Liz Taylor's jewellery collection fetches £74m at auction


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The Independent Online

Elizabeth Taylor's jewellery collection fetched a record-setting 115 million dollars (£74 million) at auction - including more than 11.8 million dollars (£7.6 million) for a pearl necklace.

More than 8.8 million dollars (£5.4 million) was the price of a 33.19-carat diamond ring given to her by Richard Burton - at an auction of gems and other memorabilia amassed by the late actress.

The pearl, diamond and ruby necklace, known as "La Peregrina," bought in 1969 by Burton for Taylor reached the world record price of 11,842,500 dollars. It was estimated to sell for up to 3 million dollars. The price surpassed the previous auction record for a pearl, set in 2007 at Christie's in New York.

The collection of Taylor's necklaces, earrings, pendants and rings and other gems went on sale at Christie's in New York. The ring was bought by a private buyer from Asia.

Among the other high-profile items was a diamond bracelet given to the "National Velvet" and "Cleopatra" actress by singer Michael Jackson, with an estimated sale price of 50,000 dollars . It sold for 194,500 dollars (£125,000).

Taylor, a screen goddess who also starred in classics such as "Giant," "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" and "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," died in Los Angeles in March aged 79. A jewellery lover, she had pieces from some of the most famous names in the jewellery world, including Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels and Chopard, in her collection.

Other sales of Taylor's art, clothing and memorabilia will be held later in the week. An online-only sale of some items runs until Saturday. Part of the proceeds will go to The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation.

Taylor's collection of impressionist and modern art is scheduled to go on sale at Christie's in London in February.