Eighty gems, necklaces, earrings, pendants and rings that belonged to the late Elizabeth Taylor sold for more than $115 million collectively in a Christie’s auction in Manhattan Tuesday, setting the world record for a private jewelry collection.
A Cartier pearl and diamond necklace the late Cat on a Hot Tin Roof star received from Richard Burton, who she married and divorced twice, was the highest-priced piece of the evening, selling for a staggering $11,842,500. Burton purchased the necklace at a 1969 auction for $37,000.
A 33.19-carat diamond ring Burton gave her went for more than $8.8 million.
Christie’s Americas head Marc Porter told the NY Post Tuesday’s was “one of the most extraordinary auctions that Christie’s has ever had, and a testament to the affection for Elizabeth Taylor worldwide.”
Much of the proceeds from the auction will be forwarded to The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation.
Taylor died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles March 23 of congestive heart failure at 79. The Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? star is survived by daughters Maria Burton-Carson and Liza Todd-Tivey, sons Christopher and Michael Wilding, 10 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
More of Taylor’s goods will be sold later this week, some online; Taylor’s art collection will go on the block at a Christie’s auction slated for February in London.