Wednesday - 01 October 2014

Movie legend lives on with Elizabeth Taylor £100m legacy

04 January 2012Written by Ivan Macquisten

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 auction history

• The most valuable collection of fashion ever sold at auction

• $9.5m taken in their first ever online-only auction

• 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 premium.

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