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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.