The glamorous star may have passed, but a cache of Elizabeth Taylor’s belongings will embark on one last whirlwind, jet-setting tour this September. Christie’s is taking the actress’s collection of jewelry, fashion, decorative art, paintings and memorabilia to cities around the world. Stopping in London, Paris, Dubai and Hong Kong, the tour will conclude at Christie’s headquarters in New York. There, Taylor’s treasures will get a 10-day exhibition, Dec. 3–12, before being sold at auction, Dec. 13–16.
Taylor won the Academy Award for best actress twice, for her roles in Butterfield 8 (1960) and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf (1966). Famously married 8 times, Taylor was known for her violet eyes, AIDS activism, pioneering of celebrity licensing, and love of diamonds.
At the time of her death at age 79, on Mar. 23 of this year, Bloomberg Businessweek estimated the value of her jewelry at $150 million. In her 2003 book, Elizabeth Taylor: My Love Affair with Jewelry, personal photos and anecdotes revealed the passion and expertise with which she acquired and cared for her opulent collection. Christie’s promises the December sale will be “one of the most remarkable jewelry events in auction history.”
Less widely known was Taylor’s love of fine art. She was the daughter of art dealer Francis Taylor, who worked in New York, London and California, and instilled in his daughter a great appreciation of his craft. When the elder Taylor passed away, the actress inherited a collection of late 19th and early 20th century French and British paintings that included Vincent van Gogh and Dutch master Frans Hals. Taylor’s Impressionist and modernist works will be offered for sale at Christie’s London in February 2012.
Details of individual items up for grabs have not been disclosed, and there are no official estimates as to what the auction might raise, but the Taylor estate is thought to be worth anywhere from $500 million to $1 billion. A portion of the proceeds from the sales will go towards the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation.