As many of you will know the auction of Elizabeth Taylor’s jewellery took place this week.
When she passed away in March of this year I wrote about her amazing collection of jewellery and some of the pieces I loved. Not only for their beauty but also the intriguing stories behind each piece. In her book about her jewellery collection called ‘My Love Affair with Jewelry’ she wrote about the history behind some of her most famous pieces. When she got them which of her seven husbands gave them to her and the most interesting why?!
One of the pieces I wrote about earlier this year went up for auction this week, the Taj Mahal diamond which was set in a jade and ruby pendant by Cartier. The diamond can be traced back to Shah Jahan who gave it to his wife. When his wife died the emperor commissioned a grand mausoleum in her honor that took 20,000 laborers twenty years to complete. Initially it was referred to as the rauza meaning tomb, it was later named the Taj Mahal.
Richard Burton gave it to Taylor for her 40th birthday in 1972.
The pendant which not only holds this amazing diamond is also an exquisite example of Cartier design with every detail considered and embellished. The diamond would originally have been suspended from a silk cord, Cartier took this as their inpiration for the gold a ruby chain fashioning the chain in the style of the original silk cord.
The piece sold for $8,818,500! If you want to see how a piece of jewellery gets sold for that much click here to have a look at at Christies video of the auction.
The other highest selling piece in this auction was the Krupp diamond or the Elizabeht Taylor diamond as it is called in Christies description.
This was the first piece of jewellery that Burton bought for Taylor in 1968, at the time he paid a record breaking $302,000, which at the time was the highest price ever paid for a diamond ring. Taylor is quoted as saying
The Krupp was my prize for beating Richard at ping-pong
Christie’s list this piece as having being sold for $8,818,500 this week. I’ve checked this up as it’s exactly the same price as the Taj Mahal necklace was sold for but it seems to be correct. The diamond was set in platinum with two tapered baguette cut diamonds on the shoulders.
Part of the proceeds of the auction will go to The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation, which she established in 1991.