This intimate exhibition of Elizabeth Taylor's iconic jewels at the Bulgari boutique in London is not to be missed.
For two weeks only, Bulgari will be displaying some of Elizabeth’s Taylor’s best-loved jewels in the apartment above its newly opened Bond Street boutique.
The seven jewels - from the actress' personal collection - are now part of the Italian Maison’s Heritage Collection and will be on display alongside four costumes worn by the star in the 1963 film Cleopatra. Acquired by Bulgari in 2011 at the auction of Elizabeth Taylor jewellery at Christie’s New York, which remains the most valuable sale of jewellery in auction history, the pieces were among Taylor's most treasured possessions.
A lifelong fan of Bulgari, Taylor made many trips to the famous Via Condotti boutique in 1962 while filming Cleopatra in Rome. With a love affair with Richard Burton blooming on set, they would head to the store to escape the paparazzi - and try on the jewels. “Undeniably one of the biggest advantages to filming Cleopatra in Rome was Bulgari’s shop. I used to visit Gianni Bulgari in the afternoon and we’d sit and swap stories,” she recalled.
Famously extravagant with his gifts, Burton showered Elizabeth Taylor with Bulgari jewellery during their time together. From her much-loved emerald engagement ring, known as the "Taylor Burton fiancée ring", to the huge emerald and diamond necklace worn by Taylor on her wedding day, her love of jewellery was legendary. Accompanied by a very discerning eye, Bulgari's bold, beautifully made jewels were the perfect match for a woman who was as impressed by craftsmanship as she was by carats.
Taylor and Burton's tempestuous relationship came to an end in 1976, but the actress' appreciation for the Italian jeweller never wavered. "I introduced Liz to beer, she introduced me to Bulgari,” Burton used to joke.
The emerald brooch given to Elizabeth Taylor by Richard Burton on the day of their engagement in 1962. Set with a 23.44ct octagonal step-cut emerald, it became the most valuable emerald jewel ever sold at auction, when it went under the hammer at Christie's New York in 2011.