On 6 November, Elizabeth Taylor’s magnificent collection of Bulgari jewelry was displayed for the first time in the Middle East.
Held in partnership with Dubai Design District (d3), the glittering event took place at Cuadro Fine Art Gallery located in the Dubai International Financial District (DIFC). Celebrating the brand’s 130 years and the legendary Hollywood actress, displayed amidst the chic ambiance were exquisite jewelry pieces worn by one of the greatest actresses of the last century.
Aside from the many extravagant roles that she played, Elizabeth Taylor loved jewelry. “I adore wearing gems, but not because they are mine,” she once said. “You can’t possess radiance, you can only admire it.” In 2011, Christie’s held a sale of Elizabeth Taylor’s private collection of jewelry, which set records as the most expensive sale of jewelry in auction history. During the sale, Bulgari bought back seven of its pieces that best reflect Taylor’s passion for the brand. These included an emerald and diamond platinum necklace with detachable brooch (over 80 carats); a 7.4 carat step-cut octagonal emerald and diamond ring; a diamond and emerald floral spray En Tremblant brooch; a gold and turquoise encrusted ‘Cleopatra Mirror’; a platinum sautoir with diamonds and sapphires with a detachable 65 carat sugar-loaf cabochon sapphire pendant; the ‘Trombino’ a platinum and diamond Art Deco-style ring with a sugar-loaf cabochon sapphire of more than 25 carats; and a yellow gold sautoir set with six Byzantine coins,
In 1961, Taylor was in Rome to film Cleopatra, the magnum opus that saw her play Isis, Queen of the Nile. While the actress was shooting in Cinecittà, the renowned Italian movie studio located just outside of the city, she would often visit the Bulgari store on via dei Condotti, the street known for its luxury and fashion boutique and situated adjacent to the Spanish Steps and the Villa Borghese. It was during this time that Taylor began to amass her incredible collection of Bulgari jewelry. “Undeniably one of the biggest advantages to filming Cleopatra in Rome was Bulgari’s shop,” she once said. “I used to visit Gianni Bulgari in the afternoon and we’d sit and swap stories.”
For this special exhibition, a selected number of guests were offered to the privilege to see some of these magnificent jewels firsthand.