published Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

Liz Taylor jewels taking world tour before N.Y. sale

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    Actress Elizabeth Taylor died Wednesday in Los Angeles of congestive heart failure at age 79. (AP 1983 File Photo/File)

NEW YORK — Elizabeth Taylor’s prized collection of jewelry, art, designer clothing and other memorabilia will go on an international three-month tour before it is sold in New York in December, Christie’s auction house announced Wednesday.

The tour will begin in September and include stops in Moscow, London, Dubai, Geneva, Paris, Hong Kong and Los Angeles. It will end in New York, where Christie’s plans a “museum-quality exhibition” of the late actress’ collection that will fill its entire gallery space Dec. 3-10. The auction will be held Dec. 13-16.

Taylor, who was infamously married eight times to seven husbands and remembered for her roles in “Cleopatra” and “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?,” was also known for her passion for opulent diamonds. She died in March at age 79.

She published a book in 2003 titled “Elizabeth Taylor: My Love Affair with Jewelry,” and her collection has included some of the world’s most expensive stones.

A portion of the proceeds from the exhibition admissions and publications related to the sales will be donated to The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation.

The screen icon’s impressionist and modern art collection will be sold February at Christie’s in London and will include a group of works she inherited from her father, art dealer Francis Taylor, Christie’s said.

The auction house said details of the sales, exhibitions and tour dates would be announced in the fall. But it said Taylor’s magnificent jewelry by some of the world’s top design houses will range from white diamonds to elaborate custom-designed jewels. They will be sold in three sessions Dec. 13-14.

Some of the biggest names in fashion, including Valentino, Gianni Versace and Gianfranco Ferre, designed the star’s haute couture and ready-to-wear fashion. Classic “Elizabeth Taylor looks” will be offered in an evening sale on Dec. 14, followed by three sessions of fashion, handbags, shoes, accessories and fine luggage the following day.

Film memorabilia from Taylor’s Bel Air home, furniture and 20th-century decorative arts will be offered Dec. 16.

Christie’s first announced it was selling the actress’ collection in April after an agreement with her family. At the time, it didn’t release any details.

Taylor won three Academy Awards, including a special Oscar for her advocacy for AIDS research and other causes.

She also won an Oscar for her performance in “Virginia Woolf” in which she played an alcoholic shrew in an emotionally sadomasochistic marriage opposite Richard Burton, whom she married twice in real life.

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