Dec 15 - An auction of Elizabeth Taylor couture takes in about 10 times the pre-sale estimate, with one of her Christian Dior evening gowns selling for $362,500. Kathi Urban reports.
After Tuesday's record breaking auction, Elizabeth Taylor continues to draw in global audiences. A day after some of the Hollywood icon's finest jewellery sold for $116 million (USD), items from the former actress's couture wardrobe also went under the hammer in New York to an enthusiastic response. Despite not matching the frenzy that prevailed on Tuesday, the $2.6 million (USD) sale total was still about 10 times the pre-sale estimate. One of the actress' Christian Dior evening gowns eventually sold for 70 times more the estimated price. Andrea Fiuczynski, President of Christie's in L.A, believes it wasn't just Taylor's star power that drove the sale. SOUNDBITE: Andrea Fiuczynski, President of Christie's Los Angeles, saying (English): "So to have silks and metallic threads that were still in condition as if they had been made yesterday but were actually made in the 60s and done in the 60s and hadn't faded or really been exposed to any kind of extreme elements, I think all of this -- the condition, the provenance, obviously having been worn by her, the rarity of it all, all of that combines into extraordinary prices paid. Everyone wants a piece of Elizabeth Taylor and heightened by the fact that you can buy something and walk away with something truly amazing." The evening's top lot ended up being an Andy Warhol lithograph of Taylor which fetched $662,500 (USD). The results - a testament to Taylor's iconic status, according to the auctioneer. SOUNDBITE: Andrea Fiuczynski, President of Christie's Los Angeles, saying (English): "I think it's also testimony to her legacy as a philanthropist, a humanitarian, an activist, an Oscar winning actor, a woman with incredible style and amazing eye for jewellery and gem stones. A businesswoman, a mother, a grandmother, a wife -- I think although that comes into play. And all of us who grew up with Elizabeth Taylor, whether it's people who would have been her peers and were children when she was a child actor in National Velvet. Or people who are just discovering her now -- when you think about it, there really isn't anyone, any celebrity, any one person now who does everything she did." Taylor died of congestive heart failure aged 79 in March this year. Items from her estate continue to go under the hammer, with a memorabilia and fine arts sale due and more online auctions of some 1,000 lower-priced items taking place as well. Kathi Urban, Reuters