Wanted: Wealthy island dweller with a penchant for Asian art and culture to purchase sprawling Islesboro estate at auction. No offer is too low.

“The Froggery,” an 8,000-square-foot home filled with original Asian artwork and situated on more than 15 acres of protected mountainside land overlooking Penobscot Bay, is going up for auction June 25.

The owner is John Blin, a Wall Street executive who told Portland Magazine that he has relocated to Hong Kong because Asia represents the future of the financial world. Blin purchased the property in 2005. The three-bedroom, three-bath home was completed in 2010, and an adjacent tea house was built in 2015.

Chad Boykin, market development director for DeCaro Luxury Auctions of Naples, Florida, said he has never seen anything quite like the Islesboro estate.

“It’s a special house,” Boykin said. “The views and tranquility are just amazing.”

The home, which was previously listed with Downeast Properties for $10.9 million but did not sell, now will go to an “absolute auction” with no reserve price.


Real estate auctions commonly set a minimum bid price for each property, known as the reserve price. No bids below that price are accepted.

But DeCaro, the auctioneer, is not setting a reserve price for The Froggery, Boykin said.

“That’s the uncertain nature of an absolute auction,” he said. “We legitimately do not know what the property will sell for.”

The island community in Waldo County is full of impressive homes and has attracted celebrities such as John Travolta, Kelly Preston and Kirstie Alley. A different property on Islesboro – the Grace Estate, a 17-room mansion built in 1918 for the daughter of the mayor of New York City – was profiled last year on Realtor.com as the most expensive home for sale in Maine. That property was listed for $9.5 million and is still on the market.

Blin, the owner of The Froggery, is the director and chairman of Advanced Portfolio Technologies, which develops and distributes market and credit-risk models and software applications. After buying the property, he commissioned world-class architects and landscape artists to build his Asian-themed getaway. Blin also scoured Asia to outfit the property with original Asian oil paintings, mosaics, sculptures and other works of art.

All of the pieces that Blin placed on the property are included in the sale.


“A collection worth millions alone, and everything but the books will go to the highest bidder,” a DeCaro YouTube video boasts.


Blin went to great lengths to make The Froggery at 180 Abrams Mountain Road a unique property.

The grounds feature an authentic Japanese stroll garden, which was designed by Blin in conjunction with landscape architect Gayle Norton, DeCaro said. The garden has koi ponds, reflection pools and Zen gardens with gravel patterns. A stone pathway with three Japanese Torii gates leads to an authentic tea house, which sits adjacent to the main home.

The main entrance is set on the west side of the home and opens to a compass-shaped mosaic that reads, “Une Maison avec Vue,” which translates to “A House with a View.”

The home’s interior was designed with glass, wood, granite, slate, bronze and stainless steel for a natural feel, DeCaro said. Glass walls in the home were handcrafted by artist Charles Barone and provide unobstructed views of the original sculptures and oil paintings displayed throughout the property.


Nautical design influences also were used throughout.. A spiral staircase, which connects the upper and lower levels of the home, has a handrail built by a yacht builder. Dark mahogany floors and window frames, red oak timber beams, poplar ceilings and cedar trim evoke a wooden vessel, and the home’s large wraparound porch and cantilevered upper deck were designed to resemble a ship’s deck.

In the foyer, a model of a Viking Drakkar, or longship, sits in the center of the room. Bronze and terracotta sculptures of Chinese warriors sit on each side of a granite chimney. A three-story atrium is located beyond the foyer and features red lacquer, late Ming Dynasty chairs positioned in front of windows overlooking Penobscot Bay.

The auctioneer said the master bedroom contains several authentic Japanese Shoji screen doors that lead to the walk-in closet and master bathroom, an authentic Chinese herbal apothecary cabinet, as well as oil and acrylic copies of traditional Japanese woodblock print themes.

The master bathroom has an oversized shower with a classic Japanese woodblock print reinterpreted using mosaic tiles. Located off of the bedroom are an office and an observation room, offering 360-degree views of the bay.

On the lower level of the home is a lounge that features a full bar, a wine cellar, a cigar humidor, one of the home’s two Grand Steinway pianos and a sitting area. Other notable rooms include a game room with a Chinese mahjong table and chair set, a drawing room with western and Asian art and furniture, and a media screening room.

A bridge extending from the main home connects to a one-bedroom guest apartment, located above the two-car garage, that offers waterfront views and direct access to the stroll gardens, DeCaro said.



Boykin said the property’s relatively remote location and ferry-only access make it something of a wild card when it comes to finding a buyer. He hopes to drum up more publicity leading up to the auction date to reel in interested bidders.

“It’s a special house,” he said. “We’re hoping someone will fall in love with it.”

Daren Hebold, president of Lux Realty Group in Portland, said it’s unlikely that the auction would draw much interest from buyers looking to turn The Froggery into a hospitality property, and that it probably would remain a private residence.

Hebold noted that the price for oceanfront properties in Maine has declined since Blin purchased the Islesboro land in 2005.

Still, he was impressed with what Blin did with the 15 acres.


“Wow, that’s really something,” Hebold said.

In a piece he wrote for DeCaro, Blin expressed great passion for the location on which the home now sits.

“I had long sailed the waters of the Gulf of Maine, sailing past Islesboro many times,” he wrote. “Little did I know that, one day, this very spot would in fact become the site of a lifetime design endeavor. One that would come to consume a decade of my life.”


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