Clark Mansion Videos Go Online

Before Big Christie’s Auction, Strad Played, Bellosguardo Filmed

Thanks to Bill Dedman, investigative reporter for NBC News, readers can take a video tour of Huguette Clark’s Bellosguardo mansion and see famed fiddler Joshua Bell playing her Stradivarius violin.

The 1731 “Kreutzer” Strad will be among 400 Clark estate items to be auctioned off in New York by Christie’s on Tuesday. It’s expected to sell for between $7.5 million and $10 million.

Proceeds from the auction are slated to help finance Clark’s desire to establish an arts foundation at Bellosguardo, her Santa Barbara hilltop summer home above East Beach.

The appointees of the 10-member board of trustees who will run the arts foundation haven’t been announced yet, but the names are expected to be revealed next week.

Dedman writes: “To promote the auction of Clark items this next Tuesday in New York, Christie’s has staged a few of the rooms, giving a video tour. (No, the California house and its property are not for sale. They will go to the Bellosguardo Foundation for the arts, which should get formed later this year. But the estate administrator is showing off the California house to raise interest in the sale in New York, because that sale will benefit the new Bellosguardo Foundation.)

Here’s the video:

You can take a photo tour online of Huguette Clark’s family history and empty mansions on the website for Empty Mansions. See previously unpublished photos of Huguette’s estate in Santa Barbara, as well as her $55 million Fifth Avenue apartments as they were when she died, and her ‘extra’ country home in Connecticut, which recently sold to fashion designer Reed Krakoff and his wife for $14.3 million. Also see photos of the Clark family, Huguette’s doll collection, her paintings, and more. The photos are at

The sale includes a Stradivarius violin that was in Huguette’s closet on Fifth Avenue. Christie’s estimates that it will sell for $7.5 million to $10 million, and bids are being taken now. … You can see Joshua Bell play a few bars on this fiddle in a video here:”

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