The Influence of Films and Elizabeth TaylorBy Angela Marshall, 4th Oct 2011
There are certain films we always remember which can influence our lives. I often think I passed my history O’level due to Richard Burton being in the film “Becket”. A rather old film, but one I enjoyed when it was shown to me at school. I love jewellery and the glamour of fashion was brought to my attention through seeing Cleopatra. I was so impressed with Elizabeth Taylor. Her beauty was so stunning from her beautiful face with powerful eyes, lovely shaped lips and her slim curvy figure. The presence and power she had as Cleopatra, the ruler and last Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt. The authority and influence she had with powerful men such as Julius Caesar and Mark Anthony. Elizabeth Taylor then followed with a Shakespeare film “The Taming of the Shrew” where she put on a lot of weight and stills a feisty personality and needed taming by Richard Burton. Her costumes were wonderful.
Elizabeth Taylor was known as a screen idol, for her eight marriages, particularly to Richard Burton twice, a fashion icon with a breathtaking collection of jewellery and then for her humanitarian work, dedicating part of her life to charity, in particular the Elizabeth Taylor Aids foundation.
So when I read that The Collection of Elizabeth Taylor items of jewellery were going to be on display at Christie’s in London in September I was determined to go and see the wonderful pieces of jewellery first hand. It takes a lot for me to be speechless, but I was in awe of such beautiful jewellery. The sheer clarity and colour of the diamonds, rubies and emeralds. I was in my element seeing such wonderful items. I also think how heavy they must have been for Elizabeth Taylor to wear around her neck and ears, no wonder she had back problems!
Here are my favourite pieces of jewellery, besides the fabulous 33-carat ring which glittered so much my photos were not very good. I loved theses items not only for their beauty but their history as well and only wish I had about £10m to spare!
Duke of Windsor gave this brooch to Duchess of Windsor, a friend of Elizabeth Taylor. Elizabeth admired the brooch and outbid Prince Charles in an auction in 1987. Let’s hope he bid’s this time and gets it back to Wales!
Richard Burton presented this to Elizabeth Taylor on Valentine’s Day in 1969. It was formerly part of the Spanish crown jewels and goes back to the 16th century. Although Elizabeth commissioned Cartier to design a new mount of natural pearls and rubies for the beautiful bauble.
The Bulgari Emerald Suite.
This stunning set of necklace, earrings and bracelet was given to Elizabeth by Richard Burton during the shooting of Cleopatra. She wore these jewels to the Oscars in 1967 when she posed with her second Oscar for “Whose Afraid of Virginia Woolf”.
This ruby set of necklace, earrings and bracelet was give to Elizabeth Taylor by her husband, Mike Todd, in 1957, who unfortunately died the following year in a plane crash. What a wonderful memorabilia to have!
Do let me know what films you love and why and whether they have influenced you too.