PaperCity Magazine

October 2018- Dallas

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54 included Frogmore, which was salvaged from an 18th-century Irish storefront; Doorchester, constructed entirely of old paneled doors; and China, a conglomeration of gilded Chinese carvings. For many years, Duquette and his wife, Beegle, lived in a defunct film studio in L.A., which they renovated. Meanwhile, Dawnridge and another house they owned next door — called New Dawnridge — were rented out, mostly to people in the movie industry. When a fire at New Dawnridge burned it to the ground under suspicious circumstances — a body was found in the rubble — it was leveled. The empty lot made way for the lavish gardens and terraces that have since transformed Dawnridge into a large estate. The Duqettes moved back and, in 1975, commissioned the original architect, Caspar Ehmcke, to add a bedroom wing and kitchen, among other changes. Dawnridge became their private retreat, which they only opened for special parties, including one for Duquette's goddaughter, Liza Minnelli. For a dinner in her honor, he turned the garage into a magical impromptu dining area, with walls encrusted in mirrors and faux malachite. The multilevel gardens, studded with fantasy pavilions and sculptures, hosted al fresco lunches and dinners. At night, lanterns and chandeliers sparkled from the branches of flowering trees. In the 1990s, Dawnridge suffered a major fire (one of many that befell Tony's properties over the years). But like a phoenix rising from the ashes, Dawnridge returned to its original glory — this time with Hutton's stamp. After his wife's death in 1995, Duquette gifted the contents of Dawnridge to the Wilkinsons. When Duquette himself died, they auctioned much of the furniture and art to satisfy taxes and Duquette's heirs. Reported to be the largest house sale in American history at the time, the Christie's auction took place over three days in a Santa Monica airport hangar and sold more than 2,000 objects. The Wilkinsons eventually sold their own house to purchase Dawnridge, which they redecorated with furnishings and art Tony and Beegle Duquette had made, as well as some of the Duquettes' favorite antiques. The Wilkinsons lived there until their own home, Casa La Condesa, was finished on the compound in 2011. Dawnridge continues to play host to glamorous, themed events, such as a recent "Return to the Raj" party thrown by the Wilkinsons. Guests dressed in Indian and English Colonial attire of the Raj era, and staff sported gold lamé and turbans with feather plumes. Wilkinson's own gift for collecting and decoration breathed new life into the famed estate, but as he says, it's done with great sympathy to what the Duquettes would have wanted. "The rooms are filled with wonderful memories of Tony and Beegle and their glamorous friends," Wilkinson says. "If these walls could talk, I assure you, they'd scream!" _________________________________ Hutton Wilkinson will discuss decoration, ornamentation, and working with Tony Duquette at a divine talk and book signing as part of Texas Design Week Dallas, Wednesday, October 24, 6:30 pm. Wilkinson will sign copies of his new book, Tony Duquette's Dawnridge (Abrams). For information and ticketing, go to In an alcove at Dawnridge, Giorgio Armani fur cape, shorts $1,695, hat $1,695, and earrings $295; right, Giorgio Armani jacket $3,895, skirt, and lace-up boot $2,795, all at the Giorgio Armani boutique.

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