Actress Elizabeth Taylor’s renowned collection of jewellery, works of art, fashion and memorabilia will be sold in a series of auctions starting in December, Christie’s announced. Taylor, one of the last great stars from Hollywood’s heyday who was known as much for her beauty, love of diamonds, eight marriages and work as an AIDS activist as her films, died of congestive heart failure in Los Angeles on March 23 2011, at age 79.
Christie’s said it will devote all its Rockefeller Centre headquarters gallery space to an unprecedented, monumental 10-day exhibition of her collection beginning on December 3. Before the sale a three-month worldwide tour of Taylor’s jewellery, fashion, accessories, decorative arts and memorabilia will kick off in September, with stops in Moscow, London, Los Angeles, Dubai, Geneva, Paris, and Hong Kong. In keeping with Taylor’s humanitarian work a portion of the proceeds from the exhibition admissions, events and publications related to the sales will be donated to The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation, which the actress founded in 1991. Christie’s did not release details on specific items in the auction or estimates of what they would fetch but past sales of collections of other famous people have sold for many millions.
Taylor’s jewellery is expected to draw intense interest. Christie’s described the sale as "one of the most remarkable jewellery events in auction history." A gala evening saleDecember 13 will be followed by two more sessions on December 14. Taylor’s jewellery was reportedly worth more than $100 million at her death. Her estate was valued at anywhere from $500 million to $1 billion. All sales, except art which will be held in London in February, will take place in December in New York. The most notorious of all the jewels is the 33 carat Krupp diamond, (pictured above)bought for her by Richard Burton. She said at the time "The Krupp was my prize for beating Richard at Ping Pong", and it was his first gift to her although he later went on to buy her even more extravagant sparklers including one so big it became known simply as the "Taylor Burton Diamond".
The single piece of Taylor-Burton diamond (above) was brought by Elizabeth’s ex-husband Richard Burton at an expense of $1.1 million. It was the world’s highest price for a diamond at that time. Shaped in a pear, or teardrop, the Taylor-Burton diamond weighs 69 carats. It was not only the world’s most expensive diamond, but also the world’s biggest and the most beautiful one at that time. If you would like an appointment, then please do call for a free consultation in our central London Hatton Garden office and we would be glad to try and help you. Our details are on the main page of the Lewis Malka London website.