Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Susan Gutfreund Lists Apartment for $120 Million

Susan Gutfreund at the doors to her
Winter Garden room at 834 Fifth Avenue.
Photo: Veranda
Considered by many to be Manhattan's most luxurious co-op apartment, Susan Gutfreund's duplex at 834 Fifth Avenue has hit the market with a listing price of $120 million.
The Entrance Hall of the Gutfreund apartment
at 834 Fifth Avenue.
Photo: NYSD.
The widow of John Gutfreund, dubbed "The King of Wall Street" and former CEO of Saloman Brothers investment bank until a trading scandal forced his resignation in 1991, is apparently looking to down-size after her husband's death last month.
Floor plans of the Gutfreund apartment
from the Brown Harris Stevens listing, April, 2016.
Image: BHS
The apartment was decorated with the guidance of the legendary designer Henri Samuel whose influence can be seen especially in the Winter Garden, a reception room at the southwest corner of the entrance level.
The room known as the Winter Garden
in the Gutfreund apartment.
Photo: NYSD
The building is one of Manhattan's most prestigious addresses.  Designed by architect Rosario Candela in 1929, it was completed in 1931.
Views of the Winter Garden, Library, Living Room,
and Gallery Entrance Hall in the Gutfreund
apartment at 834 Fifth Avenue.
Image: The Real Deal
There are twenty four apartments on 16 floors with luxurious, well thought out, floor plans.  It is thought that the building's board requires that sales are all cash; no mortgages are allowed.
The Dining Room of the Gutfreund apartment
at 834 Fifth Avenue, NYC.
Photo: NYSD
More photos from the 2008 New York Social Diary post may be seen here.  The listing by Brown Harris Stevens may be viewed here.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Notable Homes: Bernard Boutet de Monvel at 11 passage de la Visitation

"Autoportrait Place Vendome" 1932.
Lot 25, Sale PF1639.
Image via Sotheby's.
Those who admire small but chic homes are familiar with La Folie Monvel, the Palm Beach pavilion that was the result of the collaboration of artist Bernard Boutet de Monvel and architect Maurice Fatio.  (If not, see here, and about his Moulin de Launoy here.).  The Florida pavilion was sold in 1949, just months before Boutet de Monvel's death in a plane crash, as the artist wanted to return to his home in Paris after WWII.

The Paris residence of Bernard Boutet de Monvel.
Image via Sotheby's.
The early 19th century hotel particulier in the heart of the Faubourg Saint Germain was bought by Bernard Boutet de Monvel in 1924.  He called on his friend Louis Süe, the artist-architect-decorator co-founder of Compagnie des arts francais, with whom he had participated with on the residence of Jean Patou, to collaborate on the transformation of the interior to reflect Boutet de Monvel's aesthetic, a combination of the neo-classical tradition and the modernity of Art Deco.

The staircase in the Boutet de Monvel residence
at 11 passage de la Visitation, Paris.
Image via Sotheby's.
After  Bernard Boutet de Monvel's death, his wife and daughter continued to live in the house.  Almost no changes were made until just recently; the painter's grandchildren sold the art and furnishings of the mansion at an auction at Sotheby's, Paris, April 5 & 6, 2016.  The catalog with sales results may be seen here.

The Entrance Hall of the Boutet de Monvel residence.
Image via Sotheby's.
In the Entrance Hall, a phonograph cabinet, Lot 71 in the sale, painted by Bernard Boutet de Monvel is an example of his taste in modern classicism.  Above, a Charles X period barometer, Lot 68, is decorated with verre églomisé dates from circa 1830.

A writing table by Jean-Michel Frank.
Image via Sotheby's.
An ebonized writing table with an inset leather top, Lot 75, is branded and numbered by Jean-Michel Frank as "made in France JMFrank, Chanaux and co" 19086,

The Dining Room of the
Boutet de Monvel residence, Paris.
Photo AD France via Sotheby's.
The octagonal dining table, Lot 78, was made for the octagonal dining room to a design by Bernard Boutet de Monvel about 1927.  Two others were made from this same design, one for Mrs. A Steward Walker of Southampton, and one for Mr. William K. Vanderbilt, II.

