The Price of Provenance – Elizabeth Taylor Jewelry at Auction

Elizabeth Taylor jewelryAs many of you already know, the results of the Christies auction of Dame Elizabeth Taylor’s jewelry brought unprecedented prices. A total of approximately $156,756,576.00 was reputedly realized for the entire collection. Every fabulous piece was sold!

Christie’s Rockefeller Center showroom was vibrating with excitement. With 1,778 lots of jewelry, decorative arts, fashion pieces, scripts and film memorabilia bids came in by telephone, on-line and live from attendees.

Our favorite, the La Peregrina pearl, reached dizzying heights in price at a reported $11.8. This is almost $9 million more than expected. This nod to the importance of provenance for a piece of fine jewelry is a confirmation that these types of collectible pieces are more than just pretty pieces of jewelry. The piece and its history of belonging to royal families dating from 1554 provides the new owner with an ancient past, blended with the glamour of the legendary icon Elizabeth Taylor. What a story!

Worldwide bidders raised the bar for a jewelry auction and this has set a new bar for future collections. The famed Burton diamond weighing 33.19 carats sold for a reported $8,181,500.00. The “YOU ARE MY QUEEN” Tiara given to her by her much loved husband Mike Todd sold for $4,226,500.00.

Bulgari bought many items of which they had been the original source, with one example being the natural pearl and diamond ear pendants that they originally made for Ms. Taylor which fetched $1,968,500.00 at auction.

Even the stars came out as Kim Kardashian purchased Lorraine Schwartz jade bracelets from the collection for a reported $65,000.00.

There were many interesting items in addition to the jewelry collection such as two famous scripts. The National Velvet script originally estimated to bring $2-3,000.00 brought a record $170,500.00! In addition the Tennessee Williams script of “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”, estimated to bring $3-5,000.00 brought in a whopping $104,500.00. A Versace jacket with beaded faces of the star fetched $128,500.00.

Clearly the history and stories of ownership of Miss Taylors’ collection and the history of previous owners combine to make this a collection not merely of high dollar acquisition. It is also a love story… about a woman who cherished and enjoyed her life, marking her most precious events with jewelry. The history of ownership is now passed on to individuals and companies who will create new stories that will follow each piece.

The road from provenance will be exciting…

2 thoughts on “The Price of Provenance – Elizabeth Taylor Jewelry at Auction

  1. Pingback: Birthstone Spotlight: June Pearl | John and Laura Ramsey • Gems at Large • Ramsey Gems

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