Sis Frank Estate Auction Offers Chance To Support SJSA

St. John School of the Arts co-founder Sis Frank.

Don’t miss this year’s Evening in the Courtyard, on Friday, November 25, for the rare opportunity to acquire a piece of local history and support arts education on St. John.

Long-time St. John jewelers Rudy and Irene Patton of R&I Patton, are hosting the Sis Frank Estate Auction during Mongoose Junction’s annual holiday kick-off event. All proceeds from the sale will benefit the St. John School of the Arts, which Frank co-founded in 1971.

The evening also marks one year to day on which Frank passed, leaving behind a legacy of arts education and community stewardship.

Frank also left behind an extensive collection of jewelry, tableware, collectibles, medals, silverware and more, which will be auctioned off to ensure that her legacy continues through funding SJSA’s many programs, classes and scholarships.

“Sis wanted the arts school to have these items of hers so that we could sell them and raise much needed funds for our programming and scholarships,” said SJSA acting director Kim Wild. “I can’t think of a better way to give the community the opportunity to have something that belonged to Sis. And they’re not only buying something that means something to them on a personal level, but also giving to the arts school.”

“At this auction, you are giving and receiving,” said Wild. “To me, that’s shopping done right.”

In addition to the live silent auction on November 25, about 80 pieces of tableware and collectibles will be available through an online auction which kicks off on Tuesday, November 8.

Go to, peruse the collection and make a bid before midnight on Thursday, November 24. Any items which do not sell during the on-line auction will be added to the live silent auction on November 25.

“Kim came to me with all this last summer and it occurred to me that we could make it a benefit for the SJSA during the Evening in the Courtyard at Mongoose,” said Irene Patton. “She decided to do the online auction so that friends of Sis’ who are off island could bid too.”

14k yellow and white gold lady’s ring set with 16.3mm cultured pearl and 8 genuine diamonds.  One prong missing from pearl setting of 8 prongs.  Diamond total weight is 0.40ct and are old mine cuts.

Diamond and emerald ring:  center diamond genuine “cognac” fancy brown color, pear shape, approximately 1 carat.  Eleven emeralds around center are 2.3mm each, approximately 0.50ctw, rich color and very brilliant.  Surrounding diamonds are brilliant cut, 0.30ctw.  Ring size is 5 ½.

Wild approached the Pattons to help appraise Frank’s inimitable collection, which ranges from fashion jewelry of the 1940s to medals from the Opium Wars.

“Her estate is quite an insight into her life and travels,” said Irene Patton. “I wish I had known more when I was appraising the jewelry pieces, her travels, where she got all the charms that are on the huge, personal, gold charm bracelet. It represents the life of an artist and musician who came from an accomplished family.”

“Our training with the Gemological Institute of America gave us the background to do the appraisals,” said Patton. “Our job at R&I Patton was to sort through all the things, decide what was precious and what was collectible and then categorize all the jewelry and silver, personal items and such into groups, photo and appraise them, finding out as much as possible about each item. An overwhelming job!”


Luckily for the Pattons, they weren’t alone in the effort. In addition to their skilled staff who helped categorize and photograph the work, colleagues on St. Thomas helped appraise diamonds and gemstones, explained Patton.


“We have had so much help — a true community effort,” she said.

Frank’s collection truly reflects her adventure-filled life and long family history. Among items in the online auction is Frank’s collection of Danish silverware as well as tableware from her grandmother, explained Patton.

“There are approximately 80 items in the online sale,” she said. “Sis had a beautiful collection of silverware that she used every day, made in Denmark.  Then there are annotated spoon collections from as far back as her great grandmother who was born in 1844 and there is a heavy silver fork that her grandfather used every day.”

The online auction will also feature silver souvenir spoons, Mexican silver tableware, salt bowls, pepper shakers, serving pieces and more.

Among Frank’s large collection, Patton delighted in researching several unique items.

“One category we enjoyed researching the most was the medals passed down from family members,” she said. “There are two silver and two bronze medals commemorating service in the Opium Wars with China in the 1860s. There is a medal from a transatlantic cruise in 1952 on the ‘Antilles’ and a lovely medal of merit from the Art League of New York engraved with her mother’s name.”

The live auction will feature many items, which also depends on the on-line sale activity, but will focus on Frank’s jewelry collection. From mourning jewelry engraved with family member’s names and dates of passing, to fashion pieces from 1940s and gemstone-crusted watches, the live auction will feature something sure to interest all bidders.

“One of the most wonderful things is a miniature steel pan set of earrings and pendant handmade, probably in Trinidad,” said Patton. “ I remember when she started Steel Unlimited for the kids and how they traveled all over with their music.”

Of course, the sale would not be complete without Frank’s pearls, her signature pieces.

“There are the pearls, her signature,” said Patton. “There is a set of faux pearls from the Jackie K. Onassis collection and many earrings and bead necklaces that will be available for people to own themselves, all at very affordable prices, all donations for the SJSA.”

Frank’s collection is so extensive, prices literally range from $10 to several thousand dollars, Patton added.
“Prices for the on-line auction range from $30 to several thousand,” she said. “Prices at the silent auction with start with lots as low as $10 and go up as high as several hundred.”

Both the on-line sale — which runs from Tuesday, November 8, through Thursday, November 24 — and live silent auction on Friday, November 25, are not to be missed.

“Sis had such an amazing life and was such a good example for our community,” said Patton. “We are so thrilled to be a part of it.”

And in the true spirit of the evening, the Pattons refused any payment for their time.

“All our work is donated so that the maximum amount of money can be realized for the school,” said Patton.

To view on-line auction items go to For more information about SJSA call the school at 779-4322. The live silent auction will run from 5 to 8:30 p.m. at R&I Patton on November 25, with the winners to be announced at 9 p.m.