NEW YORK, N.Y.-
The second day of auctions devoted to the jewelry collection of Elizabeth Taylor achieved US$ 21.3 million on December 14, and was 100% sold by lot. This brings the combined total for the sales of fine jewelry from the Collection to US$ 137,235,675 (£87,830,832/ 105,671,470) -- making it not only the most valuable private collection of jewelry ever offered at auction, but also the most valuable sale of jewelry in auction history. The previous evenings results of $115.9 million set a frenzied pace at the second day of the four-day auction series, with an added element of competition from scores of clients bidding online from around the world.
The spectacular results of the Evening Sale of Elizabeth Taylors iconic jewels sparked a surge of interest from collectors around the world. It took eight hours and three auctioneers to sell 189 more jewels from Elizabeth Taylors storied collection, noted François Curiel, International Director of Jewelry at Christies
. The atmosphere was electric from the very first to the last lot, with collectors from Asia, the Middle East, Europe and America chasing each individual jewel with a tenacity never seen before. All the jewels offered greatly exceeded their estimates, sometimes by much as a hundred times. This brings the total value of Miss Taylors jewelry collection to $ 137.2 million and sets a new record for the largest jewelry sale ever presented at auction.
The top lot of the Day Sale sessions was an exquisite antique natural pearl and diamond necklace dated circa 1860 that Richard Burton gave to Elizabeth Taylor in 1968. Featuring a pear-shaped pearl drop reminiscent of her historic La Peregrina pearl, the antique necklace was chased by multiple bidders who drove the final purchase price to $1.48 million. In similar fashion, the most anticipated items of the day The Burton Wedding Bands became the subject of a spirited bidding battle between a bidder on the phone and in the room. The gold and diamond rings, which were given to Elizabeth Taylor by Richard Burton upon their marriages in 1964 and 1975, were estimated at $6,000-8,000. The final sale price was US$ 1,022,500.
We are humbled and gratified by these results which are a testament to the publics overwhelming affection for Elizabeth Taylor and her incredible legacy, said Marc Porter, Chairman of Christies Americas. The sale of Miss Taylor and Richard Burtons wedding bands for over $1 million after an epic 15-minute bidding war was a fitting grand finale to the live auction portion of this amazing jewelry collection. We look forward to more great results this week, as the auctions continue with sales of Elizabeth Taylors fashion, accessories, decorative arts and memorabilia collections.