December 21, 2011
The auction house Christie's reported on Monday that its sale of the late Elizabeth Taylor's jewelry, gowns, art, and memorabilia totaled $156,756,576 -- more than triple what had been expected. Taylor's trove of jewelry fetched $137 million, by far the most valuable jewelry sale ever. More than 58,000 people viewed highlights from the collection during a pre-sale tour that stopped in Moscow, London, Dubai, Paris, and Hong Kong, and nearly half that number paid $30 to see the items during a 10-day exhibition in New York. The auction's online component attracted more than 57,000 bids and took in almost $10 million. Proceeds of a portion of the exhibition, catalog sales, and related events benefit the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation. "My mother always acknowledged that she was merely the temporary custodian of the incredible things she owned," said Taylor's son Chris Wilding. "My family is proud that our mother's legacy as a celebrated actress, tireless AIDS activist, and accomplished businesswoman touched so many people's lives that they wanted to have a part of its history."