Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

Virunga Park chief shot

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Algerian election: Bouteflika votes in wheelchair

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Algeria's media: a mixture of censorship and free speech

Read more

DEBATE

Algeria: What's the Choice? Incumbent Bouteflika Votes in Wheelchair

Read more

WEB NEWS

Nigerian web users call for end to violence

Read more

FOCUS

Bitcoin in the US: A monetary revolution?

Read more

ENCORE!

Fast cars and slow trains

Read more

WEB NEWS

Chile: online mobilization to help Valparaiso fire victims

Read more

FACE-OFF

François Hollande: France's most unpopular president

Read more

  • Russia and West agree on steps to ease Ukraine crisis

    Read more

  • Low turnout in Algerian election tipped to return Bouteflika

    Read more

  • Hundreds still trapped in sunken South Korea ferry

    Read more

  • Nobel-winning Colombian writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez dies at 87

    Read more

  • Deadly attack on civilians sheltering in UN base in South Sudan

    Read more

  • With a strong French presence, veterans and fresh faces, Cannes aims to please

    Read more

  • Eurostar train delay "chaos"

    Read more

  • Chelsea Clinton says she is pregnant

    Read more

  • French troops free five aid workers kidnapped in Mali by Islamists

    Read more

  • In pictures: Iranian woman pardons son’s killer at the gallows

    Read more

  • After cup defeat, Spanish pundits read last rites for Barcelona

    Read more

  • India heads to polls in single largest day of voting

    Read more

  • Ukraine talks open in Geneva as Putin talks tough on TV

    Read more

  • Pro-Russian separatists killed in attack on Black Sea base

    Read more

  • Man executed in Texas for 2002 triple murder

    Read more

  • Scandal-hit French doctor Jacques Servier dies at 92

    Read more

  • Belgian head of wildlife reserve shot in DR Congo

    Read more

  • Crunch talks on Ukraine begin in Geneva

    Read more

  • Stagehand of God? Maradona's legendary goal inspires a play

    Read more

  • US rolls out red carpet for French critic of capitalism

    Read more

  • N. Korea not amused by London hair salon's Kim Jong-un ad

    Read more

  • Real Madrid beat old foes Barcelona to lift Copa del Rey

    Read more

  • France's new PM targets welfare in drive to cut spending

    Read more

  • Campaigning against Bouteflika's re-election... in France

    Read more

  • Brazil club Mineiro cancel Anelka signing after no-show

    Read more

Culture

Elizabeth Taylor pearl sold for record $11.84 million

©

Video by Katharyn GILLAM

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-12-14

A pear-shaped white pearl once owned by European royals and Hollywood movie legend Elizabeth Taylor sold for a record $11.84 million at auction in New York on Tuesday. Known as the Peregrina pearl, it has been portrayed in art for centuries.

AFP - A huge pearl once worn by European royalty and last owned by Hollywood siren Elizabeth Taylor sold for a record $11.84 million at a blockbuster auction in New York on Tuesday.

"La Peregrina," depicted in art works over the centuries and coveted by kings and queens, was bought for Taylor by her actor husband Richard Burton in 1969.

Suspended from a Cartier necklace, the pearl had been estimated to sell by Christie's for $2-3 million but the figure shot up in fierce bidding, reaching the highest price for any pearl jewelry at auction.

The pear-shaped white pearl was a highlight of Christie's sale of the legendary jewelry and fashion collections amassed by Taylor, the so-called "Crown Jewels of Hollywood."

The actress, who died in March at the age of 79, had seven husbands during her glamorous life, countless admirers and a passion for jewelry.

An emerald and diamond necklace by Bulgari went for $6.1 million, catapulting over the pre-sale estimate of $1-1.5 million. Perfectly matching the stunning piece were a Bulgari brooch at $6.6 million and a set of ear pendants at $3.2 million, estimated before the auction at a maximum of $700,000 and $200,000 respectively.

Another big seller was a Van Cleef & Arpels diamond ring at $2.3 million, while Bulgari pearl and diamond ear pendants fetched $2 million.

The sale of Taylor's belongings follows a public viewing that attracted thousands to the New York auction rooms.

"It is by far the greatest jewelry collection to be offered in a century," said Marc Porter, chairman of Christie's Americas.

Live sales were to be held through Friday. Running concurrently was an Internet-only sale of nearly 1,000 items such as jewelry and accessories like designer handbags.

Hundreds of haute couture dresses from Chanel, Christian Dior, Givenchy, Valentino, Versace or Yves Saint Laurent, jackets, caftans, handbags and other accessories were on sale and they tell both the story of the star and also the changes in fashion during her eventful career.

The dress Taylor wore to her first marriage was predicted to go for between $40,000 and $60,000.

It would be hard, however, to match the beauty and history of "La Peregrina." Apart from its remarkable size -- 203 grains, the equivalent to 50 carats -- and association with the Taylor and her equally glamorous husband, the pearl comes with a story matched by few necklaces.

Discovered in the 16th century in the Gulf of Panama, one of the first recorded owners was King Philip II of Spain. It passed on to the Spanish queens Margaret and Elisabeth, who proudly wore the pearl in 17th century portraits painted by Velazquez.

The treasure went into French hands in the 19th century when Napoleon's brother, Joseph Bonaparte, briefly ruled Spain. Richard Burton paid $37,000 at auction, outbidding a member of the Spanish royal family.
 

Date created : 2011-12-14

Comments

COMMENT(S)