NEW YORK, N.Y.- The two-day sale series devoted to the haute couture, fashion and accessories portion of The Collection of Elizabeth Taylor realized a combined total of $5,586,913 (£3,631,493/ ˆ4,301,923). A fitting celebration of Hollywood‟s most glamorous star and her fearless sense of style, this portion of the collection was 100% sold by lot and by value. Comprising almost 400 of Miss Taylor‟s most iconic looks, the sales featured fashion and accessories collected over five decades with scores of museum-quality treasures. The Evening Sale opened with an announcement that the Elizabeth Taylor Trust will donate Miss Taylor‟s sunflower yellow dress from her first marriage to Richard Burton to a major American institution. Further details will be announced by the Trust in the coming days.
The top couture lot was a Christian Dior Evening Gown of Silver Encrusted Brocade with matching Evening Bag, 1968, which Elizabeth Taylor wore to Guy de Rothschild and his wife‟s yearly ball at their country home, Chateau de Ferrières, in Brie, France. This ensemble realized $362,500 (£235,625/ ˆ279,125). The accessories were led by the three lots of Louis Vuitton luggage which fetched $245,500 (£159,575/ ˆ189,035) in total.
“It was an honor to open the Evening Sale with the announcement that Elizabeth Taylor Trust will donate Miss Taylor‟s sunflower yellow dress from her first marriage to Richard Burton to a major American institution. The superb total achieved over two days for the Haute Couture, Fashion & Accessories from Miss Taylor‟s extraordinarily well-preserved wardrobe reflects the inspiration and delight that this portion of her collection sparked around the globe during our international pre-sale exhibition tour this fall,” said Marc Porter, Chairman and President of Christie's Americas. “The success of the Andy Warhol „Liz‟ lithograph with a dedication “to Elizabeth with much love‟ paves the way for the auction of Fine and Decorative Art & Film Memorabilia, which features 146 items, including costumes and Elizabeth Taylor‟s scripts for “National Velvet” and “Cat On A Hot Tin Roof.”
“We are delighted with the combined result of these auctions which confirms Elizabeth Taylor‟s status as Fashion Icon and Muse. Interest was truly international throughout the two days and four sessions, with private individuals, celebrities and fashion archives all competing fiercely online, in the room and on the telephones,” noted Patricia Frost, Christie’s Head of Fashion. “From couture gowns and jackets to caftans and Miss Taylor‟s luggage - famously labeled „mine‟ - bidders have been paying tribute to Miss Taylor‟s sense of style. Christie‟s are very pleased that her wardrobe will continue to inspire further generations of fans, fashionistas and designers and it is wonderful that The Elizabeth Taylor Trust have generously donated the iconic Irene Sharaff Sunflower Yellow Silk Chiffon Wedding Dress, 1964, to a major American institution. Bidding has yet to close on further fashion and accessories featured in the Online-Only Auction which runs until 17 December.”
Further Highlights from the Haute Couture, Fashion & Accessories offered in The Collection of Elizabeth Taylor Andy Warhol (1928-1987), Liz, offset lithograph in colors, 1964, signed with a dedication by the artist in felt-tip pen: 'to Elizabeth with much love', which sold for $662,500 (£430,625/ ˆ510,125). This work is from the edition of approximately 300, published by Leo Castelli Gallery, New York. This leads the way for the art works will be offered on 16 December in the Fine and Decorative Art & Film Memorabilia, Including Costumes, which will then be followed by the Impressionist and Modern works from The Collection of Elizabeth Taylor which will be offered in February 2012, Christie‟s London.
Miss Taylor's Gina Fratini Wedding Dress, which she wore at her second marriage to Richard Burton in Botswana, 1975, sold for $62,500 (£40,625 / ˆ48,125). Labeled „Gina Fratini‟, 1975, it has a patchwork silk bodice and floating pastel chiffon ombré sleeves and skirts, with long, beaded, feather trimmed streamers.
A Versace Beaded Evening Jacket, 'The Face', circa 1992, realized $128,500 (£83,525/ ˆ98,945). This jacket is beaded with rhinestone portraits of Elizabeth Taylor in her most famous roles, including Cleopatra. Miss Taylor wore this jacket when she spoke at 'The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert for AIDS Awareness', which featured a performance by the remaining members of the band 'Queen', in 1992 at London's Wembley Stadium.
Cleopatra, 1963, an Irene Sharaff evening robe which was made for Elizabeth Taylor in her role as Cleopatra for the 1963 Twentieth Century Fox production, achieved $62,500 (£40,625/ˆ48,125). An identical robe is worn by Taylor during the scene where Cleopatra is informed that Marc Anthony has successfully stabilized relations between Egypt and Rome, but only by marrying Caesar's sister Octavia. The news devastates the divine Queen and she screams Anthony‟s name in anger and frustration. She slashes his clothes hanging in their quarters and brutally stabs the bed they had shared. Irene Sharaff is credited for dressing Elizabeth as Cleopatra and although this garment is not labeled, it is likely to have been designed by her.
A Tiziani Black Velvet ‘Scorpio’ Evening Cape, 1968-9, realized $60,000 (£39,000/ ˆ46,200). Elizabeth Taylor commissioned the Roman dressmaker Tiziani to create this dramatic black velvet cape embroidered with diamanté scorpions on the front and on the hood for Princess Grace of Monaco‟s 40th birthday “Scorpio Ball.” Intended strictly for Princess Grace‟s fellow Scorpios Miss. Taylor, who was a Pisces, was permitted to attend the ball as the date of her husband Richard Burton, who shared the correct zodiac sign. Karl Lagerfeld was Tiziani‟s freelance designer when the cape was commissioned and this eye-catching piece, exquisitely detailed with an ivory moiré silk lining, may well have been one of his designs.
The impressive array of highly admired Caftans was led by two Thea Porter designs which both fetched $23,750 (£15,438/ˆ18,288); a caftan of cotton ikat with associated traditional multi-strand necklace, 1980s and a blood red chiffon caftan, late 1970s.
The top Accessories were A Louis Vuitton Set of Soft-Sided Garment Carriers and a Hat Box, 20thcentury and also A Louis Vuitton Set of Alzer Suitcases and a Boite Pharmacie 20th Century which each realized $110,500 (£71,825/ˆ85,085). The three lots of Louis Vuitton luggage achieved $245,500 (£159,575/ ˆ189,035). Other highlights were led by A Multi-Gem and Gold Scarab Necklace, designed as a graduated series of hard stone scarabs, which fetched $74,500 (£48,425/ˆ57,365) and A Black Alligator Mini Kelly Bag, labeled „Hermès‟, late 1960s which fetched $74,500 (£48,425/ˆ57,365).