Two-day total of Elizabeth Taylor jewel auction exceeds $137 million
NEW YORK, December 14, 2011 – The second day of auctions devoted to the jewellery collection of Elizabeth Taylor achieved US$ 21.3 million on December 14, and was 100 percent sold by lot.
This brings the combined total for the sales of fine jewellery from the collection to US$ 137,235,675 (£87,830,832/ €105,671,470) — making it not only the most valuable private collection of jewellery ever offered at auction, but also the most valuable sale of jewellery in auction history.
The previous evening’s results of $115.9 million set a frenzied pace at the second day of the four-day auction series, with an added element of competition from scores of clients bidding online from around the world.
“The spectacular results of the Evening Sale of Elizabeth Taylor’s iconic jewels sparked a surge of interest from collectors around the world. It took eight hours and three auctioneers to sell 190 more jewels from Elizabeth Taylor’s storied collection,” noted François Curiel, International Director of Jewellery at Christie’s.
“The atmosphere was electric from the very first to the last lot, with collectors from Asia, the Middle East, Europe and America chasing each individual jewel with a tenacity never seen before. All the jewels offered greatly exceeded their estimates, sometimes by much as a hundred times.
This brings the total value of Miss Taylor’s jewellery collection to $ 137.2 million and sets a new record for the largest jewellery sale ever presented at auction.”
The top lot of the Day Sale sessions was an exquisite antique natural pearl and diamond necklace dated circa 1860 that Richard Burton gave to Elizabeth Taylor in 1968.
Featuring a pear-shaped pearl drop reminiscent of her historic “La Peregrina” pearl, the antique necklace was chased by multiple bidders who drove the final purchase price to $1.48 million.
In similar fashion, the most anticipated items of the day – The Burton Wedding Bands – became the subject of a spirited bidding battle between a bidder on the phone and in the room.
The gold and diamond rings (pictured), which were given to Elizabeth Taylor by Richard Burton upon their marriages in 1964 and 1975, were estimated at $6,000-8,000. The final sale price was US$ 1,022,500.
“We are humbled and gratified by these results which are a testament to the public’s overwhelming affection for Elizabeth Taylor and her incredible legacy,” said Marc Porter, Chairman of Christie’s Americas.
“The sale of Miss Taylor and Richard Burton’s wedding bands for over $1 million after an epic 16-minute bidding war was a fitting grand finale to the live auction portion of this amazing jewellery collection.“