This weekend one of our WYSK team members went to check out the Collection of Elizabeth Taylor exhibition that is scheduled for sale December 13-16, at Christie’s New York. Liz Taylor was known for her many passions over the course of her grand life, certainly her career and seven husbands were among them, but it can be said that one of her greatest passions of all was jewelry.
For many of us, jewelry marks a special occasion or commemorates a moment in time. It holds a sentimental value far exceeding its intrinsic one, and in spite of the $30 million the collection is estimated to bring in, like the rest of us, Ms. Taylor’s love for her jewelry was closely tied to the stories that the pieces tell.
This collection of jewelry, considered one of the greatest private collections to ever be amassed, has a remarkable selection of iconic diamond pieces, gemstones, historic jewels and couture creations from the world’s most renowned jewelers including Bulgari, Boucheron, Cartier, JAR, Schlumberger, Tiffany and Van Cleef & Arpels, among them. The pieces are grouped together by type, gold charm bracelets in one case, sapphires in another, etc. It’s so overwhelming that you almost forget that one woman actually owned all of it.
Among the 269 pieces on display there are some absolute showstoppers including an exceptional pair of diamond earrings her third husband, Mike Todd, gave to her that were a replica of a pair of paste earrings that she had fallen in love with while in Paris.
Todd also gave her Cartier’s La Peregrina, a pearl, ruby and diamond necklace centered with a perfect, pear-shaped pearl that was discovered in the 16th Century. Todd was known to lavish Elizabeth with many incredibly significant jewelry pieces in their short-lived life together.
Other important pieces showcased include the 33.19 carat diamond ring given to Elizabeth by Richard Burton, this was Burton’s first among many jewelry gifts he gave to her.
In addition to Taylor’s legendary jewels sale on December 13, Christie’s is also showcasing and selling a large collection of her haute couture and ready-to-wear that spans over 50 years of fashion, costume jewelry, accessories, 20th century art and film memorabilia, including her Oscar for Butterfield 8 and her original National Velvet script. You can check out the auction schedule here.
Should you too want to own a piece of the icon, there is also an online only sale of a variety of items, where estimates start at $50. Bidding on the online auction began this past weekend and will start to close on December 15, with all lots closing on December 17.
Elizabeth Taylor’s life on display tells us a passionate and colorful story of a woman who not only leaves behind some beautiful things, but leaves behind a rather extraordinary legacy. It’s well worth the admission price.
The Collection of Elizabeth Taylor exhibition remains open until December 12. Admission is $30 and tickets must be purchased in advance.
A portion of the monies generated by exhibition admissions, events and select publications related to the sales will be donated to The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation (ETAF). Founded in l991, ETAF provides funding to AIDS service organizations throughout the world to assist those living with HIV and AIDS.