Inside the Auction | Distinctive Collections: Philip and Mary Hulitar and Villa Massei  

Inside the Auction | Distinctive Collections: Philip and Mary Hulitar and Villa Massei

Blog | February 4, 2018

This February, Leslie Hindman Auctioneers will hold two notable single owner sales: Property from the Estate of Philip and Mary Hulitar on February 22 and Property from Villa Massei, Lucca, Italy on February 27.

This Spring, Leslie Hindman Auctioneers will offer property from two distinctive collections. Property from the estate of Philip and Mary Hulitar as well as property from Tuscan hunting lodge, Villa Massei, will be sold in February auctions.


Philip Hulitar served as the Head of Women’s Design at Bergdorf Goodman before opening his own design firm for women’s fashion in 1949. Following his retirement, The Hulitars took up residency in Palm Beach and began restoring several historic homes on the island.


Highlights from the auction include fine art by the artist Stephen Scott Young and from the School of George Chinnery, Chinese export paintings and an extensive collection of silver. The layout of the home, as well as how it was decorated, reflects an era of entertaining where each room showcased an abundance of worldly objects.


Also this February, Leslie Hindman Auctioneers will be offering a collection of Italian furniture, works of art and decorative objects from Villa Massei, a hunting lodge near Lucca, Italy. The estate was built around 1500 by the Counts Sinibaldi and with renowned Renaissance-style gardens accompanying the 60-acre estate.


From 1981 until recently, Villa Massei was owned by Paul Gervais and Gil Cohen, who spent 34 years restoring and entertaining at the estate. Carefully assembled over three decades, the collection includes objects from the couple’s travels in Italy and from merchants who often visited Villa Massei. Highlights from the collection to be sold at auction include Piedmontese furniture, a sixteenth-century Florentine painting of St. John the Baptist and other furniture and decorative art chosen to suit Gervais’ and Cohen’s Tuscan idyll.

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