Elizabeth Taylor’s lavish collection of famous jewels will be coming to auction at Christie’s this December 8-13th, with the most iconic 80 pieces in her collection going on tour to Geneva, Paris, Los Angeles, Hong Kong and Dubai before the sale commences.
Among the most famous and most cherished items was La Peregrina, Spanish for “The Wanderer”, the historic baroque pearl discovered in the 16th century; one of the largest and most perfectly symmetrical drop-shaped pearls in the world, weighing an astonishing 203.84 grains.
La Peregrina was presented to Mrs. Taylor as a Valentine’s Day gift by her former husband, Richard Burton. Richard Burton absolutely lavished Elizabeth with jewels and gifts, his love for her was so great that he once said, “I cannot see life without Elizabeth. She is my everything- my breath, my blood, my mind and my imagination.”
The extraordinary pearl has made an incredible journey, beginning with it’s discovery off the coast of Panamanian in 1513, where it was immediately sent to King Ferdinand of Spain to become a part of the Spanish Crown Jewels. The pearl has since belonged to English, French and Spanish aristocracy over the centuries, finally landing in the hands of the Bonaparte family, and passed onto the Duke of Abercorn and his family, where it remained for over a century.
The pearl went up for auction at Sotheby’s of London in 1969, where Mr. Burton purchased the infamous pearl for over $37,000.00, outbidding an anonymous member of the Spanish royal family. The famous double-strand pearl and ruby necklace that the pearl currently resides on was created by none other than Cartier himself for Elizabeth; a masterwork of craftsmanship and beauty, inspired by the royal portraits of Queen Margarita and Queen Isabel of Spain.
Now, one of the most famous and enduring jewels in the world will be on a brief tour, available for a limited viewing at Christie’s, New York, from December 3-8th. Only one thing is certain- one very lucky woman will be the recipient of an unforgettable Christmas gift!