Bernard de Monvel's drawing of the dining room
"Salle a manger de hotel particulier de l'artiste"
for Harper's Bazaar, 1927.
Image via Sotheby's
The Murano glass chandelier, circa 1920, was grouped with a Venetian wall light as Lot 82.

Dining chairs designed by Boutet de Monvel.
Image via Sotheby's.
The set of 12 dining chairs was designed circa 1920 to 1925 by Boutet de Monvel for his previous residence on Rue Monsieur.  Listed as Lot 77, they are made of ebonized wood with tapestry seat covers in various fruit motifs.  One of the chairs can be seen in an important portrait of the artist's wife, Delfina Boutet de Monvel (from the Edwards family of Chili).

The Grand Salon in the Boutet de Monvel
residence, Paris.
Image via Sotheby's.
With its black lacquer papier maché suite of Napoleon III furniture, the Grand Salon has more of a feel for Parisian middle class comfort than some of the more high style spaces in the house.

A black silk sofa, circa 1920 to 1925.
Image via Sotheby's.
A standout among the furnishings of the Grand Salon is a grand canapé, Lot 93, in black silk believed to have been made by La Compagnie des Arts Francais in the first half of the 1920s for the former residence on rue Monsieur.  A similar sofa was made by Louis Süe for Jean Patou.

A view of the Library that appeared in
Plaisir de France, May 1951.
Image via Sotheby's.
In the lacquered Library, fretwork doors covered the bookshelves.  A pair of allegorical panels almost four feet square painted by Boutet de Monvel provided the primary decoration.  One panel represented his wife, Delfina, with fruits from South America, a guitar, a globe and books which reflect her Chilian origin.

One of a pair of painted allegorical panels, Lot 109.
Image via Sotheby's.
The other panel, shown above the fireplace in the view of the Library, represented the painter, showing his palette, ruler, T-square, and compass. 

The 19th century mantel clock in the Library, Lot 107.
Image via Sotheby's.
This mantel clock also appears in the view of the Library.  Made of gilt-bronze and black marble, the Restauration period clock, after a model by the bronzier Jean-André Reiche, was the inspiration for a painting of his daughter Sylvie and her dog Champagne.

The Boudoir in 1927.
Image via Sotheby's.
The Boudoir of Madame Boutet de Monvel is another room with architecture that illustrated a modern interpretation of classicism with long lengths of mirror representing the shaft of pilasters lining the space.

Chairs and table in the Boudoir,
Lots 120 and 121.
Image via Sotheby's.
The vintage view of the Boudoir shows part of the set of four black lacquered fauteuils from the Directoire period, late 19th century, and a birds eye maple and ebonized wood guéridon from the Charles X period, circa 1830.

A view of the sitting room of daughter Sylvie
from Plasir de France, May 1951.
Image via Sotheby's.

The center table, Lot 145.
Image via Sotheby's.
One of the most charming of the antiques is the ebonized and mahogany guéridon with stylized alligators emerging from cattails, Italian, circa 1830; the marble top may be a replacement.

The chandelier, Lot 146,
the oil lamps, Lot 147,
and the folding screen, Lot 148.
Image via Sotheby's.
The chandelier in Sylvie's salon of crystal and gilt-bronze with swans as the six arms to hold candles is a classic French Empire model of the early 19th century.  The porcelain oil lamps with gilt-bronze mounts date from about 1870.  The papier peint folding screen of four panels dates from about 1850 and depicts muses of a classical temple in an exotic tropical setting.

The rear of the house in 1927.
Image via Sotheby's.
Bernard Boutet de Monvel enjoyed great success as a portraitist of both the café-society and American millionaires in the 1920s and 30s.  Combining the model with a view of their residence or a relatable landscape in a somewhat photo-realistic style, the portraits are both flattering and distinctive.  Sitters included Mrs. Harrison Williams, Mr. W.K. Vanderbilt, and Mrs. Vincent Astor.

The studio of Bernard Boutet de Monvel
on the top floor of his Paris home.
Image via Sotheby's.
Read more about Bernard Boutet de Monvel and his residence at 11 passage de la Visitation on the Little Augury blog.  Here, there are some additional vintage views of the interior which show some variations in the furniture arrangements.

