Tabulous Tastemaker: Tony Duquette

June 11, 2015

By Tab Byrum

Today we celebrate the 101st anniversary of the birth of a true Tastemaker, Tony Duquette. Duquette can best be described as a man of many talents, he designed sets for both stage and screen productions, as well as costume design and eventually began designing interiors for major stars of the day like Mary Pickford and Buddy Rogers.


Following WWII and serving in the U.S. Army Duquette returned to working for private clients in their homes as well as designing for both theatre and motion pictures.

In 1949, Tony married the artist Elizabeth Johnstone and together they collaborated on design jobs and rose up through Los Angeles society. Duquette was the first American artist to be invited to present a one-man show at the Louvre, and over the years he would do one man shows in major museums all the over the United States and the world.


What? You wanted Pink?

In the 60’s and 70’s the Duquette’s traveled the world working on interiors for the wealthy and famous of the day such as Doris Duke and J. Paul Getty as well as commercial interiors for hotels. Twice in his life Tony Duquette lost major works to fire, the first time was in San Francisco in 1989 when the Duquette Pavilion was destroyed, following that fire Tony and Elizabeth created what they called a “living work of art” in Malibu, which was destroyed by wildfire in 1993.


A glimpse at Duquette’s gardens at his home Dawnridge. 

Sadly, Elizabeth “Beegle” Duquette succumbed to Parkinson’s disease in 1995, Tony continued creating and working for another 4 years until his death in 1999 at the age of 85, he and his beloved Beegle were married for 46 years.


Elizabeth Duquette wears a fabulous necklace, created by her husband. 

The Duquette’s Beverly Hills home, Dawnridge, still stands today, looking much as Tony left it. Dawnridge is used a great deal in photo shoots and films. There are several books available on the creations of Tony Duquette ranging from jewelry to the magical interiors he created. Tony Duquette was truly a Creative Genius who lived life to the fullest, with a motto of “More is More”.


Sitting room in Tony and Elizabeth Duquette’s home, Dawnridge. 


Another Duquette creation within the walls of Dawnridge. 


A diamond and aquamarine ring by Tony Duquette.


A young Tony Duquette. 


The “Abalone” chandelier Tony Duquette created in 1952 for his one-man exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. 


The Golden Room Tony Duquette created for Dodie Rosenkrans in her Venetian Palace. 


A Duquette decorated set in the shop of famed designer, Adrian. 


I think that’s actor Robert Cummings in this photo of a  Tony Duquette decorated room.


A Biomorphic console and mirror in this entry by Duquette. 


A carved coral Strawberry brooch by Tony Duquette, with jade and yellow sapphires. 


A room in the Venice palace, note the tiger stripe velvet trim throughout the room and on the pillow. 


Duquette created this necklace for the Duchess of Windsor, she wore it throughout her lifetime. 



Leopard and green velvet fabrics grace a room inside Dawnridge.

A room Duquette did for Elizabeth Arden in 1962.


Tony Duquette poses in front of a portrait of himself in his Shaman’s robes. 

All images are courtesy of Pinterest.

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