AS sales go, it is hard to imagine one that could have been more of an auctioneer’s dream than the collection of Elizabeth Taylor’s jewellery and personal possessions.
And so it proved, as the magical mix of
Hollywood royalty, the Taylor/Burton tempestuous romance, rocks to
knock your socks off and unique pieces of historical significance
came together in a two-week white-glove auction series that
totalled a premium-inclusive $156,756,576 (£100,324,209).
Christie's Rockefeller Center saleroom laid
claim to a host of records and superlatives between December 3 and
17 in dispersing the 1778 lots of jewellery, fashion, decorative
arts and film memorabilia:
• The most valuable jewellery sale in
• The most valuable collection of fashion
ever sold at auction
• $9.5m taken in their first ever
• 26 items selling for over $1m and six
items for over $5m
Top lot was La Peregrina, a 50
carat pearl, which had passed through the hands of both the
Hapsburg and Bourbon kings of Spain, starting with Philip II, and
sold here, suspended on a diamond, ruby and cultured pearl necklace
designed by Elizabeth Taylor and Cartier, for $10.5m (£6.73m) plus
premium against an estimate of $2m-3m.
A world auction record for any pearl, it
beat Christie's New York's own record set in April 2007 for The
Baroda Pearls suite of jewellery, which took $6.3m including
Antiques Trade Gazette is the weekly bible of the fine art and antiques industry. Read articles like this every week in the Antiques Trade Gazette or ATG app. Click here to subscribe today.