There was much excitement when it was announced that Elizabeth Taylor’s jewelry collection was going to be sold at Christies, and expectations were high. The auction, held Tuesday, did not disappoint. The total sum for the 80-lot collection came to a record-setting $115,932,000, making it the most valuable privately owned collection of jewelry ever sold at auction.
The most expensive piece ended up being the Cartier-designed necklace “La Peregrina”, a gorgeous pearl, ruby and diamond piece, which went for close to $12 million (Richard Burton bought it for $37,000 in 1957 – talk about a great investment!).
Elizabeth Taylor of course loved jewelry (check out her fabulous book “My Love Affair With Jewelry”) and amassed a great collection during her lifetime, in large part thanks to her generous (and plentiful!) husbands. The collection is just breathtaking – gold, diamonds, pearls, countless other precious stones – and it also included five charm bracelets, for which she collected charms throughout her life, all with special meaning and memories.
The first item sold last night was this gorgeous loaded, and very personal, gold and multi-gem charm bracelet (to the right), which was estimated at around $25,000 and ended up selling for $326,500! It includes charms like a locket with her children’s names inscribed, a directors slate inscribed “The taming of the shrew”, etc.
This charm bracelet (to the left) was estimated at $15,000 sold for $194,500 and has fewer personalized charms, but is obviously spectacular nevertheless. It does include one saying “Happy Anniversary, 1971, Raymond”, but my favorite on this bracelet is the rabbit charm.
And this one (to the right), which is my favorite, has (among other charms) one heart inscribed “Elysabeth, Alexandre, Love Fevrier 1972″, another saying “E.T. Happy Anniversary, 1974, Raymond,” and a locket with two photographs of Elizabeth Taylor’s father. It was estimated at a pretty affordable $4,000 – $6,000, but it also went for $195,400.
This bracelet (left) includes a key charm inscribed “To Elizabeth, with Love, Poker Alice, 1987″ another key with the inscription “Elizabeth” and a sombrero charms with several gemstones and the inscription “Easter 1970, With Lots of love, Raymond”. It was estimated at $12,000 and sold for $158,500.
And last, but not least, this one (right), which includes a charm inscribed “To Elysabeth, Love from Claudye e Gianni”; another with “Just to Remember Palm Springs”, and a Star of David charm with the inscription “Love Sophie” ended up at $116,500
Pretty amazing, and of course people are willing to pay these prices not just for the jewelry, but to be able to own a piece of a legend. But even if you’re not Elizabeth Taylor, it’s worth taking good care of, and holding on to, your charms! You never know what will happen one day.
All photos: Christie’s