“Cow Hollow” was a pre-1906 San Francisco, one story plus basement farmhouse before Tony and Elizabeth Duquette purchased it in the 1960’s. The Duquettes, who were working frequently designing costumes and sets for the San Francisco Opera and Ballet, decided they should have their own residence in San Francisco. Both of these artists had been honored with one person exhibitions at the De Young Museum and in Tony’s case, also at the Palace of the Legion of Honor Museum in San Francisco. With his winnings from “Camelot”, for which Tony had designed the Tony Award winning costumes, they were able to purchase this small one story house. By the time they were done with their additions and decorations it had grown to a four story house created out of Victorian gingerbread salvaged from local demolitions. Ultimately called by Architectural Digest a “Birdcage Victorian” Tony called it “The House of Many Flowers”.
The former exterior porch at “Cow Hollow” transformed by Tony and Elizabeth Duquette and enclosed with antique French doors and a jeweled Tiffany window. The ceiling was created out of stained glass windows which Tony had used on the set of “Can Can” for Twentieth Century Fox. Every inch of the walls and windows were trimmed with black and white passementerie.
The upstairs hall at “Cow Hollow” was reached via an exterior spiral staircase discovered in Sacramento by Tony Duquette. The Duquettes have decorated the room with 19th Century English Regency Chinoiserie bamboo panels and 18th century French and English furniture.
The jeweled Tiffany window which Tony loved because it had necklaces made of faceted crystal diamonds and pearls, was rescued by him from a demolition in Berkeley, California.
The drawing room at “Cow Hollow” painted with faux marble panels in fantasy colors by Elizabeth Duquette and Art Fine. Even the real marble fireplace has been marbleized because it was the wrong color. The large framed mirrors were from the historic Mocambo nightclub in Hollywood, which Tony Duquette had decorated with Billy Haines in the 1940’s. The 18th century Venetian sofa was from the collection of Alice Larkin Toulmin. Flanking the fireplace are a pair of narwhal tusks and a carved alligator from New Guinea sits at its base. The mantel holds a pair of Regency green porcelain pagodas and is surmounted by an English Regency mirror from the collection of Zoe Akins. The amethyst crystal chandelier is a Duquette original.
Tony Duquette’s dressing room at “Cow Hollow” was decorated with Chinese picture rugs, English Regency chairs from the collection of Adrian, (the famous costume designer) and Oriental grill works.
Tony and Elizabeth Duquette’s bedroom at “Cow Hollow” had a canopy bed hung with golden Scalamandre silk brocade, amethyst silk gauze and panels of hand painted Chinese silk depicting birds. The chandelier made of Venetian glass flowers was originally made by Tony Duquette in 1941 for Elsie de Wolfe’s house “After All” in Beverly Hills.
The entrance hall at “Cow Hollow” had a “Grotto” viewed through a plate glass window which was filled with mirrors Burmese shrines, candles, spirit houses, metal palm trees, tasseled Chinese baskets, gold and polychromed Asian carvings and a Buddha.
The drawing room at “Cow Hollow” circa 1970’s designed by Tony Duquette using an 18th century painted Chinoiserie screen from the collection of Adrian, hanging Chinese tapestries and 18th century Venetian furniture. Duquette created the bronze cow head lamps from traditional walking sticks found in India.