Property from Villa Massei  

Property from Villa Massei

Furniture and Works of Art from 16th Century Tuscan Estate to be Offered at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers

An Italian Painted and Parcel Gilt Sofa
Florentine School, John the Baptist
An Italian Neoclassical Painted Center Table

CHICAGO- On February 27, Leslie Hindman Auctioneers will offer Property from Villa Massei, a hunting lodge near Lucca, Italy. The collection features Italian furniture, works of art and more.

Villa Massei was built around 1500 by the Counts Sinibaldi and with renowned Renaissance-style gardens accompanying the 60-acre estate. It stands on a hillside surrounded by open lawns, a rose walk and grounds that feature a pond and fountain as well as a swimming pool, vineyard and brick grotto.

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 of the Property from Villa Massei collection 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.

Paul Gervais, whose novel Extraordinary People was published in 1991, also wrote A Garden in Lucca, a personal memoir about his and Cohen’s experiences at Villa Massei. The home and its gardens have been published in Architectural Digest, Gardens Illustrated and other publications.

During their residence at Villa Massei, Gervais and Cohen entertained Kathleen Turner, David Hockney, Amy Tan, Hubert de Givenchy, Not Vital and other figures too numerous to name. They were given the keys to the city and named Ambassadors at Large for Capannori, where the Villa is situated. Gervais and Cohen sold Villa Massei in 2015 and now divide their time between homes in London and Palm Beach.

The public preview will be open in Leslie Hindman Auctioneers’ Chicago saleroom from February 23 – 26. The auction begins at 10:00 am CT on February 27, and a catalogue for the sale will be available online in late January at 

About Leslie Hindman Auctioneers

Leslie Hindman Auctioneers is among the leading fine art auction houses of the world and one of the largest in the country. As a globally recognized brand, Leslie Hindman Auctioneers conducts over 60 auctions annually in categories such as fine jewelry and timepieces, contemporary art, modern design, rare books, furniture, decorative arts and more. The firm has salerooms and business offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Milwaukee, Naples, Palm Beach, Scottsdale and St. Louis but connects with millions of collectors worldwide through online resources and global listings. The firm is also a founding partner of Bidsquare, a live auction platform formed by six leading auction houses, and owns a proprietary online bidding platform, LHLive, as well as LHExchange, an e-commerce site specializing in high-end designer furniture and decorative arts. Visit for more information.

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