'A sculptor has little need for jewels' - Legendary actress turned artist Gina Lollobrigida auctions jewellery

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Sparkling jewels belonging to legendary actress Gina Lollobrigida are being auctioned to raise money for stem cell research.

The collection of 22 pieces will be included in Sotheby's 'Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels' sale on 14 May.

Gina Lollobrigida, one of the most popular European actresses of the 1950s and 1960s, said: “I began collecting jewels from Bulgari in the 1950s and 1960s, drawn by the wonderful craftsmanship and distinctive style of these pieces."

Click here or on "View Images" for the jewellery in pictures

"They accompanied me on many journeys – both professional and personal - and are redolent of those times and the extraordinary people I met along the way."

The former actress says these days she is focusing on her career as a sculptor. "After more than 65 years I have come full circle, returning to the skills I first learned at the Fine Arts Academy in Rome. A sculptor has little need for jewels, and so, I have decided the time is right to share them with other collectors."

Proceeds will be donated to benefit stem cell research "treatment, which I believe should be freely available to every child," Miss Lollobrigida said, continuing: "It is my wish that part of the proceeds from the sale will contribute to help fund an international hospital for stem cell research."

The auction will feature important Bulgari jewels from the 1950s and 1960s, worn by Miss Lollobrigida at landmark moments in her career and which were highlights of the international touring exhibition, Bulgari – 125 Years of Italian Magnificence in 2009-2012.

This includes a pair of natural pearl and diamond pendant earrings made in 1964 (est. $600,000-1,000,000), a 19.03 carat diamond ring, circa 1962 (est. $600,000-1,000,000) and a 1954 diamond necklace/bracelet combination (est. $300,000 -500,000).

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