25 December, 2009

If it Pleases You:

Baroness Catherine D'Erlanger wearing her colossal diamond tiara
"Baroness Catherine D'Erlanger was a great friend of Tony Duquette and they both influenced each other's taste tremendously. The Old Baroness, as Tony used to call her, had plenty of money and mountains of treasure to work with. She was also quite eccentric and often believed she was one step out from the poor house. "If you got her on a poor day", Tony would say, "you could buy the most amazing treasures from her for almost nothing!". It was from the Baroness that Tony purchased some of his best antiques and paintings, all of which she had brought to Hollywood from Europe during WWII. Here she has draped a doorway with strings of chandelier crystals with another fringe of crystals sparkling over the window, which are draped in a shimmering lamé. Influenced by Tony's work, the Baroness would spend hours making découpages panels by cutting up valuable eighteenth-century prints. When Tony telephoned one day to ask how the Baroness was doing, her friend and companion said she was "at her destruction" because she was in the process of "Duquetteizing" her creations by gluing rhinestones all over them.
She would wear her diamond tiara in the garden of her Hollywood home - where she had lined her swimming pool with green glass bottles, "like emeralds", she would say - in any vulgar situation."

in More is More, Tony Duquette