Old-World Power Couple Ezra and Cecile Zilkha’s Former Southampton Estate Sold

Ezra and Cecile Zilkha, 310 First Neck Lane, Southampton
Ezra and Cecile Zilkha, who died in 2019 and 2017 respectively, were known to throw lavish parties at their Southampton home, which sold late last year for $20.5 million.
PMC/Sotheby’s International Realty

The former Southampton home of a financier and philanthropist sold in the fourth quarter of 2021. Suffolk County deed transfers just made available show that 310 First Neck Lane traded for $20.5 million.

The Ezra Zilkha Trust was the seller and Harald Grant of Sotheby’s International Realty represented the listing for the five-acre estate, which was available for the first time in five decades. The deal closed October 27. The buyers’ identity was veiled behind a limited liability corporation called 310 First Neck Lane.

Ezra Zilkha, who died at the age of 94 in October 2019, was part of a family that pioneered international banking. He was also known for his philanthropic work, especially when it came to education, the arts and helping the disabled. He was an honorary trustee of the Brookings Institution, was a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and, with his late wife, Cecile, was a generous benefactor to the Metropolitan Opera.

Iraqi-born, Zilkha was the son of the founder of K.A. Zilkha Maison de Banque, one of the most far-ranging branch banking networks in the Middle East prior to the Second World War, according to his obituary. He wrote a memoir, From Baghdad to Boardrooms.

The Zilkhas maintained three homes; Manhattan, Paris and Southampton. According to an article accompanying a Sotheby’s New York auction, they entertained some of the most powerful and influential people in the world, including Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan, the Sadats, the Chiracs, the Pompidous, and the Mulroneys in their Lake Agawam home.

The home at 310 First Neck Lane sits on Lake Agawam.Courtesy of Sotheby’s International Realty

The property includes 200 feet of bulkheaded waterfront on the lake and park-like grounds. The traditional, 5,000-square-foot, seven-bedroom home was originally built in 1960. There is also an oversized 55-foot-by-22-foot pool. In March of 2020, it went on the market for $24.995 million.

A 2020 auction of the couple’s fine and decorative art collection fetched $12.5 million from bidders in 50 countries, according to Galerie.

“She had a very complete jewelry wardrobe because she was this great society hostess, and she dressed the part,” Catharine Becket, the Sotheby’s SVP, head of Magnificent Jewels, told Galerie, before a separate auction of the jewelry collection.

Cecile Zilkha died in 2017 at the age of 85.

Email tvecsey@danspapers.com with further comments, questions or tips. Follow Behind The Hedges on TwitterInstagram and Facebook.

The home at 310 First Neck Lane sold for $20.5 million. Harald Grant of Sotheby’s International Realty represented the listing.