After King Edward VIII abdicated the British throne to live with the woman he loved, he was made Governor of the Bahamas, a job that conveniently took him away from England. In 1940, while the Governor’s Mansion was being redecorated to Wallis Simpson’s liking, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor lived at Sigrist House.
Built in 1939 by British aviation pioneer Sir Frederick Sigrist, the main 15,000 square foot residence occupies four acres on the crest of Prospect Ridge in Cable Beach, Nassau. The estate consists of a four- bedroom-suite main residence, two four-bedroom guesthouses and a three-bedroom apartment, making for a total of 15 bedrooms. There are 13 baths and two half baths.
Now Sigrist House is for sale, offered for $8.5 million by Mark Hussey of Damianos Sotheby’s International Realty.
The estate has expansive patios, a high-ceilinged loggia and, in one of the dining rooms, large windows that drop down into the floor to make for easy flow between the inside and the grounds. Stone and mahogany flooring, curved walls, extensive use of tile, rare white mahogany paneling and lovely wrought iron work are just some of the architectural elements. The four fireplaces were found in English country houses, dismantled and brought here, where they were painstakingly built into the rooms.
The house was designed by the American and English architectural team Schoepell and Voivesky, while the interiors were largely furnished by the notable British firm of Mallett Antiques on New Bond Street, London. The house is Spanish Colonial in architecture, but the interiors were decidedly English. The Georgian style paneling of the drawing room is of rare white mahogany, built in London to specification, as was the beautiful hand-carved pine paneling in the library.
The gardens at Sigrist House were considered among the finest in the West Indies and include fruit and coconut trees, a swimming pool and Jacuzzi, all with views over the mature manicured grounds, saltwater canals and distant Atlantic Ocean.
Until the current owners bought Sigrist House 20 years ago, it remained in the original family. Over the past decade the houses all have undergone extensive restorations. All electrical and plumbing systems have been modernized and brought up to today’s standards. The roofs have been replaced and the historical wood and ironwork has been lovingly restored. The gourmet kitchen, with custom cabinetry, has been upgraded to create a thoroughly modern and functional workspace.