The cover of the new book by Stéphane-Jacques Addade
expected to be published in September, 2016.
Image: The Devoted Classicist Library
The first English language monograph of the art of Bernard Boutet de Monvel by Stéphane-Jacques Addade is scheduled for release by Flammarion in September, 2016.  Read more about it and place your order at a discount from the published price here.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Stavros Niarchos at Chanaleilles

The entrance hall of Chanaleilles
created by Emilio Terry.
Photo via Architectural Digest.
Millennials think of the 30 year old, rich, celebrity-dating, international playboy, jet-setter when they hear the name Stavros Niarchos, but those of my generation and older might be familiar with his grandfather, the multi-billionaire, Greek shipping tycoon, 1909 to 1996.  His rivalry with Aristotle Onassis, his marriages, and his relationships with women that included Pamela Churchill (later Harriman) and Princess Firyal of Jordan (see previous post here) could be the subject of a melodramatic TV mini-series.  But it is his incredibly chic Paris residence that is the subject of this post of The Devoted Classicist.
Vintage view of the entrance from the
rue de Chanaleilles by René-Jacques.
Photo: via
The hôtel particulier, not an inn but a private, free-standing townhouse with an entrance court and a garden beyond the residence, is named for the Marquis de Chanaleilles who bought it in 1840.  The property can be traced back to the seventeenth-century when it was a hunting lodge, a folie of the Duc de Maine, Louis Auguste de Bourbon (the legitimized son of Louis XIV and his mistress Madame de Montespan).  The present house dates from about 1770.

The entrance to Chanaleilles.
Photo by Jerome Zerbe.
Owned by the Marquis de Brabançon (of Belgium) at the time of the Revolution, it was confiscated and sold several times in quick succession before being given to Madame Tallien by her suitor.  (She later married the Comte de Caraman, who became Prince de Chimay, and died in 1831 at Menars, the former home of Madame de Pompadour's brother, the Marquis de Marigny).  Madame Tallien, also known as Thérésa Cabarrus, was one of the style setters of the Directoire period and her Paris residence was one of the centers of fashionable activity during the post-revolution time.  Madame Tallien enclosed the colonnade from the street to become a handsome galerie with an exceptional parquet floor and installed a notable Pompeian style bathroom.
A view of the west garden of Chanaleilles
with the enclosed colonnade on the right.
(Treillage covers an adjacent building)
Photo by Jerome Zerbe
After years of being closed, Stavros Niarchos bought the house in 1956 and brought in the Cuban-born architect/decorator Emilio Terry for architectural improvements and modern conveniences and Stephane Boudin of Maison Jansen for interior design. 
The east garden of Chanaleilles before
restoration by Niarchos.
A mid-20th century view of Chanaleilles
before purchase by Niarchos.
The east garden after the excavation.
Photo by Jerome Zerbe.
According to a 1969 article in "Life" magazine, he paid $500,000 for the house as a present for his third wife Eugenie (daughter of shipping magnate Stavros G. Livanos), a marriage which had ended in divorce in 1965.  The floods of 1907 had deposited soil that raised the level of the garden, and excavation brought natural light back to the basement level.
A current view of Hôtel Chanaleilles
showing the main house surrounded on three sides by gardens
and the auxiliary building at the sidewalk.
Source: MapQuest.
The plan of the Hôtel de Chanaleilles is T-shaped in plan with the gallery extended along the spine from the entrance facing the street.  The rear garden was lost in the 19th century; the sheer walls in the satellite photo are a neighboring property.

The galerie of Chanaleilles
Photo: Bagues
The gallery's parquet floor of rare woods glows with the bright yellow curtains and four large crystal chandeliers made for the space by Bagues.
Stavros Niarchos in the red salon of Chanaleilles
Photo: Life magazine, March 28, 1969,
The red salon has walls covered in red velvet between engaged Corinthian columns below a gilt ceiling.  The floor is covered with a Savonnerie with the royal arms for the King of Poland, a gift of Louis XV and the furniture includes an ebony bureau plat with mounts by Gouthiére.  But the real focus of the room is the art: a Goya, a Seurat, and the famous "Pietà" by El Greco bought for $400,000 to celebrate New Year's Eve in 1954 according to the "Life" magazine article.
The boudoir at Chanaleilles.
Photo: Jerome Zerbe
White and gold boiserie from the Parr palace in Vienna (where Marie Antoinette was betrothed) decorate a boudoir with a Renoir.

