In a city filled with personalities, Tony Duquette (1914-1999) was one of the most creative and original Los Angelenos in the second half of the 20th century. He was known for his exotic and colorful, baroque jewelry, costumes and interiors -- both the many homes he was commisioned to decorate and those he built for himself. As Wendy Goodman recounts, his career was launched at a Hollywood dinner party in 1941 when Elsie de Wolfe, Lady Mendl, enchanted by a table garniture that Duquette has supplied to the host James Pendleton, hired him to make her a "meuble". Among his clients were Elizabeth Arden, George Cukor and J. Paul Getty.
Duquette delighted and astonished his clients with his pieces -- such as these horses -- but he also supplied more traditional pieces of furniture. Doris Duke was not only a friend of Duquette and his wife Elizabeth, but an important client. There are additional pieces in the sale supplied to Doris Duke by Tony Duquette, most of them originally housed at Falcon Lair, but others which were at Duke Farms and Doris Duke's New York apartment (see lots 207, 1038, 1076, 1141, 1177, 1181, 1182, 1191, 1268, 1281, 1302, 1303 and for a painting by his wife, Elizabeth, see lot 1268).