I headed to the Bonhams & Butterfields Los Angeles location with one mission, see the hat. After all, there are only so many chances in life to see a striking blue hat covered with opals and expected to sell in the six figures. But there was a lot more to see, the preview was actually a three auction media preview with examples of exotic opals, 20th Century design, historic first edition books, maps, manuscripts, and photographs.
One of the most amazing parts of the preview (aside from the hat of course) was the display of a one-of-a-kind Tented Room designed by the late designer Tony Duquette and Hutton Wilkinson. The room was originally assembled for a California home in the late 1990s and reproduced here. According to Jason Stein, Specialist 20th Century Decorative Arts, Bonhams & Butterfields, this is the first time that a complete Duquette/Wilkinson creation of this type has been offered at public auction. The pieces will be sold consecutively during the auction on October 5 at Bonhams & Butterfields. Items of note include four Indian peacock mixed metal chairs inspired by the Peacock Throne of Shiva in Jaipur (estimated at $5,000-$8,000); four octagonal Indian painted wood side tables (estimated at $800-$1200) and eight black painted metal and hubcap sunburst wall decorations being sold in pairs at $3,000 to $5,000 per set. Click through for more highlights from the auction preview.