Christie’s, marking its 250th anniversary throughout 2016, is the subject of a two-part BBC documentary Sold! Inside the World’s Biggest Auction House, airing on November 19 and 26 on the UK’s BBC Two. The film provides a unique behind-the-scenes look into the world’s leading art business, from high-profile art auctions at Christie’s London, New York, New York, Dubai, Hong Kong, and Shanghai salerooms to interviews with Christie’s staff, clients, collectors, journalists, and commentators. In keeping with Christie’s sestercentennial theme, Luxury Defined tours six homes from across the globe, all built in and around the year 1766, when James Christie opened the doors to his first saleroom in Pall Mall, London. Each of these magnificent properties is an exemplar of the architecture of the period—whether Colonial, Georgian or Provençal—albeit with luxurious 21st-century additions.
The Daniel Godfrey House
Weston, Connecticut This elegant, circa-1760 Colonial is a Weston, Connecticut, landmark set on nearly three park-like acres. A rare blend of period style and 21st-century convenience, it is sophisticated and completely updated with state-of-the-art systems (including a generator). Situated on a prestigious road a half mile from the center of town, the property has stone pathways and evergreen courtyards bordered by boxwoods as well as a private lawn leading to a vintage barn. With its multiple fireplaces, exposed wood beams, antique hardware, and double-hung six-over-six windows, this home exudes Colonial warmth and charm.
West Sussex, England
This circa-1750 Georgian manor sits amid nearly four acres in the tranquil West Sussex hamlet of Adversane. The property comprises a five-bedroom main house; a studio annex with planning permission; a three-car garage, and 3.78 acres of grounds. The main residence, Adversane House, has been beautifully refurbished whilst retaining such original period details as exposed beams, stone floors, and woodburning fireplaces. The ground floor appointments include a drawing room, oak-paneled dining room, farmhouse-style kitchen, wine cellar, and guest bedroom suite. A solid oak staircase leads to a galleried landing, the deluxe master suite, and three additional bedrooms. The mature grounds are composed of south-facing formal gardens, a heated pool and poolhouse, orchard, pond, and a vegetable patch. Equestrians will enjoy the adjoining paddock and private woodland with access to a bridleway for off-road riding.
Jewett Lane Jewel
Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts A stunning waterfront property, this Martha’s Vineyard home was built in 1768—originally as a tavern. Completely restored, it retains its Revolutionary War-era charm and character. With a weathered, cedar-shingle exterior and an expansive, water-facing front porch that provides views extending to East Chop lighthouse and beyond to Cape Cod, this is the ideal Vineyard beach house. Inside, period details such as wide plank floors, wainscoting, double-hung six-over-six sash windows, and a dining room fireplace round out this property’s special appeal.
Provence, France A true olive oil farm in Provence, this enchanting, 70-acre property includes a 1760 farmhouse built in the classic Provencal style with a cream stone facade and terra cotta tile roof. Exposed beams throughout the 10,764-square-foot residence lend period charm to the interior. The exquisite grounds include groves of olive trees (the oil is pressed in a mill on the property), as well as a tennis court and a pool with a stone waterfall. A covered dining terrace with a fireplace provides magnificent views of the Alpilles, a chain of low limestone mountains.
Midleton, County Cork, Ireland This fairy-tale, ivy-covered Georgian estate dates from 1770 and has been occupied by its current residents since 1959. Its 195-acre grounds house the main house with indoor pool and sauna, caretaker’s cottage and garages, coach house, two-story apartment with one bedroom, and lodge building with a kitchen and shower. Stables are complemented by a tack room and feed room as well as hay barns, workshops, and storage sheds. British landscape architect Russell Page designed the property’s walled garden and orchards.
Chelmsford, EnglandThis Grade II-listed, 1765 Georgian sits on four acres of formally landscaped grounds in a conservation area of Chelmsford, one of the most popular areas within commuting distance to London. Exceptionally well maintained, this grand property is fully restored and retains much of its original character and many period details. Its drawing room—one of its most endearing features—boasts high ceilings with crown moldings, a generous fireplace, double-hung sash windows, and double French doors that lead to a paved terrace. An annex erected during the Victorian era creates additional living space.