Elizabeth Taylor Jewelry Auction Earns $115 Million, Sets 7 World Records
By Victoria Gomelsky, Editor in Chief
Posted on December 14, 2011
Photos courtesy of Christie’s
Like disciples gathering at the altar of their high priestess, the jewelry faithful packed the showroom at Christie’s New York Dec. 13 for an evening sale of Elizabeth Taylor’s “Legendary Jewels,” an epic assortment of 80 lots that earned $115,932,000, setting a world record for the most valuable private collection of jewels sold at auction.
“We knew it would do well, but no one dared dream of $115 million,” said François Curiel, Christie’s international head of jewels. “Probably we will not see another sale like this for many years.”
Nearly every lot sold well above its high estimate, “a testament to the affection for Elizabeth Taylor worldwide as well as to her collecting ability,” said Marc Porter, chairman and president of Christie’s Americas.
The top lot, the legendary La Peregrina, a 16th-century natural pearl suspended from a diamond, ruby, and cultured pearl necklace by Cartier, sold for $11,842,500 (including the buyer’s premium), setting a world auction record for a pearl jewel. Purchased by Richard Burton in 1969 for $37,000, the historic piece carried a high estimate of $3 million.
What does this mean?
Provenance is still a big deal! Who owned something is even more important than the item itself in some cases, as this clearly proves.
I see this in everything ~ if it’s unique and different it becomes more valuable, especially if we can identify with it and prove its origin. In real estate, anything that is designed by a famous architect, different from the norm or in short supply fetches top dollar. In jewels and jewellery, the same can be said to be true. The more unique and rare, the better.
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