Elizabeth Taylor’s 7.6m pearl, 17k shoes and 130k handbag… Record-breaking fashion buys of 2011
Despite economic lows, auction houses witnessed monumental highs as one-of-a-kind fashion and jewellery pieces fetched record prices during 2011.
From Marylin Monroe's iconic ivory dress worn in the Seven Year Itch to Elizabeth Taylor's 16th century La Peregrina pearl, bidders frantically battled for lot items, pushing them well over pre-sale estimates.
Here is a round-up of some of last year's most lavish purchases…
MARYLIN MONROE'S ICONIC DRESS
Marilyn Monroe clutching her dress as a gust of wind blows it up to expose her thighs, is considered by many as an iconic film moment.
Oh no, the wind! Marilyn's dress was bought by an unidentified buyer for 3.6 million ($5.6 million)
And eager to own a piece of film history an unidentified buyer paid 3.6 million ($5.6 million), – including a 650,000 ($1 million) buyer's premium – for the outfit Monroe wore in the 1955 classic film The Seven Year Itch at an auction in California.
The famous ivory pleated Travilla dress, was the first item to sell at the Debbie Reynolds auction, which included around 700 pieces of Hollywood memorabilia from the actress' collection.
NUDE KATE MOSS PHOTOGRAPH
An original 57in by 45in black and white print of a nude Kate Moss in her early days of modelling sold to an anonymous bidder at Bonhams auction house in London for 16,250.
The shot taken in Marrakech, Morocco,
by fashion photographer Albert Watson on a shoot for the German edition
of Vogue in January 1993, is said to be one of Moss' personal favourites.
shows the Croydon-born model in her late teens, kneeling on a roof-top,
with a leg covering her modesty, encapsulating the controversial ‘waif’
look which helped cement her fame.
Albert Watson's photograph of Kate Moss, taken in 1993 in Marrakech, sold for 16,250
SHOES FIT FOR A PRINCESS
A pair of Roger Vivier shoes, commissioned in 1962 for Princess Soraya of Iran, fetched 17,180 when they were auctioned in Paris.
The kitten heels, which are decorated with silver thread and bright orange topaz.were bought by the French shoe brand in a bid to keep its personal collection intact
The fashion house, revived by Tod's owner Diego Della Valle eight years ago, teamed up with the French government and the French Shoe Federation to reclaim around 80 per cent of the 340 lot items featured in the
HIGH PRICE FOR HERMES
Herms Birkin bags are known for carrying a high price tag. Handmade by the French luxury label they are named after actress and singer Jane Birkin.
But a rare design in red alligator, featuring solid 18K white gold and diamond hardware sold for 130,000 ($203,000) to an anonymous bidder at Heritage Auctions in Dallas, Texas.
It is the highest amount paid at a public auction for a handbag.
ELIZABETH TAYLOR'S PRICEY PEARL
Elizabeth Taylor's 50-carat pearl, diamond and ruby necklace called La Peregrina fetched a world record price of 7.6million ($11,842,500), when it went under the hammer at Christie's in New York.
This pair of Roger Vivier shoes, commissioned in 1962 for Iranian Princess Soraya, sold for 17,180
Elizabeth Taylor's La Peregrina, right, sold for 7.6m while, left, a rare Herms Birkin bag sold for 130,000
Originally bought by her two-time husband Richard Burton in 1969 for 23,000 ($37,000) it was the most expensive item sold during the Elizabeth Taylor Collection auction which made more than 80million.
The total smashed the 45.8million record set in 1987 at a sale of the Duchess of Windsor’s gems in Geneva.
The pear-shaped La Peregrina is widely considered to be one of the most important pearls in the world and dates from the 16th century, with previuos owners including King Phillip II of Spain and Queen Mary I.
ONE DEAR DIAMOND
Roughly the size of a woman's thumb and 110 carats the Cora Sun-Drop gem is thought to be the largest vivid yellow pear-shaped diamond in existence.
Going under the hammer last autumn at Sotheby's in Geneva, along with a number of other highly sought-after pieces of jewellery the stone went to an anonymous telephone bidder for 7m ($10.9 million).
Including the buyer's premium, the price increased to 8million ($12.4 million), making it the most expensive yellow diamond ever sold.
stone, known as the sun drop diamond, was discovered in South Africa in 2010
and was one of the largest to appear at auction in recent
An admirer studies the 110 carat gem – thought to be the largest vivid yellow pear-shaped diamond in existence