Great art comes down to us through many hands. Its past ownership, its provenance, offers not only proof of authenticity, but also a connection to history. The same is true of great houses, carrying their owners and inhabitants through time, accumulating the patina of history. Luxury Defined herewith offers a collection of elegant homes with great provenance. There’s a Devonshire manor house which, legend has it, was a refuge for a vanquished king; the rambling Reno estate where Clark Gable lived while making his last film, The Misfits; and, a Wyoming pioneer family’s homestead, today completely surrounded by Grand Teton National Park. Inherit the lustrous legacy of time, to live in luxury within.
Claudio Bravo Palace
The Chilean artist Claudio Bravo (1936-2011) lived in Morocco for three decades, dividing his time between Tangier, Marrakesh, and Taroudant. This property in Tangier was the inspiration for some of his most influential hyperrealist paintings. The setting is enchanting: a white colonial palace surrounded by 7.4 acres of verdant gardens overlooking the Strait of Gibraltar. The villa is not just a house, but also an homage to the artist who lived there. Much of the furniture that featured in many of his celebrated still life paintings, as well as the artist’s studio, including the jars for his paintbrushes, remain untouched. The main residence is complemented by several unique dwellings, offering a combined 23,680 square feet of living space with 10 bedrooms and 10 bathrooms. The gardens are a private sanctuary, graced with statuary, fountains, and two swimming pools.
Moulton Ranch Homestead
Moulton Ranch is unrivaled in its historical significance and setting. Situated in what is now known as the Mormon Row Historic District, the ranch is one of the last remaining private homesteads in Grand Teton National Park. While most of the original homesteaders sold their land to John D. Rockefeller, founder of the park conservancy, in the 1920s and ’30s, the Moulton family retained one acre of land. Today, the property is completely surrounded by Grand Teton National Park, making it effectively the “largest” single acre in the United States. The ranch is currently owned and operated by descendants of the original pioneers. The main residence, several charming guest cabins, a wooden barn and ranch buildings have been beautifully restored and renovated for the 21st century; the timeless landscape—beneath the majesty of the Grand Tetons—remains perfectly intact.
The history of Wyld Court is long and fascinating. The Elizabethan manor in the Devon countryside was built in 1553 on the site of a 12th-century medieval abbey. It is reputed that King Charles II spent a night at Wyld Court following defeat at the Battle of Worcester in 1651, just before fleeing to France. In 1880, a Victorian wing was incorporated into the main house. It is said that a young Thomas Hardy was involved in its construction, prior to embarking on his literary career. In recent years, Wyld Court has been impeccably restored. Many of the original Tudor details remain, such as the great hall and the “King’s Bedroom.” The nearly 17-acre grounds feature formal gardens, woodland, paddocks, stables, coach and carriage houses, several outbuildings, and a heated outdoor swimming pool.
The Harold Brown Villa
Newport, Rhode Island
This historic Newport estate was built as the summer “cottage” of American financier Harold Brown. The 19th-century house, the interiors, and the grounds are the creation of three notable architects, Dudley Newton, Ogden Codman, and the Olmsted, Olmsted & Eliot, respectively. In the 20th century, the estate was purchased by U.S. diplomat John J. Slocum and his wife, political hostess Eileen Gillespie Slocum, whose high-profile guests included the who’s who of Newport society and several U.S. presidents. The 14,000-square-foot, four-story manor house reflects the grandeur of the Gilded Age both inside and out. The imposing stone façade is built in the Anglo-Norman style, the interior is in the French Empire-style. Highlights include a marble stair hall with sweeping staircase, a mahogany-paneled library, banquet-sized dining room, an elevator, 12 bedrooms and 11 bathrooms.
The Basha Estate
Paradise Valley, Arizona
Built on land rich with history, this serene Paradise Valley estate was owned by scions of prominent Arizona mercantile family, the Bashas, known for their empire of more than 120 grocery stores. The centerpiece of the 1.3-acre property is a 9,430-square-foot Pueblo-inspired residence with breathtaking views of Camelback Mountain. Scottsdale architect Clay Scrivner designed the home with flowing indoor-outdoor living spaces infused with natural light. Gleaming wood floors and natural finishes create a neutral palette. There are four en suite bedrooms, including a master suite with a dressing room and luxurious split-level bathroom. The great room impresses with its monumental fireplace and wall of French doors, which open to the tranquil outdoor spaces: manicured lawns and cantera stone-tiled courtyard and terraces warmed by fireplaces.
Mid-Century Modern Estate
Combining elegance, grace, and provenance in a private, peaceful setting, this extraordinary property in Reno, Nevada, has been a gathering place for actors, writers, and musicians for over half a century. In 1960, it served as Clark Gable’s residence during the filming of The Misfits. The house and its sweeping 3.5 landscaped acres, with pool, tennis court, and guest cottage, hosted off-screen soirees for the film’s co-stars, Montgomery Clift and Marilyn Monroe, director, John Huston, and screenwriter Arthur Miller, Monroe’s then husband. The stylish, 6,000-square-foot mid-century modern home offers four bedrooms, five bathrooms, and sunlit reception rooms with views of the gardens and Sierra Nevada mountains in the distance.