Jewels belonging to Italian actress and 1950s sexy symbol Gina Lollobrigida go on display in London ahead of an auction in May to raise money for stem cell research, with some items expected to fetch up to $1 million. Joel Flynn reports.
She was one of cinema's biggest stars; a sex symbol in the Hollywood hey days of the 1950s and 60s. And now Gina Lollobrigida is selling some of the iconic jewellery she wore back then to raise money for charity. Diamond, emerald and pearl pieces by the jeweller Bulgari are being exhibited at Sotheby's in London. That's before they're auctioned in Geneva next month. David Bennett is from Sotheby's. SOUNDBITE: Sotheby's Jewellery, Europe and Middle East and Switzerland Chairman, David Bennett, saying (English): "This is a really major opportunity for people who are not only collectors of Bulgari, but people who want to collect something imbued with this really magical provenance of one of the most ladies of the 20th Century so it's extremely glamorous jewellery and, you know, very important." The top pieces on offer are her 1964 natural pearl and diamond pendants, expected to fetch up to a million dollars. Lollobrigida wore them in 1963 at Time magazine's 40th anniversary celebrations at the Waldorf Astoria in New York. In a glittering career she played opposite Hollywood stars such as Humphrey Bogart and Frank Sinatra as well as fitting in time to raise a family. But those wasn't her only talent. SOUNDBITE: Sotheby's Jewellery, Europe and Middle East and Switzerland Chairman, David Bennett, saying (English): "Gina was one of the most famous and talented film stars of the 20th Century, but perhaps what's less well known is that she's als a very talented photographer and sculptor, and it's this that she's been doing for the last many years, and so she's taken the opportunity also with this sale to help one of the great humanitarian causes she's interested in, which is stem cell research." The jewels are being toured in New York, Hong Kong and Rome as well as London. They then return for exhibition in Geneva before the sale on May 14th.