21 April 2009

The Real Doris Duke Sale

Oh my.

Forget the priceless jewels Christie's sold a few years back. Property from Doris Duke's residences Duke Farms and Falcon Lair will be on the block May 2 and May 3 in Morristown, NJ courtesy of Millea Bros. auctioneers. We're talking light fixtures, Tony Duquette be-shelled sculptures, those huge curved sofas! Proceeds will benefit the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

Click here to peruse the online catalogue, deliciously categorized by room, including Bernard's Room, the Hollywood Dressing Room #2 (which the hallowed McMillen firm helped DD with) and even selections from her New York apartment (now owned by gossip columnist Cindy Adams) and her Los Angeles estate Falcon Lair (onced owned by Rudolph Valentino) - both of which were decorated by Tony Duquette.

DD's New York bathroom as decorated by Tony Duquette

From the Bamboo Room
Lot 499: Suite of bamboo and rattan seat furniture

First half of 20th Century, comprising: (2) 3-seat sofas and (2) club chairs, with leopard print upholstered cushions, sofa: 29"h x 84"l x 34"d, chair: 26.5"h x 28.5"w x 32"d -
Estimate: 700-1,000

Pair of andirons from DD's bedroom
Lot 612: Pair Art Deco andirons in the manner of Jean Perzel
Each composed of stacked glass panels inserted into a stepped nickel-plated base, 16"h x 5.5"w x 5"d - Condition: overall fair/poor, many glass plates chipped or broken at base, pitting to metal - Provenance: The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation
Estimate: 250-350

For more information on Duke style, look out for an article I wrote for an upcoming issue of Veranda magazine on the decoration of Miss Duke's residences.

Top photo: detail of a screen from the Hollywood Dressing Room #2
Lot 574: Attributed to Boris Lovet-Lorski (1899-1973, American), painting
First half 20th Century, three-panel floor screen with Neo-classical and "God Unknown" bust motif, unsigned, 68"h x 21"w (each panel)
Estimate: 1,000-1,500


Mrs. Blandings said...

Oh, my, indeed. Can't wait for you article!

Rose C'est La Vie said...

Thank you Emily, the catalogue is going to keep me happy for hours. Very excited by all your posts.

Emily Evans Eerdmans said...

Rose, I was so excited by the DD auction, I had heart palpitations! Patricia, it's a really fun article (if I do say so myself) - I hope Veranda runs it soon.

The Peak of Chic said...

Emily!!! Well, you've just made my entire year by showing us that screen. I can't even begin to tell you how gobsmacked I am right now. I have to pick myself up off of the floor!!

Bayou Contessa said...

What great style she had! Looking forward to your article!

Karena said...

Very exciting! The collection is phenominal!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the "heads-up"!!
This is just the kind of sale I remember as kid.... when everyone with gobs of money an style who had fun decorating in the 30s finally died in the late 70s to the early 80s. Its all there ,good and bad and the estimates make being a player seem so possible. There is some thing special about the variety and mood of collections of this vintage that I truly adore!

Emily Evans Eerdmans said...

Exactly, Anonymous! The estimates make me think it might be possible to make those andirons my own! The foundation maintains her archives in a shroud of darkness, so to be able to see these items is a rare glimpse into the private world of DD.

Rose C'est La Vie said...

Emily, I did spend hours with the auction catalogue and have come up with a bidding wishlist. It was hard to control my desires! I have credited you with the discovery and put something about you at the end of which I hope you'll approve. It is genuinely felt. Rosie