Elizabeth Taylor’s Precious Jewels, Gowns Take the Crown at Auction

Elizabeth Taylor
Elizabeth Taylor
  • The top lot of the sale was the legendary 16th century pearl La Peregrina which realized $11,842,500.

    The top lot of the sale was the legendary 16th century pearl La Peregrina which realized $11,842,500.

    Christie's

Seven world records were set at the jewel auction of the late Hollywood screen legend, and ardent jewelry lover, Elizabeth Taylor, that took place at Christie’s New York this week.

On Tuesday, 80 singular lots were offered and all 80 quickly sold, fetching a total of $115.9 million, making it the most valuable private collection of jewels ever sold at auction.

Many pieces soared well above their pre-auction estimates for sky-high prices which some say were based more on the intrinsic value of the jewels than the mystique of the actress. At times, the bidding was so fast and furious that the auctioneers were unable to keep up as bids jumped by more than $1 million.

The biggest moneymaker was a 50-carat pearl, diamond and ruby necklace by Cartier that set a world auction record for a pearl jewel at $11.8 million (Estimate: $2-3 million). The necklace, known as “La Peregrina,” was a Valentine’s gift from Taylor’s husband twice over, actor Richard Burton.

That wasn’t the only gift from Burton to make the record books; a ruby and diamond ring he gave to Taylor for Christmas sold for $4.2 million, setting the record for a ruby per carat, and a historic diamond dubbed “The Taj Mahal” broke the record for a jewel mined, cut and polished in India. 

Also, shattering a record was a 33.19-carat diamond ring called “The Elizabeth Taylor Diamond,” which sold for $8.8 million, more than twice the pre-sale estimate.

On Thursday, a Christian Dior evening gown of silver encrusted brocade swept to $362,500 from a $4,000-6,000 estimate. The $2.6 million sale was topped by a signed 1964 Andy Warhol lithograph depicting Taylor on a red background with green eye-shadow and red lipstick, inscribed “To Elizabeth, with much love.". It brought $662,500 from an estimate of $30,000 to $50,000.

Auctions of Taylor’s estate continue through Friday in New York. A portion of profits will be donated to the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation, according to Christie's.

A sale of the star's Impressionist and Modern art collection is scheduled at Christie’s in London in February.

(Report: Christine Bolli for ARTFIXdaily)

More News Feed Headlines

Image of stolen Francis Bacon works.

3 Stolen Francis Bacon Paintings Recovered by Police in Spain

  • July 20, 2017 13:08

Spanish police announced the recovery of three of five stolen paintings by Francis Bacon on ...

Read More

Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel Ceiling, 1508-12.

New York Man Believes He Owns a Missing Michelangelo

  • July 20, 2017 12:19

A man in New York state thinks he has a painting by Michelangelo that hung for years in his ...

Read More

Odysseus hiding under a ram to escape from the cave of Polyphemus, part of the Torlonia Collection.

Antiquities Dealer Sues Wall Street Journal Over Article on ISIS Link

  • July 18, 2017 12:44

An antiquities dealer has sued the Wall Street Journal over an article linking his family-run art ...

Read More

Humans form a record- sized lotus flower on July 15, 2017, in Lotus Live organized by the Asian Art Museum, SF.

Asian Art Museum Clinches Guinness World Record for Largest Human Flower Art

  • July 17, 2017 14:33

A Guinness World Record was set Saturday when the Asian Art Museum organized 2,405 people at San ...

Read More

Related Press Releases

Related Events from ArtfixDaily Calendar

 

ArtfixDaily Artwire