Christie's will auction off 80 pieces from Elizabeth Taylor’s jewelry collection on Dec. 13 in New York City, and also plans to sell additional pieces over the Internet.
The auction house has already predicted the sale will be “the most important [jewelry] event the U.S. has ever seen.”
JCK photo editor Emma Hopson provides an exclusive look at the collection.
In Christie's lobby before the press is taken into the galleries for a preview of Taylor’s complete collection of jewelry, fashion, fine art, memorabilia, and decorative arts.
(Far left) A set of ruby, sapphire, and diamond jewelry by House of Taylor. The necklace was designed as a series of graduated oval-cut rubies, each within a circular-cut diamond surrounds, spaced by circular-cut diamond, circular-cut sapphire, and pear-shaped ruby links, the front suspending a fringe of similar design; and a pair of ear pendants en suite, mounted in 18k white gold.
More House of Taylor diamond and pearl jewelry. (Far left) A diamond necklace and earrings set; the necklace was designed as a flexible openwork rose-cut diamond latticework bib, enhanced by circular-cut diamonds, to the similarly-designed backchain; and a pair of ear pendants of similar design, mounted in 18k white gold.
From left to right: Christian Dior pink chiffon and raffia embroidered evening gown and a matching clutch, which were made for Taylor when she played Leonara in the 1968 production of Secret Ceremony; Christian Dior shawls (2) and gown, which Taylor wore to the NYC premiere of Doctor Faustus on Feb. 6, 1968.
(Center) A set of aquamarine and diamond jewelry by Lynn Nakamura, comprising a necklace, the front suspending a multi-strand fine link platinum chain tassel, interspersed with collet-set diamonds, gathered by a cushion-cut aquamarine, to the neckchain of similar design; and a pair of ear pendants en suite, mounted in platinum.
A Gina Fratini wedding dress Taylor wore to her second marriage to Richard Burton in Botswana, Oct. 10, 1975.
Press gathers around Taylor’s famous La Peregrina necklace, designed by Taylor and Al Durante of Cartier in 1972.
La Peregrina necklace, suspends a detachable drop-shaped natural pearl pendant, weighing approximately 202.24 grains or 50.56 carats, measuring approximately 17.35 - 17.90 x 25.50 mm, with an old mine-cut and rose-cut diamond and silver foliate bail, suspended from a circular-cut diamond flame motif set with a pear-shaped ruby, spaced by a detachable pear-shaped ruby and natural pearl link, to the two-strand necklace, comprising 56 natural pearls and four cultured pearls, intersected by eight circular-cut diamond and cushion-cut ruby flame motif plaques, mounted in platinum and gold, La Peregrina late 16th century; diamond bail early 19th century; natural pearl, diamond, ruby and cultured pearl necklace by Cartier 1972, 13½ ins., pendant may also be worn as a brooch, accompanied by the seed pearl and platinum neckchain from the time of the purchase at auction in 1969
(From left to right) A Chanel ball gown, cape, and matching clutch, which Taylor wore to Taming of the Shrew at the Odeon Theater in London, Feb. 26, 1967, estimate $6,000-$8,000; a Tiziani black velvet “Scorpio” evening cape worn to Princess Grace of Monaco’s 40th birthday “Scorpio” ball on Nov. 15, 1969, estimate $2,000-$3,000; a Christian Dior evning gown of silver encrusted brocade with matching evening bag, estimate: $4,000-$6,000.
A sunflower yellow chiffon wedding dress Taylor wore when she first married Richard Burton.
(Center) THE NIGHT OF THE IGUANA BROOCH
A gift from Richard Burton on the night of the premiere of the film The Night of the Iguana on Aug. 11, 1964.
A DIAMOND, SAPPHIRE AND EMERALD "DOLPHIN" BROOCH, BY JEAN SCHLUMBERGER, TIFFANY & CO.
Designed as a circular-cut diamond body with polished 18k gold scales, with a pavé-set diamond and gold tail and fins, to the polished gold head, accented by cabochon sapphire eyes and a calibré-cut emerald mouth, extending polished gold whiskers, mounted in 18k gold and platinum, circa 1964, with French exportation marks and maker's mark.
The Taj Mahal pendant: a gift from Richard Burton for Taylor’s 40th birthday.
AN INDIAN DIAMOND AND JADE PENDANT NECKLACE
RUBY AND GOLD CHAIN, BY CARTIER
Set with an inscribed heart-shaped table-cut diamond, within a red stone and jade mount set with table-cut diamonds, the reverse decorated with an enamel latticework motif, from a gold neckchain set with cabochon rubies and old mine-cut diamonds, mounted in gold, inscribed heart-shaped table-cut diamond bearing the Islamic date 1037 [1627-1628], gold and enamel cage of later addition, neckchain circa 1972.
Bulgari emerald and diamond jewelry (necklace, ring, bracelet, brooch, and earrings) given to Taylor by Richard Burton.
(Far right) Bulgari emerald and diamond necklace, set with a graduated series of sixteen rectangular-cut and square-cut emeralds, each within a circular-cut diamond surround, spaced by graduated circular-cut, marquise-cut and pear-shaped diamond quatrefoils, mounted in platinum, 1962.
Much of the second floor was devoted to a look inside Taylor’s closet, filled with haute couture and ready-to-wear fashion and accessories, with more than 200 designer handbags.
A Christian Dior evening gown of scarlet chiffon. Sold with a preparatory sketch by Galliano and a swatch.
Long time admirer Andy Warhol said it best with this quote. In 1963, the artist paid tribute to Taylor with one of his famous lithograph portraits.