Don’t miss the unique exhibition ‘A Passion for Jewels’ in Zurich from 7 to 23 April 2016. The Bvlgari store in Zurich (Bahnhofstrasse 25) showcases a selection of Bvlgari masterpieces that belonged to Elizabeth Taylor, now part of the Maison’s Heritage Collection. The impeccable craftsmanship and magnificent stones of the creations on display will tell a compelling story made of love, glamour and beauty.
Elizabeth Taylor’s jewellery collection was renowned as one of the greatest ever assembled. In 2011, Christie’s held a sale of Taylor’s private collection, which set records as the most valuable sale of jewellery in auction history. From this sale, Bvlgari re-acquired seven pieces that best represented Taylor’s predilection for the brand and her unerring collector’s eye.
Indeed, the bold and sumptuous style of Bvlgari perfectly matched her decided tastes and since 1962, when the actress settled in Rome to film Cleopatra, the affinity became a lifelong, intense relationship with the brand.
The only Italian word Elizabeth knows is Bvlgari.
This predilection was encouraged by Elizabeth Taylor’s love affair with Richard Burton, started on the film set and sealed with magnificent Bvlgari jewels: legend has it that after filming their first scene together they instantly fell in love, despite the fact that they were both married. Their love affair spread like wildfire throughout the international press and the Bvlgari Via Condotti store was one of the favourite hide-outs of the couple in Rome. A ‘secret door’ in the back of the shop, still visible today, allowed the couple to escape from paparazzi lining in front of the store. Recalling the memorable moments spent at the Condotti store, Taylor stated that
…..undeniably one of the biggest advantages of filming Cleopatra in Rome was Bvlgari’s shop. I used to visit Gianni Bulgari in the afternoon and we’d sit and swap stories.
The exhibition includes Taylor’s first piece of Bulgari jewelry, an emerald and diamond En Tremblant brooch, the “Cleopatra Mirror,” the Taylor Burton fianceìe ring, a diamond brooch with a 23.44 octagonal step-cut diamond, an emerald and diamond necklace; a platinum sautoir with diamonds and sapphires; a Trombino ring that Taylor bought to compliment the platinum sautoir; and, lastly, one of Taylor’s most frequently worn pieces – a diamond and gold sautoir set with six ancient Roman coins.
Richard Burton’s emerald engagement ring (above): the actress cherished this piece and when she decided to auction it to raise funds for the fight against AIDS, she wrote a letter to the new owners instructing them to “Wear it with love!”.
The spectacular necklace (above) of emeralds and diamonds Burton presented her with on the occasion of their marriage in 1964. The very starting point of this platinum jewel was a brooch, featuring an 18.61 carat emerald surrounded by diamonds, one of the first gifts from Richard Burton and subsequently re-worked as pendant, and ‘completed’ as a necklece, that the actress loved so much that it was the only jewel she wore the day they married.
The Bvlgari emerald suite bracelet (above) was a gift from Richard Burton for her 35th birthday on February 27, 1967,
Beside the fabulous stones, Taylor also admired the craftsmanship behind her jewels; a perfect example is her Tremblant brooch (above) with emeralds and diamonds, whose flowers quiver following the movements of the wearer’s body thanks to a spring attached to the petals.
The Trombino ring (above) on display featuring a cabochon sapphire, was purchased by Taylor herself as an ideal complement to the sautoir.
Another magnificent Bvlgari creation, the sautoir featuring an octagonal pendant with a 65 carat sapphire (above), was chosen by Richard Burton in 1972 to mark Elizabeth Taylor’s fortieth birthday, as the intense blue of the stone reminded him of the colour of her eyes.
At this moment the Bvlgari Serpenti Tubogas watches are realy High-Fashion. This precious Bvlgari Serpenti gold, diamonds and emerald tubogas watch-bracelet dates 1962!
Another piece she chose and wore frequently is the necklace of 1975 with ancient coins, one of the most celebrated Bulgari motifs ever.