NRF promotes and invests in the architectural heritage of the Newport community, the traditional building trades, and Doris Duke’s fine and decorative arts collections, for the enjoyment, education and inspiration of all.
As a leader in the preservation of early American architecture, NRF supports research and education in areas directly related to its collections and issues of critical concern to the field of historic preservation.
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Newport Restoration Foundation holds one of the largest collections of period architecture owned by a single organization anywhere in the United States.
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Hearts may not have been one of Doris Duke’s favorite design motifs, but heart shapes can be found in several places throughout her Newport estate. In honor of Valentine’s Day, we’re taking a closer look at some of the hidden hearts in the fine and decorative arts collection at Rough Point.
A Desk to Adore
Desk and bookcase
Lima, Peru, 18th century
Spanish cedar, mother of pearl, tortoiseshell, ivory, rosewood
Doris Duke’s bedroom features her deep love for mother of pearl furniture. From the bed to the nightstands, to the seating and tables, the room is a pearlescent dream, with accents of purple, of course! However, the Peruvian mother of pearl desk is especially stunning. The desk features a scalloped pediment above a pair of cabinet doors enclosing shelves. The interior is veneered with stars and parquetry, and above a slant front enclosing, six short drawers are inlaid with ivory hearts. When opening the chest, these little hearts are quite the pleasant surprise!
A Heart of Silver
Heart Shaped Dish
Tiffany & Company (founded 1837), 20th century
Doris Duke was often the most generous to those closest to her. While we do not know the giver of this gift or the reason for such thanks, we can only guess that Miss Duke extended a kindness to “Paul” in a way that was worthy of such a beautiful thank you. The inscription says, “Doris, you are a truly great friend. Love, Paul”. A keepsake of Doris’, this Tiffany & Co. heart shaped dish is stored safely in the collection archives at Rough Point.
Are You Pin-terested?
Heart Shaped Pincushion
Tiffany & Company, ca. 1900
18-karat gold base
Another Tiffany & Co. piece from the collection, the base of this heart-shaped pincushion is made of 18-karat gold, while the cushion is made of silk with cotton interior stuffing. It is part of a 14-piece Tiffany dressing set that once belonged to Doris Duke’s mother, Nanaline. Currently it is located in Doris’ personal bathroom in her bedroom at Rough Point, along with rest of the dressing set.
A Dish to Die For
Heart Shaped Dish
Enamel and copper
Long live the king! This enamel dish with copper latticework is actually a souvenir from the 1902 coronation of British monarchs King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra. It is unknown where Doris Duke acquired it, but this elegant dish also sits in the bathroom of her bedroom at Rough Point.
Want to learn more about the collections at Rough Point? Visit newportrestoration.org/roughpoint/collection or find Newport Restoration Foundation at newportalri.org!
As a scholar of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, but one who has—until recently—had little opportunity to spend time in New England, I have developed a particular, though less than fully informed, vision of the wealthy women and men who called Newport their summer home and what their so-called summer cottages must have looked like.
Sometime during my first week serving as the NRF’s Director of Museums, our Marketing Manager suggested that I write an introductory blog post. I said, “Sure, in fact, I think I’ll write two, an introduction and something about my favorite room at Rough Point...
Join us this Fall for more events celebrating this year’s theme of NRF at 50!
The month of August is jam-packed with fun activities that continue to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Newport Restoration Foundation. We’ll be looking back at — and sometimes reviving — what Doris Duke and others were up to around the time of its founding and much more! Please mark your calendars for special events including...