We all have a soft spot for something sparkly, but ‘Queen of Hollywood’ Elizabeth Taylor took the phrase ‘diamonds are a girl’s best friend’ more literally than most. Her exquisite jewellery collection – including a mammoth 33.29 carat diamond ring – has sold for $115million at auction in New York, smashing records and amazing antique-boffs.
Taylor, who died in March this year, was famed for her lilac coloured eyes, elaborate and extravagant style and, of course, her fascinating love-life (she married eight times – and twice to the same man, Richard Burton – so no wonder she needed plenty of rocks.) She loved nothing more than dressing up to the nines, no matter what she was doing – she famously not only wore her antique tiara to formal events but, bizarrely, for washing up or swimming too.
But it was her love-affair with Richard Burton, one of the two greatest loves of her life, that captivated the world and is personified in the mammoth diamond ring which sold for $8.8million and a historic pearl discovered in the early 16th century known as ‘La Peregrina’. The rare pearl was bought by Burton for a mere $37,000 or £23,000 in 1969, but fetched an astounding $11.8million at the auction in Christies, New York. (Oh. Em. Gee.)
Her wardrobe will also be sold later this week – and is packed full of haute couture and prêt-à-porter pieces spanning over 50 years, kept in perfect condition and telling the most epic of life stories.
Versace beaded jackets, gold Hermes bags, Chanel clutches and satin Louboutins, as well as a Bulgari cuff, a black Lanvin shoulder bag and a multi-coloured Oscar de la Renta gown have been exhibited in the UK, Moscow, Los Angeles, Dubai, Geneva, Paris and Hong Kong and are all up for grabs.
There are over 400 items of clothing alone – probably since Taylor, truly committed to the cause as she was, Taylor was still shopping for designer clothes right up until she went into hospital for the last time.
That’s what we like to hear.
by Zoë Beaty