Duchess of Cambridge
Villa I Tatti Florence
Posted: 14 Dec 2011 07:38 PM PST
NEW YORK, N.Y.- The record-breaking $116 million sale of Elizabeth Taylor's "legendary" jewelry collection at Christie's Tuesday night took even the auctioneers' breath away. Fair estimates on each of the 80 pieces suggested they would bring in some $30 million or more. But $116 million? It was "the magic of Miss Taylor present in the room," one auctioneer said, that led to record prices on so many items. The extraordinary beauty, rarity and provenance of the pearl known as “La Peregrina” inspired a fierce bidding battle at Christie’s New York at the opening auction of The Collection of Elizabeth Taylor . Estimated at $2-3 million, the pearl reached a world auction record price for a pearl at $11,842,500 (£ 7,579,200 / € 9,118,725) after four and a half minutes of bidding. The pearl, an historic 16th century pear-shaped pearl suspended from a necklace custom-designed for Ms. Taylor by Cartier, has been widely heralded as one of Elizabeth Taylor’s most iconic jewels.
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