Christie’s CEO Steven Murphy Gavels $8.8 M. Townhouse

murphy Christies CEO Steven Murphy Gavels $8.8 M. Townhouse Brits scoffed when American businessman Steven Murphy was appointed the CEO of Christie’s last year, and some art world connoisseurs predicted a premature departure from the auction house.

And who could blame them! With no experience in art, auctioneering or the luxury market, Mr. Murphy did indeed seem an unlikely choice for the pedigreed company. But it seems that the deal is sealed, and he won’t be leaving his new London base anytime soon: city records show that Mr. Murphy and wife Ann Pleshette Murphy, the self-professed “America’s Favorite Parenting Expert,” have just sold their Yorkville townhouse for $8.8 million. The couple list London as their primary address.

The ex-pats put the home, located at 422 East 85th Street, on the market last June, just over a year after Mr. Murphy was unexpectedly took the throne at Christie’s. It seems things have worked out, with Mr. Murphy boasting record sales at the auction house and Ms. Murphy posting regularly on her parenting blog about time outs, separation anxiety and hot cocoa.

The home appreciated as much as a good Warhol, sold for almost six times the $1.5 million the couple paid in 1995, according to city records. Still, the place went for less than the $10 million the Murphys originally sought.

Although Mr. and Mrs. Murphy are now living it up across the pond, their old New York digs offered some old world charm. The listing, from Douglas Elliman brokers George van Der Ploeg and  Diane Nichols claims the 6,000-square-foot home offers a glimpse of  “London in New York.” According to the listing, the home is also the only single-family residence on the Upper East Side with an elevator. Ho-ho! Perhaps Mr. Murphy conforms to the Christie’s culture more than initially imagined. A lift, indeed! Not to mention the two powder rooms, library, office, garden and guest wing.

The six-bedroom, five-bath abode was purchased by Carole and Nate Sleeper, an oft photographed couple-about-town. Mr. Sleeper is a partner at the investment firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice.

eknutsen@observer.com