If there’s one thing I immediately think of when someone mentions Elizabeth Taylor – other than her incredible love life and many marriages – it’s her diamonds, her huge, shiny, sparkly diamonds. Which, of course, are inevitably linked to her tumultuous love life… An icon in every sense of the word, Elizabeth Taylor was definitely one of the last remaining stars from Hollywood’s Golden Era, a time of seemingly neverending parties, the couture gowns, the jewellery, the intriguing love lives on and off screen, the glamour of it all.
Now, just over 6 months after Elizabeth’s death aged 79, Christie’s have the honour of selling part of her legendary collection in a 4 day sale from December 13th in New York. The first part of the auction is called “The Crown Jewels Of Hollywood”, which includes some truly iconic and historic jewellery from her collection. She once famously said: “You can’t cry on a diamond’s shoulder, and diamonds won’t keep you warm at night, but they’re sure fun when the sun shines.” At the time of her death, her collection was said to be worth around $150 million! Christie’s will be selling her famous 33.19 carat Krupp Diamond, which she wore daily and was the first diamond she received from Richard Burton in 1968. It’s estimated to sell between $2.5 million and $3.5 million.
Also for sale is La Peregrina pearl necklace by Cartier (est. $2 million – $3 million), a historic pearl which Burton gave her for her 37th birthday and she had made into a necklace, the Emerald Bulgari suite she got whilst filming Cleopatra in Italy as well as both wedding rings she got for her 2 weddings to Burton. In total, 269 magnificent pieces from this incredible collection will go on sale in December, estimated to achieve well in excess of $30 million.
If that wasn’t enough, parts of her fashion collection will also go on sale in the “Elizabeth Taylor: The Icon and her Haute Couture” auction. This features some museum quality haute couture pieces by Chanel, Christian Dior, Gianfranco Ferré, Givenchy, Halston, Tiziani, Valentino, Versace, and Yves Saint Laurent, designers with whom she had great personal relationships. There’s also an accessories sale – bags, shoes and an incredible Louis Vuitton travel set. On top of all of this, there’s also an art auction in February, which features everything from Van Gogh to Renoir to Warhol.
I am absolutely gutted to have missed the exhibition here in London as part of a world tour ahead of the auction, as a lot of pieces are truly museumworthy and might never be seen by the public again. So gutted, I’m considering a trip to Paris in November just to visit the exhibition. For other dates and locations of the tour, have a look here. As for the auction… it will be so exciting to see who will get their hands on some of the most iconic jewellery and clothes in the world!
Below are a few highlights of this historic sale.
La Pregrina pearl necklace
Bulgari Emerald Suite
Sundress worn on her first wedding to Richard Burton
Louis Vuitton travel set
All jewellery, clothing and accessories images ©Christie’s