May 18 2013 Latest news:
Saturday, September 24, 2011
A collection of jewellery, art and dresses belonging to the late Hollywood star Elizabeth Taylor is on display in London before being auctioned.
Highlights include the yellow silk dress she wore when she married her Cleopatra co-star Richard Burton in 1964.
There is also the Elizabeth Taylor diamond presented to her by Burton in 1968.
The La Peregrina was given to her a year later after Burton outbid a member of the Spanish royal family.
Dresses from leading designers including Versace and Chanel are on show alongside works of art by the likes of Van Gogh and Renoir.
The film star’s collection is being exhibited at Christie’s, London, before being auctioned in New York and London.
The Oscar-winning actress’s haul of jewellery alone is expecting to fetch upwards of £20 million.
Her famous jewellery and fashion collections will go under the hammer in New York in December, with her art up for sale in London in February.
The exhibition, which runs until Monday at the auctioneers in King Street, opens to the public today and a portion of the admission price will go to the Elizabeth Taylor Aids Foundation.
Jonathan Rendell, deputy chairman of Christie’s America, said: “It’s probably the most important jewellery collection that’s ever come up for sale.
“There are major pieces, there are historic pieces, there are things that people have known about for a long time.
“It’s extraordinary the number of collectors that have been in and gone straight to a particular case, straight to a particular object and said, ‘I’ve always wanted that’.”
Mr Rendell said the whole collection showed off her “gutsy glamour”.
“This was one of the great characters, this was one of the great stars, this was one who understood her contract with the public.
“She never left the house without looking fantastic. She was a star, she was major, it was all about lights, camera, action, go.”
On the total value of the sale, Mr Rendell said: “There are two things to take into consideration - there is the true value of the objects and then there’s the legend that goes with them. How much is the legend worth?”