Celebrated for his more-is-more interior designs, Hollywood legend Tony Duquette (1914-99) was, fittingly, more of a Renaissance man. He not only decorated the homes of Mary Pickford, Elizabeth Arden, J. Paul Getty and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, but he also designed costumes and sets for the stage and MGM musicals, crafted jewelry and sculpture for the jet-set elite and was the first American artist to have a solo exhibition at the Louvre in Paris.
Duquette’s legacy lives on in home decor and jewelry collections and two books written by his successor, designer Hutton Wilkinson, who restored the Duquette residence Dawnridge. The resulting attention has made Duquette highly collectible.
Some of his rarest works — paintings and jewelry from the estate of his sister, Jeanne Duquette Newman — are being sold through the online auction site Paddle8, along with furnishings that Duquette used to decorate actor James Coburn’s Spanish Colonial Revival home in the late 1960s.
“What makes this so special is that the pieces from Jeanne’s personal collection are fresh to the market, very seldom seen and highly personal,” said Jason Stein, senior specialist of design at Paddle8. Among them: A set of five fanciful watercolors of birds and flowers and a landscape of the canals in Venice, Italy. “The Venetian scene sums up Tony’s whole aesthetic,” Stein added. “It was one of this favorite places in the world. And it was the showpiece of his sister’s living room.”
Bidding for the Enchanted Duquette auction on Paddle 8 closes Thursday, Feb. 27, at 3 p.m. Pacific Standard Time.
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