The second and third installments of Elizabeth Taylor's Grand Estate Auction took place last night at Christie's including the rest of her jewelry and the first part of her clothing collection. For some reason, a personally signed lithograph of Andy Warhol's famous "Liz" image was included in the clothing sale, and got a great deal of attention going for $662,500. The rest of her jewelry added about $21 million to her gem haul for a record busting $137.2 million of jewelry sold in total. The second night's items were less significant pieces, though they still went for many times their estimates including a non-precious costume brooch that was given by Taylor to her mother on Mother's Day and included a personal note. estimated at $1,000 to $,2000, it went for $74,500. Generally, bidding reportedly did not reach the previous night's frenzy. Most items still went for more than $50,000, with many hitting six-figure prices, and a few cracked the million dollar mark including an antique natural pearl and diamond necklace and the wedding bands given by Richard Burton for both of their marriages, sold as a set of two.
Proving that there is no event that cannot be tainted by the presence of a Kardashian, a set of three diamond and jade bangles by Lorraine Schwartz were purchased by Kim Kardashian for $64,900 after an estimate of $6,000 to $9,000.
As for Taylor's best couture, it set a record for a clothing sale at $2.8 million. Standouts included a silver enctusted evening gown with a matching purse by Marc Bohan for Christian Dior from 1968 that garnered $362,500 and an embroidered Chanel ballgown and cape with matching shoes and bag from the 1960s that sold for $134,500. A 1992 beaded Versace bolero featuring portraits of Taylor went for $128,500. It is almost unheard of for Haute Couture, even from such illustrious labels, to sell for six figure sums. Her first Burton wedding gown designed by Irene Sharaff was removed from the auction at the last minute to be donated to charity, but her second designed by Gina Fratini sold for $62,500 as did a costume by Sharaff for Cleopatra.
Tonight will see the rest of her clothes and accessories hit the block including lots of Hermès and Chanel bags and a set of vintage Louis Vuitton luggage that should certainly attract interest. The Memorabilia sale, a grand finale of sorts will be held on Friday. Save your pennies.
Liz Taylor’s ‘Cleopatra’ Robe, Wedding Gown Set Fashion Record (Bloomberg BusinessWeek)
The Collections of Elizabeth Taylor Auctions run through Friday, December 16th at Christie's
Shiny Things: Elizabeth Taylor's Jewels Set Records And There's More To Come