A salon at Chanaleilles
with Règence period lacquer panels.
Photo: Bagues
The largest salon was created by extensive rebuilding by Emilio Terry in able to accommodate some Régence lacquer panels set into the boiserie.  Here these panels act as the art, but there is another spectacular Savonnerie rug and three lavish rock crystal chandeliers along with museum-quality furniture.
The principal dining room at Chanaleilles.
Photo by Jerome Zerbe.
A white salon with a Gauguin is on the other side of the T beyond the red salon.  In addition to a children's dining room, there is a principal dining room with a parquet floor and paneling from Madame Tallien's era.  Empire period Puyforcat gilt-silver vessels, part of a whole collection bought at auction and presented to the Louvre as a gift, are displayed in the dining room along with Meissen and Sèvres porcelain and Chelsea tureens and more paintings.
The Puyforcat gilt-silver at Chanaleilles.
Image: "Connaissance Des Arts" Novembre 1960
Hollywood film star Edward G. Robinson provided about sixty Impressionist paintings from his collection through New York's Knoedler Galleries, sold to Niarchos in 1957 for $3,125,00 to satisfy community property terms of his divorce settlement.
Emilio Terry's display gallery
for the classical collection at Chanaleilles.
Photo by Jerome Zerbe
A special room was created by Emilio Terry in the neo-classical style with bold ebonized and gilt columns on mahogany plinths.  This architectural framework displayed the Niarchos collection of classical pottery and sculpture fragments. 
The Pompeian bathroom at Chanalleilles.
Photo by Jerome Zerbe
Madame Tallien's bathroom with Pompeian style mosaics and a classical bathtub carved from a block of granite was restored.

It is believed that Niarchos' 61 year old son Philip, an active but low-profile collector of contemporary art, still owns and occupies the house.  In 2001, eight works of art described as from a "private collection" were sold by Christie's for more than $10 million; they were paintings by Pierre Bonnard, Eugene Boudin, Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Renoir, Georges Rouault and Maurice Utrillo thought to have been sold from Chanaleilles to settle a legal dispute among the heirs.  In 2005, a large part of what is believed to be the Stravos Niarchos collection, estimated at a value of more than $250 million, was given to Kunsthaus Zurich on long-term loan.

The photos from LES PAVILLONS OF THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY are by Jerome Zerbe and the text from that book provided some of the history of the house.  Now out of print, used copies are available through The Devoted Classicist Library.

Unfortunately, there are currently no good English-language books about Emilio Terry now in print.  For more about the legendary design firm Maison Jansen, read JANSEN by James Archer Abbott.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Manhattan Double Wide

128 East 73rd Street, NYC, began as two houses
dating from the 1880s faced in brownstone.
Architect A. Wallace McCrae put them together
in a 1928 Georgian Revival renovation.
Photo: Brown Harris Stevens.
While most of the clients of John Tackett Design have no interest in having their homes published, on-line real estate listings ultimately get around those objections.  In this case, the death of the gentleman soon after the house was complete and now the lady just last November has led to a former architectural project coming on the market complete with photos and floor plans.
More accurately, the lowest level would be the Cellar; it was further
excavated, the elevator service extended, and fitted for archival storage.
The level below the sidewalk would be the Basement; the clients were
not interested in the garden accessed through the butler's room.
Image: Brown Harris Stevens.
This was one of my first commissions after opening my own office.  The planning and construction for renovation was undertaken from 1987 to 1989 with help from my former Parish-Hadley colleague Paul Engel and Hannington Engineering Consultants.  The general contractor was Crawford Construction, one of the best builders in Manhattan at the time for high-end residential renovations. 

The Entrance Hall received a new marble floor but the
wall treatment of applied moldings was extant.
Photo: Realtor.
The interior designer was hired after construction was already underway, but some revisions were made to the drawings to meet the designer's demands.  Otherwise, the designer had complete carte blanche for the furnishings in terms of both concept and budget with the results as shown here.

The 30 ft wide Living Room is where the unusual
width of the townhouse can be fully appreciated.
The paneling dated from the 1928 renovation but
the lighting and climate control systems were new.
Photo: Brown Harris Stevens.
The clients and their two young sons brought only their clothes, their art, and a few recently acquired antiques from their previous residence, a contemporary penthouse that had been decorated by John Saladino.

