January 17, 2014
A New York Townhouse filled with treasures

Music-world consultant Andrea Anson’s 1830s Manhattan home is a story teller and a world of emotions! African artifacts, European accents, and fond memories fill the townhouse and take us to another time and place.

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As soon as we enter de house, we feel like we are inside an english country house from the 19th century. The walls are filled with gilt-framed portraits and landscapes and Turkish carpets. Most of these treasures were brought from Anson’s parents – a widowed Italian duchess and a British Army officer – italian apartment. Accompanying him was his partner, Gordon McCollum, a commercial real-estate executive with an encyclopedic knowledge of New York City architecture.

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McCollum’s acquired the house in the 1970 and made a huge restoration of the building, which was in a pretty bad shape. McCollum retrieved period architectural details from demolition sites in New York and transplanted an 1830s staircase from a condemned house in Connecticut. Beige and white paints were applied to the walls in order to offer a neutral background for a few sinewy American Colonial antiques.

Then, in 1978, along came Anson and together the couple made the decor evolve to a mix os english decor styles and eras. An austere guest room, for example, was redecorated à la Charleston, and became a pattern-rich space. Accenting an 18th-century English chest of drawers in the rear parlor are African artifacts, their presence an oblique reference to Anson’s mother, who first married a son of Mussolini’s viceroy of Ethiopia.

 

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In the top-floor office red-framed family photographs spanning more than a century wrap the green walls. The illustrated family tree encompasses an English grandfather who lived on a ranch in Texas and befriended Calamity Jane; an Italian marquis who married a niece; a brother who served as a page at Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation; and a late uncle’s longtime mistress, who is sending over a crate of family portraits by Paulo Ghiglia, a gifted 20th-century Italian artist.

The elegant ecletic decor gives a rich visual aspect to the house and all the art treasures inside make this house a perfect fitting for our surprising collection of the world’s most luxurious homes.

Source: Architectural Digest

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