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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Elizabeth Taylor, Malcolm Forbes and Christie's Love Paper Jewels

The Paper Jewelry Suite on sale as part of The Collection of Elizabeth Taylor auction.
The friendship of Malcolm Forbes and Elizabeth Taylor was as legendary as the lives they led. Part of what they shared was a great sense of humor.

This humor and affection toward one another was evident when the founder of Forbes once presented Taylor with a suite of paper jewels. It turns out that Taylor, who has been gifted with some of the most priceless pieces of jewelry in the world, loved the sentiment and recounted the story of it in her 2002 book, My Love Affair with Jewelry.

The paper cut-out of a necklace, a pair of ear pendants and a pair of ear clips will be among the statement jewelry, couture creations, memorabilia and other items that make up “The Collection of Elizabeth Taylor” auction, December 13-16 at Christie’s New York headquarters. It will be sold on December 14 and has an estimate of $200 to $300.

The sale of the paper jewelry gave Christie’s the inspiration for Marissa Wilcox, International creative director at Christie's, to create a paper-jewelry collection as part of the unprecedented auction.

“She has wanted to create a book of paper jewelry for ages because our jewelry clients have told us that they will sometimes cut images of individual jewels out of our sale catalogs and ‘try on’ bracelets, necklaces, rings and brooches,” said Erin McAndrew, head of Communications, Christie’s America. “When the Collection of Elizabeth Taylor came to us, we knew it was the perfect opportunity to launch our first book of paper jewelry.”

Using the Forbes gift as her inspiration, Wilcox selected 15 of Taylor's most iconic jewels to recreate in paper and incorporated them into a full color booklet. Among them is the Peregrina pearl—a historic 16th century pearl that was part of the Spanish crown jewels for generations, the Schlumberger "Night of The Iguana" brooch, the BVLGARI emerald suite, and of course, the 33.19 carat D-color Elizabeth Taylor Diamond. All will be part of the auction.

“Each jewel is perforated around the edges so you can just pop them out and pop them on, so to speak,” McAndrew said.

The book is available for purchase in person only at the New York exhibition (which has begun and will run till Monday) and the four-day auction that follows the exhibit. The auction house created 5,000 books and they are being sold for $25 each, with $5 going to the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation.

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