Featuring an 143 carat emerald, this platinum, emerald and diamond necklace was owned by Lady Granard (nee Beatrice Mills) a descendant of the founders of the town of Millbrae.
Cartier London 1932.
Note to readers: "Coming out" had a different meaning back in those days, as in debutante. For more on the subject go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/debutante
Doris Duke was the only child of James Biddle Duke, founder of the American Tobacco Company (and benefactor of Duke University). Upon her birth the press named her the "Million Dollar Baby."
According to legend, her father on his deathbed said to his daughter: "Trust no one. They all want your money."
Ms. Duke liked to say: You can't buy a person. But you sure can rent one for a while."
She once worked for $1.00 per week in the war relief effort, donating the balance of her salary to charity. I've discovered," she said, at the time, "That it's fun to work, I guess."
But mostly she indulged in philanthropy. According to the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Ms. Duke gave away $400 million during her.
Left: Doris Duke in 1978 at the storied Studio 54 in New York with Steve Rubel (co-founder of Studio 54 with current hip hotelier Ian Schrager), and dancer and choreographer Martha Graham on the right (founder of the Martha Graham Dance Company, the oldest and most celebrated modern dance company in the world).
Center: Crowds throng 54th Street (between 7th and 8th Avenue) outside Studio 54 in its hey day, with 'wanna-be' patrons jockeying for position and a chance at a highly coveted 'admittance nod' (i.e. "your in") from the door keepers. My sister and I made it in once, and now 32 years later my daughter lives next door in a new high rise building. Small world!
Right: Doris Duke with Imelda Marcos her close friend, and neighbor to her famed home Shangra La in Hawaii.
In 1988, The New York Times reported that Doris Duke posted the $5 million bail of the former Philippines first lady, Imelda Marcos, who was charged along with looting her country. A lawyer for Ms. Duke, was quoted as saying that his client had been "happy to help a friend."
Miss Dukes gesture of friendship followed the loan of her personal Boeing 737 to fly Mrs. Marcos and her entourage from Hawaii to New York.
Nice flight...if you can get it.
Mrs. Marcos was described as being "grateful and tearful" at Ms Dukes gestures.
How sweet! Oh pulleeze
In the end, she made her butler, the executor of her massive estate. He got $5 million in fees plus $500,000 a year. Other beneficiaries were Ms. Duke's camels, which were kept for life, and her dog, which got $100,000 a year.
Left: The Dining Room
The Doris Duke/Ganna Walska Indian Arya Necklace
I seem to get to know the Madame better on almost a daily basis.