Elizabeth Taylor Cleopatra cape beats $20,000 estimate by 196.8%
A cape worn by Elizabeth Taylor in 1963's Cleopatra achieved $59,375 at a March 30 auction
Paul Fraser Collectibles, Monday 2 April 2012
A cape worn by Elizabeth Taylor in Cleopatra sold for $59,375 at a Dallas auction on Friday (March 30).
The gold ceremonial cape employed by Taylor in the 1963 epic was also worn by the star in many photo shoots throughout her career. An image of the iconic Taylor wearing the item also featured in the "In Memoriam" tribute at the 2012 Academy Awards ceremony.
The consigner of this rare item said her mother purchased the luxurious cape from the Western Costume Company after working in the fashion industry.
"I never mentioned it or showed it to anyone," the consignor said. "When Elizabeth Taylor passed away recently I thought of the magnificent cape and realized that it was time for the cape to find its way out into the world."
The cape features hand-stitched gold bugles on gold-painted leather panels and was designed to bear resemblance to the wings of a Phoenix. Taylor's costume budget for Cleopatra came in at $194,800, setting a record for any actor at the time.
"This piece is the epitome of glamorous and it was worn by one of Hollywood's greatest leading ladies at the very peak of her fame, power and beauty," said Margaret Barrett, director of entertainment and music memorabilia at the Dallas auction house.
She added that it is "an artefact of the Golden Age of Hollywood cinema.
"Collectors responded to all of those things in driving it up to the final $59,375 price. It's worth every penny."
Following Elizabeth Taylor's death in March 2011, now is the time to buy into her legacy. The outfit worn by Taylor in 1944's National Velvet recently sold for $73,800, achieving a 392% increase on its estimate. Paul Fraser Collectibles has an authentic strand of her hair for sale here, at a very affordable price.
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Images: Heritage Auctions