LOS ANGELES, CA.- Bonhams & Butterfields
offered the Tony Duquette "Talismans of Power" auction, which followed the firm's sale of 20th Century Decorative Arts, on April 18, 2011. The energy in the full Los Angeles saleroom was electric as the auctioneer hammered the sale 100% sold. The unique collection was comprised of approximately 135 lots of jewelry, designed and created by the famed Tony Duquette.
The collection, which brought more than $350,000, mainly featured Duquette's famed "Talismans of Power" necklaces, but also included unique brooches, pendants, and bracelets designed as accompaniments to the necklaces. The elegant pieces were made from gold plated silver, exotic and semi-precious stones, and geodes, as well as iconic Duquette imagery.
Jason Stein, Associate Director, 20th Century Decorative Arts, Los Angeles, said of the sale: "Bonhams & Butterfields was pleased to offer Tony Duquette's celebrated 'Talismans of Power.' It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for collectors and connoisseurs to own a piece of Duquette's work."
Highlights from the Tony Duquette "Talismans of Power" included: a blue topaz, kunzite, moonstone, colored pearl and vermeil necklace, 1990s (est. $1,800-2,500, sold for $30,500); a bead carved, sliced and faceted amethyst and vermeil necklace 'Symbolizing the Essential Nature of All Things Being Spirit Expressing Itself in Many Forms', 1990s (est. $2,000-3,000, sold for $18,300); an amethyst, zircon and vermeil necklace with mabe pearl pendant 'Symbolizing Regeneration', 1990s (est. $2,500-3,500, sold for $15,860); an agate slice, tigers eye, zircon and vermeil necklace 'Symbolizing Pluto and the Ability to Evoke Transformation', 1990s (est. $1,500-2,000, sold for $14,640) and a blue sliced agate, paua shell, turquoise, lapis lazuli, glass bead, and vermeil necklace with 'grasshopper' element 'Representing Strength in Times of Difficult Challenges', 1990s (est. $800-1,200, sold for $6,710). The 'grasshopper' element necklace is currently featured in the April 2011 issue of Town & Country magazine.
Originally created by Duquette as part of his healing process, and for his personal use, a number of the Talismans in the sale boast unique mantras. Eventually, select pieces of the mystical jewelry were given as gifts to Duquette's close friends, relations, and notable society figures. Select Talismans have even been featured on the fashion runways for Balmain and Oscar de la Renta.
Also featured during the day-long 20th Century Decorative Arts sales was a robust selection of works in glass by noted makers. Among the highlights was a rare and large Ercole Barovier Mosaic glass vase, executed by Vetreria Artistica Barovier & C., circa 1924 (est. $15,000-25,000, sold for $170,000) as well as the Pacific Enterprises Commission of Sam Maloof Furniture. Among the highlights from the California craftsman were a fiddle back maple and walnut executive desk, with exotic wood inlay and pulls, circa 1990 (est. $18,000-25,000, sold for $48,800); a fiddle back maple and walnut oval table, 1990 (est. $18,000-24,000, sold for $39,040), among others. (Please see separate press release.)
Auctions of 20th Century Decorative Arts will continue on June 7, 2011 at Bonhams in New York. The illustrated auction catalog for the sale will be available online for review and purchase in the weeks preceding the sale at www.bonhams.com.