On Tuesday night, Christie’s first auction for the ‘The Collection of Elizabeth Taylor,’ fetched over $115 million – setting a new world record for the most valuable private jewelry collection ever sold at auction. All 80 jewels sold with 24 realizing more than $1 million and 6 jewels realizing more than $5 million.
“It’s one of the most extraordinary auctions that Christie’s has ever had and a testament to the affection for Elizabeth Taylor worldwide,” said Marc Porter, chairman and president of Christie’s Americas.
The top sale of the evening was for La Pérégrina (The Legendary Pearl), a 16th century pearl once part of the crown jewels of Spain. A gift to Taylor from Richard Burton in 1969, the piece was purchased by an anonymous buyer for $11.8 million surpassing the pre-sale high estimate of $3 million. The prior world record for a pearl jewel was set in 2007 at Christie’s auction house in New York City with the sale of The Baroda Pearls for $7,096,000.
Among other high profile items was ‘The Elizabeth Taylor Diamond‘, formerly known as The Krupp, the rectangular cut 33.19 carat D-Color diamond sold for $8,818,500 to a private Asian buyer, surpassing pre-sale estimates of $2,500,000 – $3,500,000.
The Taj Mahal diamond set on a gold and ruby chain sold to an anonymous buyer for $8.8 million, vastly surpassing a pre-sale high of $500,000 and simultaneously setting a new world record for an Indian jewel.
A diamond bracelet given to the film star by close friend Michael Jackson sold for $194,500.
To view a full list of results from Tuesday’s auction click here.
More pieces from the late actress’s estate will go to auction later this week, with 189 items to go today and an online-only sale of some items running until Saturday. In February 2012, Taylor’s collection of Impressionist and Modernist art will go on sale in London.
As a tribute to Elizabeth Taylor’s life-long humanitarian causes, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation.