We entered and were teased with the first exhibit: a display of the jewelry boxes her baubles came in. Red Cartier box after red Cartier box on tables and shelves, most labeled with white tape indicating what came inside. There was even the box with the formed indentation of the famous La Peregrina Pearl necklace. I was excited about the forthcoming jewels...I couldn't wait to see the pearl, the rubies, the diamonds.
Christie's recreated Taylor's room where she kept her jewelry. She was well-organized, keeping the baubles in their original boxes and making sure those that were gifted had their name on the box.
|Wasting Away In Caftanville Looking For My Lost Shaker Of Salt...|
|The Get Outta My Way Bitch Handbag Room...a replica of Liz's actual accessories room.|
Next was furniture, art, and some jewels, but nothing fantastic. Especially not fantastic were the many tacky gems Michael Jackson gave her. It appeared Liz wallowed in the Michael Jackson sequined 80's era for a while. Most of the gifts Jackson gave her were gaudy and cheap looking. Also on display was her Versace-sequined "Faces" jacket, featuring a version of her face in one of her many movie roles. Estimated to fetch anywhere from $15,000-$20,000, I think it's just awful looking, and I loved the 80's.
|Michael Jackson gave Elizabeth Taylor the "Monkey Necklace".|
|If Liz only knew about Purple Heart.|
This was definitely an exhibit of conspicuous consumption. I don't think celebrities live like this anymore - it's a bygone era. I'm not sure what celebrities do with their money today, but it seems few flaunt it like Liz did. However, her fortune wasn't really earned through acting. Some agree she wasn't a great actress and earned her Oscars through sympathy, and the majority of her jewels were given as gifts. Maybe that's why she chose to auction them and not pass them on to her children. She truly believed she was just a guardian of the gems - never the real owner.