What I watched last night – Elizabeth Taylor’s jewels

Anyone who has read this blog for very long will realise that I have a really magpie sense of aesthetics.  I love sparkly things and the more the merrier.  Also, being a less than tiny woman, delicate and exquisitely fine jewellery looks stupid and lost on me, so I love big jewellery.  Plus I am really interested in glamour and am getting increasingly nostalgic for the sixties and seventies.  Put all this together and you come up with Elizabeth Taylor.  So, last night on British Channel Four there was an hour and a half documentary on the Christies auction of her jewels.  I had recorded it and watched it when I got home from my sewing group, otherwise, I think I would have had to find myself a glass of something alcoholic and sparkling to settle down for ninety minutes of sheer indulgence.  As it was, it was some fizzy water and a handful of nuts.  Nevertheless.  It was sheer joy.  Putting the starving millions aside just for a while, it was wonderful to wallow in a woman who really didn’t care how big a diamond was, if she wanted it, she had it.  She was only interested in bling and impact rather than innovative design, and she couldn’t care less about being called vulgar.  And she let other people try the diamonds on.

My favourite of all this was the set of rubies given to her by Mike Todd who was apparently the love of her life.  He presented them to her in the swimming pool.  She has no make-up on particularly and is just swimming but she looks so happy, and so fabulous:

She apparently wore jewels in the pool all the time.  The other really fascinating piece was the famous pearl which had been owned by Phillip II of Spain and Mary Tudor and ended up on Taylor’s floor being chewed by her dog:

Apart from the jewels, I absolutely love Elizabeth Taylor for the way she rocked a kaftan.  One of my very favourite photos of her is this one:

But I really can’t resist this kind of glamour:

And imagine opening the wardrobe and seeing this little lot – the collection of her kaftans which were also auctioned:

The only fly in the ointment is that Cecil Beaton, who took this magnificent portrait of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, complained that she had horrible halitosis.  I don’t know that anyone else mentions it much, but I need the mind bleach to get rid of the thought:

Anyway, I strongly recommend the documentary, with or without the glass of champagne.

4 thoughts on “What I watched last night – Elizabeth Taylor’s jewels

    1. I know – there was a great review in the Guardian basically saying that you shouldn’t really enjoy it but it was irresistible. I don’t much like that kind of boing – but I wouldn’t have minded half an hour trying the diamonds on! Thanks for commenting.

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