By Michelle Graff

Much already has been written about the upcoming auction of Elizabeth Taylor’s jewelry, clothing and art at Christie’s, including on National Jeweler's website, where stories about the late actress and activist have lingered on the Most Popular and Most Emailed lists for weeks.

No amount of news consumption, however, could have prepared me for what I saw when I visited Christie’s last Thursday and saw Ms. Taylor’s collection of jewels, valued as high as $150 million, in person. It is, I can say with a high degree of certainty, the largest private collection of fine jewelry I’ll ever view in my lifetime.

I find it simply unbelievable that one individual owned so much beautiful jewelry by the top names in the business: Van Cleef & Arpels, Bulgari, JAR and David Webb, just to name a few.

As those of you that follow me on Twitter know, I was tweeting some of my favorite pieces during the nearly two hours I spent at Christie’s.

For those of you that don’t follow me (foolish!), here are a few of my favorites.

If I could have only one lot from the auction, it would have to be the sapphire and diamond “Trombino” Sapphire necklace and ring ring by Bulgari (estimate $150,000 to $200,000), seen here to the right with another favorite of mine, a sapphire and diamond sautoir by Bulgari, given to Elizabeth Taylor by her legendary love Richard Burton when she turned 40 (estimate $600,000 to $800,000).

Should somebody snatch up these two pieces before I get into the thick of the bidding, I would settle for this bracelet (below) from David Webb. The pearl bracelet features a lion’s head of diamonds, platinum and 18-karat gold with pear-shaped emerald eyes.

Crafted in 1965, the bracelet is part of a suite that includes a matching necklace (estimate $60,000 to $80,000).

Webb bracelet

I also loved this relatively simple 18-karat white gold cabochon coral and diamond ring (below, estimate $3,000 to $5,000).

Coral ringChristie’s auction of The Collection of Elizabeth Taylor spans five days. Her jewelry is slated for two separate auctions, an evening sale on Dec. 13 and another on Dec. 14 that begins at 10 a.m.

Following that, Christie’s will sell her haute couture on Dec. 14, other fashion and accessories on Dec. 15 and fine and decorative art along with film memorabilia on Dec. 16.

An online auction of Ms. Taylor’s jewelry and clothes is taking place right now through Dec. 17. Last I looked, there were still quite a few items that were attainable for $100.

TAGS:   Celebrities
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