The niches flanking the chimney had shaped shelves for display
that were removed to realize the designer's scheme.
The closed door opens to the Pantry.
Photo: Brown Harris Stevens.
The house is located on a particularly attractive block and had last been decorated by my former employer, Albert Hadley of Parish-Hadley.  The owners sold only because the new wife wanted a "fresh start" at a new address.  (A detail of their River House apartment appeared on the dust jacket of PARISH-HADLEY: SIXTY YEARS OF AMERICAN DESIGN, by the way).

The Pantry, between the Living Room and the Dining Room,
was fitted as a full kitchen with custom mahogany cabinets.
A rolling library ladder allows access to the upper
cabinets. A secondary stair, just out of view on the left,
allows direct access to a full kitchen on the Basement level.
Photo: Realtor.
Much of my design work focused on bringing the systems of the house up to date and the auxiliary spaces as the architectural design of the primary rooms remained unaltered.
The Dining Room with marble bolection chimneypiece
and paneling from the 1928 renovation.
Not seen are a pair of angled closets that, along with
the angled windows, give the room an unusual plan
for a townhouse.  The floor was supplied by the
interior designer.
Photo: Realtor.
The Stair Hall gives an idea of the limitations of the original house.  Because of the width, there would have been only a primary room at the front and back with the stairs in between.

The Stair Hall on the Parlor Floor.
The clients' collection of bronze sculpture by Aristide Maillol
required planning for structural support in the old timber structure.
A crane brought in the sculpture before the painting, etc., was
complete and sat in place inside its crate.
Photo: Brown Harris Stevens.
Although it may be difficult to determine in this photo, the Master Bedroom had been handsomely detailed in a revival of the Louis XVI style during the 1928 renovation and a wide opening breached the party wall of what had been the two separate houses.
The Master Bedroom with a sitting and sleeping area.
Photo: Brown Harris Stevens.
The Master Dressing Room was an existing space that was updated with new closets as mirror glazed French doors.

The Master Dressing Room millwork dates from the
late 1980s renovation.
Photo: Brown Harris Stevens.
The Master Bathroom was also an existing space with a pair of gilded mahogany lavatories supplied by the interior designer who also provided the black and white marble floor.  (Despite my warning that the effect would be optical, the installation went ahead; it was immediately covered with a rug).

Master Bathroom with the bathtub flanked by a
water closet on the left and a shower stall (beyond the
shirred curtained door) on the right.
Photo: Realtor.
The Library on the same floor as the Master Suite serves as a Family Room.  The Tudor Revival oak paneling dates from the 1928 renovation.

With the exception of the television, the Library retains the
late 1980s décor.
Photo:  Realtor.
The wonderful frosted glass lens over the skylight, a detail that I have repeated over the years, was a feature dating from the 1928 renovation.  Exterior flood lights were added on the roof so that it becomes a recessed light fixture in the evening.

The top floor Stair Hall.
Photo: Realtor.
The top floor was reserved for use by the sons.  The front had been a suite that was reconfigured into two bedrooms, both with mahogany trim and inset panels upholstered in fabric.

The front, west bedroom on the top floor.
Photo; Realtor.
The boys' bathroom was also mahogany.  In the photo, the French door on the left opens to a closet and the one on the right opens to reveal the shower stall. 

The boys shared this bathroom on the top floor,
benefitting from the natural light of the skylight.
Photo: Realtor.
Not shown in photos, but seen in the plan was a playroom/sitting room created for the boys.  A structural steel beam was hoisted up by a crane to allow a wide doorway in the central structural wall.  French doors that are hinged to fold back on each other was devised to give privacy to the grandmother to sleep over on occasion in the space to the east.

The pin marks the property in this aerial view to the south.
Although the garden faces south, the tall apartment buildings
on the next street block the sunlight.
Image:  MapQuest.
The house is offered for sale at $42 million by the agent who specializes in the best Manhattan listings, Paula Del Nunzio, of Brown Harris Stevens.  Additional photos were provided by the listing at  In some cases, the images are distorted, sometimes compressed or stretched to fit the real estate company's template, so try to take that into account when the proportions seem off.  And it was intentional that the interior designer's name does not appear in this blog.  See the regular web version of The Devoted Classicist, if this is being read in an alternate format, to scan the Labels categories for posts on other Manhattan townhouses.