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In the Issue: Liz’s Legacy

Friday, January 6, 2012
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Elizabeth Taylor’s collection at Christie’s New York breaks previous records. 


by Caroline Birenbaum

Christie’s went all out for the Elizabeth Taylor collection of jewelry, couture, clothing and accessories, decorative and fine art, and performing art memorabilia in December. And as the headlines have announced, records and expectations were shattered. Liz’s jewels alone fetched close to double the record set in 1987 by the Duchess of Windsor’s collection, and exceeded early estimates by a multiple of five, garnering nearly $132 million, according to the New York Times. And the entire four-day extravaganza pulled in $153 million. Someone got some awfully expensive stocking stuffers.

Taylor, one of the silver-screen’s all-time most glamorous legends, died in March 2011 at the age of 79, and the auction of her fabulous belongings was the talk of the pre-holiday town. The catalog alone, a five-volume keepsake, ran $300 to benefit the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS foundation, and there were plenty of takers. Some 25,000 visitors steamed through the door during the 10-day preview exhibition.
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