La Peregrina – The Legendary Pearl
Pearl, ruby and diamond necklace with a 203-grain pear-shaped pearl discovered in the 16th Century as its centerpiece. Designed by Elizabeth Taylor, with Al Durante of Cartier, it was a gift from Richard Burton on January 23, 1969. The pearl, discovered in the early 1500s in the Gulf of Panama, became part of the crown jewels of Spain. Prince Philip II of Spain gave it as a wedding gift to his wife, Mary Tudor of England, and it later passed on to the Spanish queens Margarita and Isabel, who wore the pearl in 17th century portraits painted by Velazquez. Richard Burton famously purchased the pearl for Taylor at an auction in 1969 for $37,000. Inspired by a 16th century portrait of Mary Queen of Scots, Taylor commissioned Cartier to design a new mount of matched natural pearls and rubies.
BVLGARI Emerald Suite
The suite of emerald and diamond jewelry from the Italian jewelry house, Bulgari was a gift from Richard Burton, the result of several trips to the Bulgari boutique on the Via Condotti in Rome from 1962 – 1967.
Cartier Ruby Suite
The suite of ruby and diamond jewelry by Cartier was a gift from her husband, theater and film producer Mike Todd, on August 1957.
BVLGARI Sapphire Sautoir
From the Italian jewelry house, Bulgari, the Art Deco style sautoir is set with a 52.72-carat cabochon sapphire. It was gift from Richard Burton for Taylor’s 40th birthday in 1972.
Taj Mahal Diamond
The gold and ruby chain by Cartier, Circa 1627 – 28, was a gift from Richard Burton, for Elizabeth Taylor’s 40th birthday in 1972. Inscribed with the name Nur Jahan, the wife of the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahangir, this heart-shaped diamond is believed to have been a gift from the ruler to his son, who became the great emperor Shah Jahan (1592-1666). At the age of 35, it is believed that the young prince presented the diamond to his favorite and most beloved wife, Mumtaz-i-Mahal. The emperor’s grief at her death just four years later inspired him to commission the majestic Taj Mahal in her memory.