As famous for her eight weddings as for her empassioned acting abilities and violet eyes, Hollywood legend Elizabeth Taylor also had a penchant for clothes and jewellery.
When the siren of the silver screen died of congestive heart failure in March, aged 79, she left most of her estimated $500 million estate to charity.
As part of the estate the double Academy Award winner left behind thousands of items of clothing, shoes, handbags, accessories and, of course, several wedding dresses.
Many of these items will go under hammer in New York between Decemember 13 and December 16.
Among the items available to the highest bidder will be nearly 400 dresses, mostly couture clothing made for her by the likes of Chanel, Yves St Laurent, Dior and Versace.
“One of the many great treasures within Elizabeth Taylor’s vast collection is her extraordinarily well-preserved wardrobe,” Marc Porter, chairman and president of Christie’s Americas, told Reuters Canada.
“The stunning outfits she wore to galas, award ceremonies, AIDS benefits and even her own weddings to Richard Burton are all here, lovingly maintained along with the handbags, shoes, hats and other accessories that completed her superstar looks,” he added in a statement.
The auction’s highlight will likely be the chiffon wedding dress Elizabeth Taylor wore for her first marriage (1964) to Richard Burton, which lasted a decade. They remained in 1974, remarrying in 1975, but the union lasted just 11 months.
The gown she wore at the second ceremony will also be on sale.
Her 1964 wedding dress is expected to fetch between $40,000 and $60,000, however her rings from both weddings (pictured below) are expected to sell for about $6000-$8000 a pop.The wedding bands given to Elizabeth Taylor by Richard Burton upon their marriages in 1964 and 1975
Another highlight of the auction will be La Peregrina, a ruby and diamond Cartier necklace designed by Taylor herself. It features a 16th century pearl and is expected to go for between $2-3 million.
Christie’s curator Meredith Etherington-Smith described the collection as “highly personal ,” adding, “Many of the pieces in this lifetime collection were couture, custom made for Ms. Taylor by designers who became her close friends, including Valentino Garavani, Gianni Versace and Gianfranco Ferre”.
The collection is currently on show in London, having already been on display in Moscow where more than 6000 people attended. On its way to New York, the collection will be displayed in Paris, Hong Kong and Geneva.