When the press release for the upcoming Elizabeth Taylor auction arrived from Christie's, we hovered our cursor over the link as our breath caught in our chest. There is no jewelry collection on Earth that is more famous or more opulent; each piece a museum-quality show-stopper.
Taylor didn't play by "the rules," and her determination to be dripping in diamonds at all times made her as famous as her iconic movie roles and scandalous love affairs. Not many women could get away with -- much less pull off -- such an over-the-top look, but Elizabeth Taylor was certainly one of them.
This Christie's online collection gives Taylor fans the opportunity to learn more about the individual pieces from Ms. Taylor's collection, and if the price is right you can bid on a piece of Hollywood history for your very own. These pieces transcend the title of mere "jewelry" -- these are world-class jewels owned by a world-class connoisseur.
Learning more about the history of each piece is one of the most exciting things about the Christie's collection. The auction house has set up a blog and created video for bidders to learn more about the jewels and the woman who owned them. A few notes about some special pieces:
Diamond & Multi-Colored Ball Clip-Earrings: A piece commissioned by Taylor from Parisian jewelry designer Joel Rosenthal (JAR), these were created to reflect Taylor's famous violet eyes. When Taylor told Rosenthal her eyes changed color depending on what she wore, he created these earrings to match the phenomenon.
Diamond & Platinum Ring: A gift to Ms. Taylor on her 70th birthday, the heart shape of the charm is echoed by the open, scroll-like design of her initial "E."
La Peregrina: This necklace was designed by Taylor, along with Cartier's Al Durante. The centerpiece of the necklace is a 16th century, drop-shaped pearl; the pendant is detachable and can also be worn as a brooch. The pearl was brought to Spain from Venezuela in the 16th century, where it was sold to Philip II, who kept it for himself rather than giving it as a gift as he first intended. The design for the current setting was inspired by a painting of Mary, Queen of Scots.
Taylor's jewels were created for her by the most famous names in couture jewelry design: Van Cleef & Arpels, Cartier, Tiffany & Co. (Jean Schlumberger) JAR, Boucheron, Massoni, Mouawad and Bvlgari. Her collection ranges from pieces in a modern style, to vintage, antique and even Egyption Revival -- a reminder of her famous depiction of Cleopatra.
You can see the entire collection online now at Christie's Web site, and register to place a bid. If you will be in New York City between now and December 17, visit Christie's to see The Collection of Elizabeth Taylor Exhibition in person.
Online Auction Schedule
The Elizabeth Taylor online auction extends December 13-17:
Tuesday, December 13: The Legendary Jewels Evening Sale (I)
Wednesday, December 14: The Collection of Elizabeth Taylor: Jewelry (II)
Wednesday, December 14: The Collection of Elizabeth Taylor: The Icon and her Haute Couture, Evening Sale (III)
Thursday, December 15: The Collection of Elizabeth Taylor: Fashion and Accessories (IV)
Friday, December 16: The Collection of Elizabeth Taylor: Fine and Decorative Art & Film Memorabilia, including costumes (V)
December 3-17: Online Only Auction (VI)
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