miner and marketer said “solid” holiday sales in the U.S. helped stabilize the industry.

Jonker I Diamonds
SourcingFeb 14, 2024
‘100 Carats’ Exhibition Opens at LA Museum

A new display at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County features dozens of gemstones each weighing 100 carats or more.

Grand Seiko New York City flagship
WatchesFeb 14, 2024
See Inside Grand Seiko’s New NYC Flagship

Located on Madison Avenue, the store is its largest in the world.

GIA logo
GradingFeb 14, 2024
GIA Offering Discounts on Jade Reports

The 20 percent off promotion will run through March 31.

KIL Promotions NYC Spring Jewelry and Object Show
Events & AwardsFeb 14, 2024
KIL NYC Show Returns for Spring Edition

Its second trade event will feature vintage pieces and contemporary collections.

Lydia Courteille Lips ring
TrendsFeb 13, 2024
Amanda’s Style File: Symbols of Love

When it comes to Valentine’s Day jewels, the fun doesn’t stop at hearts.

Nana and Jennifer
Events & AwardsFeb 13, 2024
First Responders Win BIJC’s Second ‘Together by Design’ Contest

The couple won a bespoke engagement ring set with a 1.44-carat fancy yellow diamond and designed by Michael Hogan.


This site uses cookies to give you the best online experience. By continuing to use & browse this site, we assume you agree to our Privacy Policy