She was probably best known for her many husbands and raising millions of dollars for Aids through her Aids Foundation, but it has been revealed that the private jewellery collection of Elizabeth Taylor will be auctioned off in December this year. The auction will be preceded by a three month global tour of the jewellery which will also feature fine art, couture and memorabilia from the Hollywood actress. Many of the pieces have historical as well as sentimental value to Elizabeth and some items are expected to fetch over 2 million pounds. The auction will take place on the 13th and 14th of December and the trustees of Taylor’s estate have stated that all proceeds will go to the actresses Aids Foundation.
Amongst the pieces up for auction is La Peregrina, a 55 carat pear shaped pearl from the 14th century which was once owned by Queen Mary I and was later passed onto Spanish queens Margarita and Isabel. It was purchased for Elizabeth by her then husband Richard Burton who bought it in 1969 for £23,000. Taylor commissioned Cartier to to redesign it with a ruby and diamond mount and it is now estimated to reach between £1.25 million and £1.88 million.
An antique diamond tiara, which another one of Taylor’s husbands Mike Todd, bought for her and which the actress wore to the 1957 Academy Awards is set to reach between £40,000 and £60,000. The first gift from Richard Burton, a diamond ring which the trustees have renamed the Elizabeth Taylor Diamond, is the 33.19-carat Asscher-cut Krupp Diamond. This had formerly been part of the estate of Vera Krupp, second wife of the steel magnate Alfred Krupp. The diamond ring is expected to reach £2.2 million.
The collection also includes the Taj Mahal Diamond, the famous 17th-century diamond pendant Burton purchased for Taylor’s 40th birthday in 1972. The pendant, which sits on a gold and ruby chain by Cartier, is estimated at £200,000-£400,000. Burton is rumoured to have said “I would have liked to buy her the Taj-Mahal, but it would cost too much to transport. This diamond has so many carats, its almost a turnip.”
If you do not have a couple of spare million pounds to splash out on a Taylor exclusive item then fear not, there are two diamond encrusted wedding bands from her marriages to Burton that are only expected to reach around £4,000 to £6,000. However, be warned, as previous auctions of Marilyn Monroe and Jackie Onassis far outdid their pre-sale predictions. The auction will feature a total of 269 diamonds, pearls, rubies, rings, necklaces and tiaras. Time to get your Christmas wish list written up!