The great English actor Richard Burton once remarked about the love of his life, Elizabeth Taylor, “I taught her about beer; and she taught me about Bulgari.” And thus the most exciting news this morning, that Christies will host a series of public events this year, celebrating the life of Elizabeth Taylor and leading up to the sales of her treasures, including jewels, real estate and haute couture.
Taylor’s jewel collection is famous for the attendant romance associated with it, but these pieces go far beyond movie star appeal, including such rarities as the Shah Jehan Diamond, a heart shaped stone inscribed with an Arabic inscription and cut for the Emperor Jehangir, who later built the Taj Mahal.
Here’s the official Christie’s press release, with associated dates. More to follow!
CELEBRATING THE LIFE AND LEGACY OF ELIZABETH TAYLOR
CHRISTIE’S ANNOUNCES A LANDMARK SERIES OF EVENTS, EXHIBITIONS, AND AUCTIONS FOR FALL 2011 DEVOTED TO THE COLLECTION OF ELIZABETH TAYLOR
New York — Christie’s is honored to announce the official dates for a landmark series of public exhibitions and special events leading up to the sale of the collection of Elizabeth Taylor, the celebrated film star, fashion icon, and humanitarian. In tribute to this amazing woman and her legions of fans worldwide, Christie’s has arranged for an international, three-month tour of highlights from her expansive collection that starts in September 2011 and includes stops in Moscow, London, Los Angeles, Dubai, Geneva, Paris, and Hong Kong. The tour will culminate in New York in early December with a special ten-day, museum-quality exhibition of Elizabeth Taylor’s jewelry, fashion, accessories, decorative arts and memorabilia, followed by four consecutive days of auctions. For this pivotal event, slated for December 3 to December 16, 2011, Christie’s New York will devote its entire Rockefeller Center gallery space to the public exhibition and sales, which are expected to draw several thousand visitors each day.
Marc Porter, Chairman and President of Christie’s Americas, noted: “Christie’s is honored to have been entrusted with this important role in celebrating the extraordinary life and legacy of Elizabeth Taylor. The global tour and exhibition of her collection at Christie’s will be a window into the world of a true icon, a rare woman who was at once an international film and fashion star, loving mother, successful businesswoman, and generous humanitarian. This collection of her many cherished possessions will bring us closer to the essence of Elizabeth Taylor’s unique spirit, and promises to inspire admiration, delight, and at times, sheer wonder, in all who come to see it.”
In keeping with Elizabeth Taylor’s life-long devotion to humanitarian causes, Christie’s is pleased to announce that a portion of the monies generated by exhibition admissions, events and publications related to the sales will be donated to The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation (ETAF). Founded in 1991, ETAF provides funding to AIDS service organizations throughout the world to assist those living with HIV and AIDS.
The Collection of Elizabeth Taylor
|Public Exhibition: The Collection of Elizabeth Taylor||December 3 – 12, 2011|
|The Legendary Jewels, Evening Sale||December 13, 2011|
|Jewelry (Sessions II & III)||December 14, 2011|
|The Icon and her Haute Couture, Evening Sale||December 14, 2011|
|Fashion and Accessories (Sessions II, III & IV)||December 15, 2011|
|Fine and Decorative Art & Film Memorabilia, including costumes||December 16, 2011|
|Impressionist & Modern Art||February 2012, Christie’s London|
From the elegant simplicity of white diamonds, to her most elaborate custom-designed jewels, Elizabeth Taylor’s collection reveals in sparkling detail her celebrated love affair with jewelry. In what promises to be remembered as one of the most remarkable jewelry events in auction history, Christie’s will open the sales series devoted to Ms. Taylor’s collections with a gala Evening Sale of her most magnificent jewels on December 13, followed by two additional sale sessions on December 14. Culled with expertise and passion over a lifetime, this expansive and thoroughly stunning assemblage of jewelry from the top design houses demonstrates Elizabeth Taylor’s studied appreciation for both the allure and the art of jewelry design.
Haute Couture, Fashion and Accessories
From the red carpets of Hollywood, to the ski slopes of Gstaad, to the sandy beaches of Puerto Vallarta, Elizabeth Taylor exuded glamour in every facet of her life. With the designers Valentino, Gianni Versace and Gianfranco Ferré among her friends and collaborators, Elizabeth’s style evolved throughout the years, resulting in a vast collection of haute couture, ready-to-wear fashion, handbags and accessories that reflect the star that she was, both on- and off-camera. This extraordinary collection will be offered over the course of two sale days, beginning with an Evening Sale selection of iconic Elizabeth Taylor looks on December 14, and followed by three additional sale sessions of fashion, handbags, shoes, accessories and fine luggage on December 15. A final sale session on December 16 will be devoted to a selection of important furniture, 20th century decorative arts, and film memorabilia from Elizabeth Taylor’s Bel Air home.
Impressionist & Modern Art
Educated from a young age to appreciate fine art, objects and furniture, Elizabeth Taylor shared her love of fine paintings and drawings with her father, the art dealer Francis Taylor. She added steadily to her collection throughout the years, gradually assembling an exceptional group of late 19th century and early 20th century French and British paintings and drawings, including a significant group of works inherited from her father. These will be offered for sale at Christie’s London – the heart of the European art market – in February 2012 as part of Christie’s prestigious Evening and Day sales of Impressionist & Modern Art.
In addition to these planned auctions, Christie’s will introduce online-only sales through Christie’s LIVE™, the company’s online bidding platform, that will run concurrently with the exhibition and sale dates. Further details of all the sales, exhibitions, catalogues, and tour dates will be announced in the early fall.
Christie’s, the world’s leading art business had global auction and private sales in 2010 that totaled £3.3 billion/$5.0 billion. Christie’s is a name and place that speaks of extraordinary art, unparalleled service and expertise, as well as international glamour. Founded in 1766 by James Christie, Christie’s conducted the greatest auctions of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, and today remains a popular showcase for the unique and the beautiful. Christie’s offers over 450 sales annually in over 80 categories, including all areas of fine and decorative arts, jewellery, photographs, collectibles, wine, and more. Prices range from $200 to over $100 million. Christie’s has 53 offices in 32 countries and 10 salerooms around the world including in London, New York, Paris, Geneva, Milan, Amsterdam, Dubai, Zürich, and Hong Kong. More recently, Christie’s has led the market with expanded initiatives in emerging and new markets such as Russia, China, India and the United Arab Emirates, with successful sales and exhibitions in Beijing, Mumbai and Dubai.
*Estimates do not include buyer’s premium. Sales totals are hammer price plus buyer’s premium and do not reflect costs, financing fees or application of buyer’s or seller’s credits.
Images and estimates of auction items will be announced and available in early fall 2011.