December 2, 2011 - 11:04 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - The legendary jewelry and fashion collections of Elizabeth Taylor, the so-called "Crown Jewels of Hollywood," went on glittering display in New York before a hotly anticipated auction, The Associated Press reports.
The actress, who died in March at the age of 79, had seven husbands during her glamorous life, countless admirers and a passion for jewelry.
The exhibition at Christie's auction house in Manhattan is the last stop on a world tour highlighting Taylor's treasures and the first and last time that the entire collection is gathered in one place.
Thousands of people have already bought tickets to the 10-day public viewing, starting Saturday.
The auction will then run from December 13-16, offering pieces like the 33.19 carat "Elizabeth Taylor Diamond" given to her by husband Richard Burton in 1968, and estimated to sell for between $2.5 million and $3.5 million dollars.
Running concurrently with the live auction at Christie's will be an Internet-only sale of nearly 1,000 items such as jewelry and accessories like designer handbags. Christie's estimates total sales of between $30 million and $50 million.
Another gift from Burton was the famous "La Peregrina" pearl from the 16th century and once adorning several queens of Austria, England and Spain. It is estimated at $2 million to $3 million.
Hundreds of haute couture dresses from Chanel, Christian Dior, Givenchy, Valentino, Versace or Yves Saint Laurent, jackets, caftans, handbags and other accessories are on sale and they tell both the story of the star and also the changes in fashion during her eventful career.
The dress Taylor wore to her first marriage is predicted to go for between $40,000 and $60,000. "It is by far the greatest jewelry collection to be offered in a century," said Marc Porter, chairman of Christie's Americas. "There is such a depth of quality."