29 September 2019

Elizabeth Taylor's Victorian Sapphire Brooch

Sotheby's

As September draws to a close, I've got one more fantastic sapphire brooch to share with all of you -- and, even better, you've soon got a (theoretical) chance to own it yourself!




Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

The brooch, which will go up for auction in a few days, once belonged to one of the greatest of all Hollywood jewelry collectors: Elizabeth Taylor. Above, she wears the brooch in London in July 1969.


Evening Standard/Getty Images

The piece was given to her by her fifth (and sixth) husband, Richard Burton. She's pictured wearing the brooch beside Burton above, at the wedding of his personal assistant, Robert Wilson, in August 1969.


Sotheby's

The lot notes for the upcoming sale describe the brooch as "a cushion-shaped sapphire weighing 37.29 carats, framed with old-mine- and old European-cut diamonds, mounted in silver and yellow gold." The royal blue sapphire is noted as being Burmese in origin.


Sotheby's

No information about the maker of the brooch is given; however, it's clearly identified as being made in the late nineteenth century.


Sotheby's

In 2011, the brooch was sold by Christie's as part of the extensive sale of Taylor's jewels after her death. The estimate for the piece then was $150,000-200,000 USD, but as was the case with many pieces from that sale, it far exceeded those numbers, fetching more than $1.3 million.


Sotheby's

Now, the brooch is due to be sold once more, this time by Sotheby's in Hong Kong. They're clearly hoping to do even better this time around: the auction estimate is set at approximately $1.7-$2.3 million USD. We'll see -- the auction will be held on October 7th, so if you've got a spare million or two laying around, you've got about a week to prepare!