A House Tour To Die For: Liz Goldwyn Visits Tony Duquette's Manse

Before Simon Hammerstein’s The Box, there was Liz Goldwyn’s Pretty Things, a documentary about the “long-forgotten queens of Burlesque.” But whatever this-‘n’-that the movie heiress has been up to since her 2005 HBO film debuted, IMDB doesn’t know about it.

We do know that she recently took a tour of late design legend Tony Duquette’s Beverly Hills manse. Her guide: Author and estate manager Hutton Wilkinson, a man who looks like a cross between Wayne Newton and Pierce Brosnan. Watching him float gracefully through the home’s well-marbled halls and gilt salons, it becomes clear that Mr. Wilkinson—a veritable walking-talking version of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons—needs a video of his own. After all, in his Qing Dynasty-style Liberace robe, Mr. Wilkinson easily steals the show from Mr. Duquette’s featured baubles—gorgeous pieces reduced to Nature Company check-out knickknacks in his overwhelming presence.

The home, built in 1949, is lovely. But all that glitters is not gold. Mr. Wilkinson is quick to show Ms. Goldwyn the building’s quirky imperfections: the “tiny” entry hall; the drinking glasses from Pick ‘n Save that act as shades on an electrified candelabra; some water stains on the damask-covered walls that had to be concealed by tassels. In short, surprises lurk behind every corner in Mr. Duquette’s estate, which, as Ms Goldwyn points out, “is like stepping into a fantasy.”