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The antique estate of one of Sotheby’s auction house’s most famous auctioneers epitomizes the philosophy of surrounding yourself with meaningful treasures for a higher quality of life

Built within the walls of one of Darien, Connecticut’s earliest homes lies great history and a level of magnificence strong enough to attract the most worthy treasure-seekers. The antique Colonial estate, which rests on a uniquely large 4.5-acre plot of park-like land, served as the former home to the man behind some of the Sotheby’s auction house’s most prestigious sales, renowned American auctioneer and philanthropist John L. Marion. Said to be a natural-born salesman, Marion is widely regarded as one of the greatest auctioneers in the world, always able to effectively present the meaning and value in owning a timeless piece of art. This stately residence, which is marketed by Darien agent Michelle Donzeiser, is no exception, offering a rich past, untainted beauty and most of all, an exquisite quality that understandably would attract the attention of a world-class luxury auctioneer.

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From an early age, Marion was exposed to selling fine art. His father, Louis J. Marion, preceded him on the podium at Parke-Bernet, now Sotheby’s, leaving him with a lasting impression and inherent interest in collecting. Marion eventually followed suit, serving as both auctioneer and Chairman of the Sotheby’s auction house in New York from 1975 to 1994. Throughout his career, which began at Sotheby’s in 1960, Marion oversaw the sale of various famous pieces, some of which include Irises by Vincent van Gogh, Yo Picasso and Au Lapin Agile, both well-known works by
Picasso, and countless other precious items. His philosophy on selling and buying advocated all individuals to first and foremost buy things that they like and second, buy the highest quality within those areas. It is when this is achieved that a superior value and happiness is added to one’s life. “We all have to sit on chairs and write on tables and put our shirts in drawers, but it’s much nicer to use things that have a real meaning to them,” Marion once told a Chicago Tribune reporter. Marion, who retired in 1994, lived in this magnificent Darien home from 1977 through 1984.

BiddingThe charming residence, which was constructed in 1820 when the town was first established, lies on an expanse of sweeping grounds that is rare for its central location in town. “The home was originally built on more than 14 acres of land, but 10 acres of its initial plot was eventually sold to a builder, and now comprises Stonewall Lane, a cul de sac off Brookside Road,” explains Donzeiser. “The prime location of this neighborhood, which is close to town, schools, local parks and other popular community spots, boasts a convenience beyond compare, adding to the grandeur of the property.”

On its current 4.5-acre plot, individuals will find numerous inviting amenities including an in-ground swimming pool and spa, outdoor cabana with a shower and sauna as well as a large, three-bedroom, two-bath guest house. The guest house boasts two separate entrances as well as fully livable features and conveniences that encourage lucky visitors to spend a night or two, and relish in the private estate’s impressive offerings and overall exceptional atmosphere, which has proudly remained through the generations. “It’s a truly lovely house and one of the best flat open properties in all of Darien,” continues Donzeiser. “When including the guest cottage accommodations, the estate offers a total of 10 bedrooms, all thoughtfully designed.”

Attuned to the latest luxury trends while also maintaining a sense of historic pride, the 6,246 square-foot residence has undergone various recent improvements by its current owner that meticulously blend its quality old-world elements with today’s modern conveniences. “It’s not a typical new construction, ‘cookie-cutter’ property,” notes Donzeiser. “This residence is a true estate that embraces its origins while keeping up with the ever-changing times in an unquestionably unique way.”


The heart of the home features a recently renovated kitchen with the latest high-end appliances, while updated bathrooms, newly added and refinished wood floors, custom built-ins and more, contribute to the comfort and antique-fresh appeal of its interior. The home also embraces its picturesque, verdant surroundings by capturing the natural light and splendor of the great outdoors with nine-foot ceilings and exquisite French doors that open to peaceful stone patios and terraces. “This extraordinary Darien property offers any future resident a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to live surrounded by great history and pure beauty,” says Donzeiser. “It’s not difficult to see why the preeminent Sotheby’s luxury auctioneer John L. Marion once chose to live here.” A man who always sought to encourage owning a coherent collection of items that contain real quality and meaning to them, clearly stayed true to his word, yet again representing one of the most precious treasures around.


175 Brookside Road in Darien, Conn., (MLS ID: 99097357) is offered at $3,995,000 USD. For more information, contact Darien Brokerage agent Michelle Donzeiser at +1 917 620 0898 or mdonzeiser@williampitt.com.

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