Elizabeth Taylor: Always a Participant in all Life Offers

By George Khoury

Even in death she is bigger than life. Although gone since March 23 of this year, the recent auction of Elizabeth Taylor’s jewelry collection brought over $156 million in sales at Christie’s New York from December 3-17.

The auction and sale brought many achievements:

It was the most valuable sale of jewelry in auction history

It was the most valuable collection of fashion ever sold at auction

It was Christie’s first “Online-Only auction which ran parallel to the live one.

The Online-Only auction took in $9.5 million alone

Six items sold for more than $5 million

The opening night jewelry sale alone set seven world records

The famous Elizabeth Taylor Diamond (also known as the diamond given to Ms. Taylor by Richard Burton) sold for $8.8 million or about $265.697 per carat.

Ms. Taylor’s auction drew bidders from 36 different countries and contained over 1778 lots of jewelry, fashion, and film collectibles. Items were bought at five to fifty times their estimated value.

Chris Wilding, Taylor’s son and member of the Elizabeth Taylor Trust said, according to Forbes, “My mother always acknowledged that she was merely the temporary custodian of the incredible things she owned. Today I think she would be happy to know her collections will continue to enrich the lives of those who have acquired pieces. 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.”

All of the proceeds went to the Elizabeth Taylor Trust with a focus on her AIDS research foundation.

It was estimated that 58,000 visitors saw the collection since September when Christie’s began an 8-city world-wide tour that extended into Moscow, Los Angeles, Dubai, Paris, Geneva and Hong Kong. The event culminated in a museum-like showing at the Rockefeller Center Christie’s.

Steven P. Murphy, Christie’s International CEO said, “The exhibition and sales of the Collection of Elizabeth Taylor in New York have been the crowning achievement to a very strong year at Christie’s. The Success of these sales, with bidders participating from all over the world, demonstrated not only a recognition of the taste and style of Miss Taylor, but also the convening power of Christie’s. I am very proud of our whole team, from all corners of our global operation. Their achievement was successfully bringing this event to fruition in a manner that paid homage to the panache and glamour of Elizabeth Taylor herself.”

Her eight marriages, life –threatening illnesses and celebrity status never over shadowed her zest for living.

She supported HIV and AIDS research with not only her name but her money.

She received the Presidential Citizens Medal, the Legion of Honour, the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Awards, and a Life Achievement Award from the American Film Institute where she was named seventh on their list of “Greatest American Screen Legends.

Before she converted to Judaism she was a student of all religions. She was a follower of Kabbalah and became a strong supporter of Israel. In 1959, because of her large purchase of Israeli Bonds, she suffered Arab boycotts. She could not enter Egypt to complete the film Cleopatra. She and Richard had wanted to marry in Israel but could not because Burton was not Jewish. She supported organizations to free Jews to leave Russia. During the 1976 Entebbe skyjacking she offered herself as a replacement hostage.

She was hospitalized more than 70 times and had at least over 20 major operations. She broke her back five times, replaced both hips, had a hysterectomy, and was afflicted with dysentery and phlebitis, a punctured esophagus, skin cancer, a brain tumor, pneumonia, pill and alcohol addiction. It was finally congestive heart failure that took her life at 79 on March 23, 2011.

Her acting skills live on when you see her in Cat On A Hot Tin Roof; Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?; BUTTERFIELD 8; Giant; Taming of the Shrew and Cleopatra and her guest spots on

Television shows.

She designed jewelry and launched three popular perfumes, in 2010 brought in $69million in sales.

“There’s still so much more to do. I can’t sit back and be complacent, and none of us should. I get around now in a wheelchair, but I get around.”

Facebookby feather
Facebookby feather
%d bloggers like this: