Sotheby's First Home Auction in 20 Years
On May 31 antiques lovers and voyeurs can step inside Virginia billionaire-cum-winemaker Patricia Kluge's 45-room estate in Albermarle County, Va., for a peek at what could be theirs. Kluge's grand estate, Albermarle House, is on the market and she plans to sell off its contents during a two-day auction conducted by Sotheby's on June 8 and 9. Those who buy an auction catalog are welcome to the preview the auction items on-site in May.
"Albemarle House, [Kluge's] collaboration with designer David Easton, rejuvenated high-style country living in the United States in the English tradition, which had declined since the early 20th century," says Sotheby's Worldwide head of French, Continental and English furniture, Alistair Clarke.
Sotheby's will auction Kluge's entire collection within the house, much of which came from top dealers in the U.K. and private collections around the world, including Chinese paintings and works of art, books, sporting guns, jewels, lighting and decorative objects as well as designer gowns by Christian Lacroix and Givenchy. The Kluges' gilded life will be on the auction block.
The home itself is for sale, too. Kluge hasn't had any luck selling the 300-acre estate, which she originally listed for $100 million in October 2009. It's a wonder why she hasn't been more patient with the mansion and its 23,538-square-feet, eight-bedrooms and 13 baths. She recently reduced the price to $48 million after less than a year.
Gallery: Patricia Kluge's Albemarle House
"For the past three decades, building and maintaining this collection have been among my greatest joys," said Kluge. "Now, I look forward to sharing this very extraordinary collection with fellow collectors as I focus my energy on my new home, travel and expanding the business of Kluge Estate Winery and Vineyard."