Elizabeth Taylor’s ample closets contained more than $2.6 million in fashion couture, which hit the auction block at Christie’s yesterday. A silver encrusted brocade gown sold for more than 70 times the pre-sale estimate.
The sale follows two other auctions this week of Taylor’s possessions, including a stunning $116 million sale of jewelry, with a number of pieces setting new records for prices.
The highlight of the fashion sale, the brocade Christian Dior gown, was expected to fetch $5,000 but by the time the gavel fell, a bidding war drove the price to $362,500.
The entire collection drew about 10 times the pre-sale estimate, thanks to online bidding, which pulled in buyers from around the world.
The sale set a record for a couture auction, said Andrea Fiuczynski, president of Christie’s Los Angeles and auctioneer.
“There isn’t any celebrity now who does everything she did,’ Fiuczynski said.
Also leading the bidding was a Chanel ball gown and cape with shoes and matching bag that sold for $134,500; and a Versace beaded bolero jacket embroidered wiht images of Taylor’s film roles, which sold for $128,500.
Taylor began her career as a child star in the film “National Velvet” and went on to star in classics such as “Cleopatra” during a 50-year career. She died in Los Angeles in March at the age of 79.
She was married eight times and was showered with jewels and gifts by her wealthy husbands, such as film producer Mike Todd and actor Richard Burton, whom she married twice.
The top non-couture sale was an Andy Warhol lithograph of Taylor that went for $662,500.