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…Eight maids a milking, seven swans a swimming, six geese a laying…five golden rings…four calling birds, three French hens, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree.

In late September, I flew to L.A. with a girlfriend to see the Elizabeth Taylor Jewelry Collection exhibition sponsored by Christie’s.

Maggie, the cat, had some serious bling. Unlike the actors and celebrities wearing borrowed jewels on a red-carpet night, Elizabeth Taylor owned her jewelry. I gawked like a tourist at the 33-carat diamond. Swooned at the Bulgari diamond and emerald necklace. Fanned myself while staring at the diamonds and rubies.

Among my favorite pieces were the gold charm bracelets, adorned with charms given to her by friends and family. Another was the necklace made of gold and ivory theatre passes, bequeathed to Liz from Edith Head, costume designer extraordinaire.

In addition to Miss Taylor’s magnificent jewelry, the exhibition showcased some of her gowns, which included pieces from Chanel, Dior, Versace and Valentino. I liked this Emmanuel Ungaro dress for its bold simplicity.

As cited in the Christie’s catalog, “Elizabeth Taylor had one of the best collections of handbags in the 20th century.”

I love a good handbag, too! And if I lived in a far-out fantasy world, I’d have a wall o’ handbags like this.

I grew up watching her movies on television. BUtterfield8. Suddenly, Last Summer. A Place in the Sun. I’ve probably seen Giant and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof ten times. I remember pulling out the twenty-pound dictionary and looking up mendacity.

I don’t have a favorite actor. But as my friend who invited me to the exhibition stated, “Elizabeth Taylor was one the last of the big screen stars of our generation.”

 It wasn’t the eye-popping baubles or the designer gowns I remember most about the trip. Rather that she was a person who lived life to the fullest. She took risks. Loved and lost. Generously supported her causes.

And she had the forethought to share a bit of her world with the rest of us after the party was over.

The exhibition is currently in New York at Rockefeller Center until December 12th.

 http://nyclovesnyc.blogspot.com/2011/12/exhibition-of-collection-of-elizabeth.html

The haute couture gowns and jewels, artwork and film memorabilia (i.e. her bound script from National Velvet) will be auctioned off at Rockefeller Center starting on December 13th. The proceeds benefit the Elizabeth Taylor Aids Foundation.

You can view the items at the link below. If you haven’t finished your list for Santa yet, the on-line portion of the auction has already started and runs through December 17th. (They take credit cards!) 

Buy some bling and benefit a great cause.

http://www.christies.com/elizabethtaylor/onlineonly_auction.aspx

Are you a fan of Elizabeth’s movies? Covet shiny and sparkly baubles?

 

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