New York – The collection of jewelry, apparel and other personal objects that belonged to Elizabeth Taylor topped estimates at Christie's auction house and sold for a grand total of $156.6 million over the course of Dec. 3-17.
"My mother always acknowledged that she was merely the temporary custodian of the incredible things she owned," Chris Wilding, the actress' son and member of the Elizabeth Taylor Trust, said in a statement.
"Today, I think she would be happy to know that her collections will continue to enrich the lives of those who have acquired pieces," Wilding said.
Christie's said that when the bidding was over in their saleroom at New York's Rockefeller Center and the parallel sale on the Internet had concluded, a full 100 percent of the 1,778 lots that included jewelry, gowns, artwork and memorabilia from her films had been sold.
Six lots went for more than $5 million each and another 26 objects took in more than $1 million, according to Christie's.
The undoubted star of the collection was "La Peregrina," the legendary pearl that the love of her life, Richard Burton, gave Taylor in the 1970s. It sold for $11.8 million, setting a new record for a pearl jewel at auction.
Some of the items auctioned off, which were acquired by buyers from some 36 countries, had winning bids up to 50 times higher than experts at Christie's had estimated.
The jewelry collection, originally valued at some $30 million, in the end went for a total of almost $116 million for all pieces during a day in which, besides La Peregrina, a 33-carat diamond solitaire that was knocked down for $8.8 million.
Also surprising was a lithography portrait of Taylor by Andy Warhol with a dedication in the artist's own handwriting, which went for more than $660,000, and an elegant evening gown signed by Dior that sold for $362,500.
While all sales proceeds are destined for the Elizabeth Taylor Trust, a portion of the profit from sales of exhibition tickets, event sponsorships and ongoing sales of select publications will be donated to The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation.
"My family is proud that our mother's legacy as a celebrated actress, tireless AIDS activist, and accomplished businesswoman touched so many people's lives that they wanted to have a part of it for themselves," Chris Wilding said.
The Hollywood icon died in March at the age of 79. EFE
MIA100 - New York - Photo of a lithography portrait of Elizabeth Taylor by Andy Warhol with a dedication in the artist's own handwriting, which went for more than $660,000 at Christie's auction house in New York. The collection of jewelry, apparel and other personal items that belonged to Elizabeth Taylor topped estimates at Christie's and sold for a grand total of $156.6 million over the course of Dec. 3-17. EFE/Christie's/EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES