This article was originally published on Christies International Real Estates blog Luxury Defined.


A unique collection of scientific artefacts, rare first editions and manuscripts will go under the hammer at Christie’s this fall. Among them is the 1994 Nobel Prize medal and diploma awarded to mathematician John Forbes Nash Jr., whose life inspired the film A Beautiful Mind, and whose brilliant insights into game theory and human behavior fundamentally enhanced economics and the social sciences. The gold medal and diploma are estimated to fetch between $500,000 and $800,000 at the Fine Printed Books and Manuscripts Including Americana in New York. Other unusual artefacts in the sale are Nash’s original 1951 doctoral thesis; a 1976 Apple 1 personal computer; and rare books and manuscripts, such as the first printed account of Captain James Cook’s voyages and British explorer Ernest H. Shackleton’s The Heart of the Antarctic. Christie’s online sale Sculpted by Nature: Fossils, Minerals and Meteorites will offer collectors further opportunity to acquire rare scientific objects from October 31 through November 7.


Inspired by the sales, Luxury Defined offers a trove of homes with their own unique connection to science, innovation, and exploration. Consider a US Virgin Islands &ldquole” that was once the site of a marine research center. Or, take inspiration from the estates of two 20th-century inventors, including the iconic New York City townhouse of aviation pioneer Sherman M. Fairchild. Each of these properties offers elegance, exclusivity, and deep connections for the adventuring spirit and the beautiful mind.


Foster Farm in Weston, Vermont

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This stellar home features a professional astronomical observatory dome with a fully robotic telescope.


Foster Farm has a scenic location on nearly 30 acres near the village of Weston, Vermont. Built in 1804, the original farmhouse underwent a thoughtful restoration and is offered in turnkey condition. The five-bedroom residence is complemented by several ancillary dwellings and outbuildings. The attached circa-1840 barn features a kitchen, and a living room and great room with fireplaces. The gathering areas include a screened house, perfect for dining, and a large stone terrace that connects a sauna hut and hot tub. Built in 2007, the bank barn houses a car collector garage with a car lift and heated shop. On the lower level are four stables that open to the pastures. The unique feature of Foster Farm is an engineered silo with a professional-grade astronomical observatory. The fully robotic telescope, operable from anywhere with internet access, is offered separately.


Timeless Island Estate on Bainbridge Island, Washington

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This luxurious 10-acre estate on Bainbridge Island was built in 1941 as a strategic radio communications center for the United States Navy Pacific Fleet during World War II.


This unique property originally served as a top secret strategic communications center of the Bainbridge Naval Radio Station on Bainbridge Island, Washington. Built in 1941, the center intercepted Japanese diplomatic and military radio messages before and during World War II. Decommissioned in 1960, part of the naval station’s acreage became Fort Ward State Park. The 12,000-square-foot building and 10 acres of land went into private hands and, over the years, were thoughtfully transformed. Today, the luxurious private estate combines historic appeal with classic design and opulent modern amenities, including a 1,000-square-foot master suite, indoor pool, and landscaped gardens. The property, secluded in the historic Fort Ward district of Bainbridge Island, is only 10 minutes by ferry from downtown Seattle.


Postmodern Mansion in New York City

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This Upper East Side mansion was built in 1941 for Sherman M. Fairchild, an American aviation pioneer, businessman, and inventor who held over 30 patents, including the silicon semiconductor and aerial cameras that were used in the Apollo space program.


One of the first postmodern townhouses in New York, this iconic property was commissioned in 1941 by Sherman Mills Fairchild, an American businessman, inventor, and aviation pioneer. Fairchild made significant contributions to science, aeronautical engineering, and technology: He founded more than 70 companies, held 30 patents, including the silicon semiconductor and the aerial cameras that were used in the Apollo space missions, and was inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame. The 9,440-square-foot, 25-foot-wide mansion’s red granite façade, completed in 1981, opens to light-filled living spaces and a unique zigzagging ramp system, which are the perfect setting for a world-class art collection, they’ve also been featured in film and television. The three-story great room is the centerpiece; a master suite, office, wine cellar, and a study/library worthy of The Frick are other highlights of this landmark property on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.


Historic Manor near Tallinn, Estonia

 Estonian Manor Otto von Kotzebue

The Estonian Manor was the former estate of Otto von Kotzebue, a Russian naval officer and navigator who completed three circumnavigations of the Earth, discovered several South Pacific islands, and charted the Alaskan coast, including Kotzebue Sound.


This enchanting manor, some 30 miles outside the Estonian capital of Tallinn, has been owned by several noble families and luminaries since its construction in the 13th century. In the 19th century, it was the home of Otto von Kotzebue, a navigator in the Imperial Russian Navy who was known for his explorations of Oceania, Antarctica, and the coast of Alaska. An impressive driveway winds through the estate’s historic parkland, past ponds and landscaped gardens to the coach house and palatial main residence. The manor house has been fully restored, while preserving its architectural integrity with the addition of unique details inspired by the life and travels of von Kotzebue. Each of the 20 bedrooms offers glorious views of the private grounds or the surrounding forest. A wine cellar, cigar room, library, and private sauna with indoor pool are among the lavish amenities. The 37-acre grounds add to the splendor, and include three ponds, formal gardens, a pavilion, as well as the original stables, granary, and regent’s house.


Caribbean Castle in St. Croix, US Virgin Islands

 St Croix Castle Marine Lab

The 102-acre tropical idyll is on the former site of Fairleigh Dickinson University’s West Indies Marine Lab, a marine education and research center from 1972 to 1989.


The Castle commands a secluded hilltop with 360-degree views of the island of St. Croix and the azure waters of the Caribbean. Inspired by the Moorish and oriental architecture of her homeland and travels, Contessa Nadia Farber of Bulgaria purchased the property to build her fairy-tale castle. The main residence and gatekeeper’s cottage offer nearly 10,000 square feet of luxurious living space with seven bedrooms and six bathrooms. This estate’s lush, 102-acre grounds are unrivaled: The former site of Fairleigh Dickinson University’s West Indies Marine Lab—a marine education and research center from 1972 to 1989—it is complete with a swimming pool; a sandy, palm-lined beach alongside the former marine lab’s pier; roads and infrastructure; and a sheltered lagoon just opposite the spectacular Buck Island Reef National Monument and its famous underwater trail.


Private Beachfront Compound in Paget Parish, Bermuda

 Bermuda Chelston

This private beachfront compound was built in 1941 for C.P. Dubbs, an American inventor of the crude oil thermal cracking process. It later served as the official Bermuda residence of the American Consul General.


Just 200 feet above Grape Bay Beach, Chelston is a private, 14-acre beachfront compound with a 10,000-square-foot colonial-style main residence, four cottages, a beach pavilion, pool and poolhouse, and a croquet lawn. Chelston is an integral part of Bermuda’s heritage. The estate was originally designed and built between 1939 and 1941 for C. P. Dubbs, inventor of the Dubbs Process, a crude oil thermal “cracking” technology. In 1964, Chelston’s ownership was conveyed to the United States government. For more than 30 years, it was the official Bermuda residence of the United States Consul General, and the property hosted a who’s who of US presidents, international dignitaries, and celebrities. In 1999, the current owners purchased the property and embarked on an extensive three-year renovation project. The result is a private family beachfront compound of the highest order.

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