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Games of Chance

March 5th, 2008

Daniel Pontius

Tony Duquette called his tablescapes, games of chance. I’ve loved this spread for awhile. I can’t decide why in particular. Tony Duquette was a protegee of Elsie de Wolfe, depending on who you ask. He did many light fixtures and if I recall some painted furniture for her home After All in Beverly Hills where she lived for a handful of years, which you can read about in Ludwig Bemelman’s memoir about his time with her there in To the One I Love Best. There she lived, as Duquette’s website reads, amongst the American royalty as she had to escape her beloved Versailles due to war. She pined for Versailles while she was there and if you see images of After All, it is very much designed, inexpensively (for her) as a stage set, with lino floors, fabrics and mirror and reproductions and grand sweeps of color. Elsie in tune with her own ideas of what was suitable as she was ready to make a break the moment she had a chance.
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