Weekly Auctions of Exceptional Items
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Boonton, NJ, United States
DoneFri, May 21, 2010 2:00 PM GMT

100 Estates Auction: Doris Duke Thai Pavilion

Millea Bros. Spring 100 Estates Auction will offer more than 1,500 lots sold over three days from their expansive, rarely seen archives representing over six years' accumulation of Estate goods from important New York family collections. The centerpiece of this eclectic offering will be two extraordinary lots from the Estate of Doris Duke, beginning the auction as lots 1 and 2, promptly at 10am ET. The first of the two lots is the Thai pavilion that Doris Duke commissioned in 1964 and which is a replica of the Aphorn Phimok Pavilion at the Royal Palace in Bangkok, Thailand. When fully constructed, the pavilion is 75 feet high and 46 feet long. From foundation to roof, the wood is carved teak decorated with gold, quartz, and vermilion paint.

There are only five such known replicas in the world. Doris Duke's pavilion was built in Bangkok by Thai artisans, then disassembled and shipped to the United States. The other notable lot for auction is six original Thai houses that Doris Duke purchased in 1962. These houses were most likely built in the early 20th century and are comprised of carved teak walls. Both the pavilion and Thai houses were part of Doris Duke's Southeast Asian Art Collection for which Doris Duke began acquiring objects in 1961. Doris Duke's intent was to recreate a Thai village that evoked the traditional life and culture of Southeast Asia, particularly Thailand and Burma, as it was in the mid to late 19th century, with decorative and artistic works along with functional objects. In addition to the buildings there was to be landscaping with lakes, canals, and bridges. Unable to identify and acquire the ideal plot on which to execute her plan, Doris Duke shipped the buildings and works of art to her residence in Hillsborough, New Jersey in 1972.