Urban Archeologist: My First 6-acre Estate Sale

The Urban Archeologist finds a real "Batman" estate.

When the sales begin to dwindle this time of year, if you look hard enough and are willing to travel, it is still possible to find things that are unique and beyond description. That was the case this past weekend, as I scanned my sources and found no “digs” in the local area. However, in New Canaan there was a listing that sounded very inviting.

"Wexford Hall", the magnificent English country mansion designed by William Tubby in the 1920s, is overflowing with wonderful and unusual art, antiques and collectibles: furniture, rugs, porcelain, ivory, silver, books, linens, garden items, three early documents signed by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison and a full suit of armor. Come roam six acres and visit the incredible main house, solarium, gardens and carriage house of this historic property — perfect holiday shopping!”

From the ad this sounded more like a tag sale at a Newport, RI mansion, where even servants’ quarters can be more elaborate than most homes. My daughter and I thought of taking the direct route from Northern Fairfield County, however, to a sightseer’s benefit, there isn’t one. We decided to take Route 7 through Ridgefield to Wilton and then head west on Route 106 until we reached New Canaan.

From the images you can see that this was not your typical, well, not my typical estate sale. I knew right away that I would not be approaching this like a “dig.” This was really a unique opportunity to see a grand estate and manor created by an eminent figure in the world of early 20th century architecture. William Tubby (1858–1944) was a Connecticut resident who was known for the Romanesque and Dutch revival style of building design.

As we walked through the halls, which were long with vaulted ceilings, two-story library and solarium I had a strong desire to welcome the awe-struck like myself to “stately Wayne Manor” (a reference to the Batman television series of the 1960s). Coincidently, after reading up on William Tubby I learned that he also designed the similar Waveny Mansion in New Canaan, which was used as the exterior for “stately Wayne Manor!” Not only had this sale piqued my curiosity, it had also activated my “Bat-senses.”

After 90 minutes of exploring eight bedrooms, an indoor golf range and a four-car carriage house, we began to lose steam. Not wanting to leave empty-handed, we purchased a couple of books, a John Grisham for me and “Eloise in Paris” for my daughter. Unfortunately, I had to pass on the $25,000 snooker table and the estate itself, which can be yours for just under $10 million — a steal in my opinion.

I did find an interesting bookmark, which is currently on display at my blog. Stop by and see the six degrees of separation between Architect William Tubby and football great Larry Csonka.

Greg Van Antwerp is a Brookfield resident and blogger, who can be found on the weekends in search of a good “dig” or a good story.  You can read more about his adventures by visiting his blog.


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