The late star's jewellery collection goes on show for one day only
During her 79 years, global film icon and renowned British beauty Elizabeth Taylor attracted many admirers. Throughout her lengthy career she starred in more than 70 films, including lavish 1963 epic Cleopatra and 1966’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, for which she won an Oscar. Taylor was an infamous sweetheart and was married eight times to seven husbands, a number of which showered her with diamonds, rubies and sapphires. So it’s no surprise that when she died in March this year, she left behind a glittering legacy.
Taylor’s 269-piece collection is set for auction at Christie’s in New York City on December 13. But before it’s sold in the Big Apple, selected pieces will travel the globe, with an exclusive one-day stopover in Dubai on October 23 at Jumeirah Emirates Towers. Here we reveal some of the most iconic pieces that will be on show (and their estimated prices, if you’re interested in snapping one up).
The Elizabeth Taylor Diamond Estimated price: Dhs9,183,000 to Dhs12,855,500 A gift from sixth husband Richard Burton (whom Taylor married and divorced twice), he bought this 33.19 carat ring at auction in 1968. At the time it was the highest price ever paid for a piece of jewellery. She wore it every day, and once revealed ‘it hums with its own beatific life’.
The Mike Todd Diamond Tiara Estimated price: Dhs220,345 to Dhs299,800 A gift from Elizabeth Taylor’s third husband, film producer Mike Todd (who died suddenly in a plane crash in 1958, abruptly ending a brief but happy union), this tiara dates back to around 1880 and is one of many pieces she received from the film mogul during their one year of marriage. ‘I wore the tiara for the first time when we went to the Academy Awards in 1956,’ said Taylor. ‘It was the most perfect night because Mike’s film, Around the World in 80 Days, won Best Picture. It wasn’t fashionable to wear tiaras then, but I wore it anyway, because he was my king.’
The Cartier Ruby Suite Estimated price range of total set: Dhs430,000 to Dhs620,000 Mike Todd surprised Taylor with this Cartier set in 1957 as she was swimming laps in a pool at their private villa in the south of France. Without a mirror, she viewed the jewels for the first time in the reflection of the water. Her reaction? ‘I just shrieked with joy, put my arms around Mike’s neck, and pulled him into the pool after me,” said Taylor. (We’re thinking of copyrighting that for a movie scene).
Charm bracelet Estimated price: Dhs91,810 to Dhs128,535 The most sentimental of her pieces are Elizabeth Taylor’s charm bracelets (some of which she had been collecting since her teens). Each tells a story: this one in particular features a charm inscribed with Taylor’s 1967 film The Taming of the Shrew; another is a gold sphere locket that opens to reveal four medallions engraved with the names and birth dates of Taylor’s four children, Michael, Christopher, Liza and Maria.