Money may not buy you class, but it certainly can buy all of the contents—from furniture, to dishes, down to the front door—of Countess Luann de Lesseps’ home in Sagaponack.
The “Real Housewives of New York City” star hosted an estate sale last weekend with Westchester-based company Estates NY at her house off Highland Terrace, starting on Friday morning, at which time bargain hunters, fans and building contractors alike piled into the foyer.
Antique wooden beams—28 for $12,000—lined the ceiling of Ms. de Lesseps’ home, while mid-century oil paintings, including a portrait of the countess herself, decorated the walls.
“It’s an eclectic mix with all walks of my life in it,” Ms. de Lesseps said of her belongings over the phone later in the day. The former wife of French Count Alexandre de Lesseps, Ms. de Lesseps said many of the items for sale were from France, as well as some antiques from other parts of Europe and also China.
For the sale’s attendees on the opening day, the home’s contents were only half the appeal.
“I’m not really looking for anything in particular,” said Mary Ellen DiPrisco, a television producer living in Sag Harbor, while eyeing a flat-screen TV on a small table in one of the five bedrooms on the second floor of Ms. de Lesseps’s home. “I just thought it’d be fun to poke around. I’ve watched the show for years. It’s so funny to be in the house and see the table they sat at during certain scenes, and you think, ‘Wow, it’s much larger than it looks on TV!’”
Also for sale, said Estates NY owner Wendy King, were George Smith-slipcovered sofas, Lloyd Loom wicker dining chairs, a Fitline elliptical, even a tandem bicycle.
“I think just about everything will sell,” said Ms. King. “Not only is Luann’s stuff beautiful, but because she’s known on television, I think things will go pretty quickly.”
Ms. de Lesseps and her two children, Noel and Victoria, had lived in the home since 1993. With Victoria now enrolled in college, and Noel, a senior in high school, planning to attend college next year, Ms. de Lesseps said the 6,500-square-foot home is too large for her alone. The property is now under contract with Farrell Builders, which has plans to tear the house down and rebuild.
“They weren’t happy at first,” she said of her children’s feelings about moving out. “It’s the home they were raised in; that’s always hard for a kid, it would be abnormal if it wasn’t. But they love the new house, it’s right on the water and Noel loves to fish. So, it’s a change but one that I think is good.”
And despite looking forward to “starting completely fresh” with her newly purchased, 19th-century village home in Sag Harbor, Ms. de Lesseps said there were some sentimental items in her Sagaponack home that she had no intention of selling.
“Some other pieces of art, and some silver candelabras, mirrors, I just couldn’t part with,” Ms. de Lesseps said. “There are some things that really aren’t replaceable, so I kept those for the children.”
A percentage of the proceeds from the sale will be donated to the Retreat, the East Hampton-based non-profit organization that supports victims of domestic violence.
“I’m an East Ender and I think it’s important to give back, and what better than the ladies’ Retreat?” said Ms. de Lesseps. “I support charities in New York, but I thought it’d be a good time to help out east.”
The sale was scheduled to end last Sunday.