On November 13, Christie’s will open its highly anticipated Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale, featuring paintings, sculptures, and works on paper by the most important names in late-19th and early-20th-century art. Beginning in 1874 in Paris, the iconic Impressionist movement—led by seminal artists Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Camille Pissarro, Paul Cèzanne, and Edgar Degas—heralded the dawn of Modern Art. Impressionism’s influence spread across the cultural landscape, from art to classical music, while the architecture of the day witnessed its own dramatic revival. In this Luxury Defined collection, we tour six historic homes that capture the spirit of the age—la Belle Époque.
Killiney, County Dublin, Ireland Saintbury House is a fine Victorian villa on the southerly slopes of Killiney Hill Road, overlooking Killiney Bay. Built in the 1800s, the 4,413-square-foot, split-level house on three quarters of an acre has a unique provenance. It was the childhood home of Hollywood ingenue Maureen O'Sullivan who starred as Jane in the original Tarzan series, among her many other roles. The property is arrayed with details synonymous with a house of its era, including high ceilings, bay windows, internal door pediments, and decorative fireplaces. The five-bedroom residence includes a stunning double-aspect drawing room with a bay window facing the sea, a study, family room, kitchen/breakfast area, a music room, and planning permission to connect the house to the garage, extending the property by an additional 3,261 square feet.
Tunbridge Wells, England Summerhill House is an outstanding example of a double-fronted Victorian residence. Built circa 1860, the beautifully refurbished property offers four floors of immaculately presented living space and an attached guest cottage. Entered via a portico, the reception hall features a sweeping staircase and creates a striking first impression. Other stately period details include high ceilings, numerous bay windows with plantation-style shutters, attractive fireplaces, stripped wooden flooring, decorative architraves, and ceiling roses. The ground floor boasts four reception rooms and an impressive kitchen opening to the rear garden. The lower level houses a cinema and game room. There are eight bedrooms in total: the master suite and two en suite bedrooms on the second floor, three bedrooms on the top floor, and two bedrooms in the guest cottage.
Orvieto, Umbria, Italy
Built in the late 19th century, this hilltop estate overlooking the Umbrian city of Orvieto comprises a magnificent turreted villa, separate apartment, outbuilding, and classically inspired gardens. The property was completely restored in 2012 with great attention to detail. The main villa is laid out across four levels and is characterized by exposed beams and handmade terracotta-tile floors. The ground floor includes a vast entrance hall, kitchen, dining room, and two living rooms. The upper floors host a living room, office, five bedrooms, and four bathrooms. The property has been upgraded with heating, electrics, and plumbing, modern bathrooms, and several fireplaces. The surrounding parkland encompasses more than 10.5 acres graced with an Italian garden, olive grove, vineyard, and infinity pool.
Belle Époque Mansion
Saint-Cloud, Hauts-de-Seine, France Built in 1890, at the height of the Belle Époque, this elegant and luxuriously appointed estate just outside Paris encompasses three quarters of an acre of leafy gardens facing Saint-Cloud Park, in the exclusive Montretout neighborhood. The grand three-story house features decorative masonry and a classic mansard roof, offering 9,149 square feet of renovated living space. The ground floor boasts an entrance hall, a family kitchen, and a large reception room bathed in natural light, opening onto a beautiful entertaining terrace. The master suite and four bedrooms are situated on the second and third floors. The home’s ultra-luxurious lower level comprises a hammam, sauna, and fitness center. The grounds also include a spectacular indoor pool pavilion, several entertaining and dining areas, and a three-car garage.
Zelhem, Gelderland, Netherlands This unique Dutch farmhouse was constructed in 1870 and restored and renovated in 2001. The estate incorporates a main residence, carport, outbuildings, and a wildflower garden. The driveway passes through the bucolic landscape of the Achterhoek region. The 2,500-square-foot residence has a unique layout, combining historic details with cutting-edge design. The main floor comprises a large entrance hall, formal living room with original oak floors, a study, and modern open-plan kitchen. Designed to showcase the home’s original structural elements, the mezzanine features a suspended metal walkway that traveres rustic wooden trusses and beams, connecting the main living spaces to the private quarters. Additional amenities include a porch, entertaining terraces, and a separate two-car garage.
Belle Haven Estate
Greenwich, Connecticut This 19th-century shingle-style mansion rests on 2.19 acres overlooking Long Island Sound in the exclusive Greenwich enclave of Belle Haven. A double driveway leads past the parklike grounds to an elegant courtyard. At the entrance, a center hall is adorned with leaded glass windows, a coffered ceiling, and fireplace. French doors open to a cardroom with a fireplace. Other interior highlights include a banquet-sized dining room, a library, a country kitchen, and a glass-walled solarium with water views that opens to the gardens. Upstairs, the master suite boasts two fireplaces and is complemented by seven additional bedrooms. Outside is a pool house, heated pool, and hot tub surrounded by terraces.