Elizabeth Taylor Sale

Posted on: December 20th, 2011

Last week (13th-16th December), Christie’s New York hosted the sale of Elizabeth Taylor’s Jewellery Collection. The first evening sale on the 13th reached $115,932,000 (£74,196,480), becoming the most valuable jewellery auction in history. Six other new world auction records have been established by the sale: 1) price per carat for a colourless diamond 2) for a ruby, 3) a pair of natural pearl ear pendants, 4) a pearl jewel, 5) an Indian jewel and 6) an emerald jewel.

The highlight of the sale was the pearl known as La Peregrina, which fetched a record price for a pearl at $11, 842, 500 (£7, 579, 200). The pearl has a remarkable history, it was first discovered in the 1500’s in the Gulf of Panama, then during the 16th century King Philip of Spain gave it to Mary I of England. (The pearl features in the portrait Mary I by Hans Eworth the National Portrait Gallery, London. The pearl was famously purchased by Richard Burton for Elizabeth Taylor in 1969 for $37,000.

Other top lots included: The Elizabeth Taylor Diamond sold for $8,818,500 (£5,643,840), which she wore virtually every day for more than three decades. As well as The Taj Mahal Diamond (c. 1627 – 28) on a gold and ruby chain by Cartier which realised $8,818,500 (£5,643,840). The diamond was another gift from Richard Burton.

A further 190 jewels sold and their full details with photos can be viewed on the Christie’s website.