GRASONVILLE — Talisman Plantation, an 820-acre waterfront estate frequented by the rich and famous since being built in the 1930s, will go up for auction in October.
According to Premiere Estates Auction Company, the Talisman Plantation, at 300 Talisman Circle Road in Grasonville, was established by advertising executive Arthur H. Kudner Sr., a legendary icon of the New York advertising scene, in the early 1930s.
Having been passed down through three Kudner family generations, the estate became a retreat for U.S. politicians, professional sports figures, Hollywood stars, writers and publishers, even hosting actress and fashion icon Grace Kelly, or Princess Grace of Monaco, who was a friend of the family.
“For nearly a century, Talisman Plantation has been a gathering place for family and friends to enjoy the breathtaking natural beauty of Chesapeake Bay’s Eastern Shore,” said Todd Wohl, senior vice president of Premiere Estates Auction Company.
The estate was most recently listed at $10.9 million, but the auction has no minimum bid.
The Talisman Plantation’s main house is a brick Greek Revival manor built in 1934. It’s more than 8,000 square feet and includes eight bedrooms and six bathrooms, wood-burning fireplaces, exposed beam ceilings, built-in bookcases and gorgeous ornamental woodwork, according to Premier Estates Auction Company.
The entire compound includes an in-ground pool, a tennis court, horse stables, barns and a five-bedroom, three-bathroom guest house designed by New York City architect Joel Barber.
About 600 of the estate’s 820 acres are permanently protected wildlife lands for ospreys, wild turkeys, herons and white-tailed deer. Premier Estates Auction Company called it “a sportsman’s and nature lover’s paradise” with a vast acreage covered with mature forests, farmland, restored wetlands and sandy beaches along 4 miles of waterfront overlooking Prospect Bay. The company said it’s also an ideal location for hunting waterfowl, including ducks and Canada geese.
Wohl, whose company specializes in auctioning rare, luxuries properties all over North and South America, called the property “a little bit like a Mona Lisa,” in that it’s very rare to own a 820-acre property with 4 miles of waterfront.
He said the property allows for a lot of privacy, and whoever ends up buying it will have their own hunting grounds and nature reserve, with even an option to develop part of the property if the new owner so chooses.
“It’s like a blank canvas,” Wohl said. “... It’s an exciting property for us to be involved with and the sellers are very focused and motivated on getting it sold.”
The property is also home to Talisman Therapeutic Riders, an organization that provides therapeutic horse riding lessons for people with physical, cognitive and emotional issues.
Founder and CEO Anne Joyner said TTR leases land on the farm to run its programs, and there's a stipulation in the lease that says it has the option to renegotiate the lease should the property come under new ownership.
Joyner said that she's "very optimistic that we will be here for a very long time," and that the community has responded well to its work.
She said the program's footprint on the Talisman farm is "certainly a lot smaller than the view that we have."
"So we're able to make our programs work on a fairly small footprint, but at the same time benefit by how pristine and pastural the farm is," she said, adding that the nature of the property is part of the healing process for its riders.
"For us, this is the perfect place to be. We love it and we're good caretakers of it and we're extremely hopeful that the new owners will embrace the work that we're doing, and we feel pretty good about that," Joyner said.
Talisman Plantation will be auctioned through Premier Estates Auction Company proprietary WorldBid auction platform, which Wohl said allows anyone in the world to check out and bid on a property.
The estate will be auctioned off on Oct. 1. Information about the auction, including a bidder registration form, is available at www.talismanplantation.com. Bids are due before noon on Oct. 1.