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AUDREY HEPBURN
Posted: 14 Dec 2011 07:38 PM PST
artwork: Elizabeth Taylor's La Peregrina, a natural pearl, diamond, ruby and cultured pearl necklace, by Cartier, sold for $11,842,500 at  auction of the late star's "legendary" jewels at Christie's . The price set a world auction record for a pearl jewel. Taylor called it "the most perfect pearl in the world." La Peregrina is a remarkable pearl of 203 grains in size – equivalent to 50 carats – that was first discovered in the 1500s in the Gulf of Panama. © Christie’s Limited 2011.

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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