A June 23 auction of Hollywood memorabilia saw Elizabeth Taylor's custom-made trailer for Cleopatra sell for an impressive $42,000.
Despite the price achieved at auction, the sale would have presented a loss for Twentieth Century Fox, who reportedly spent $75,000 ($560,000 in today's money) on the lavish dressing room in 1963, to keep Taylor in the true character of Cleopatra. Still, the cost was just a small dent in the film's notorious $44m budget.
Staying true to the Egyptian/Roman theme of the film, the 36-foot trailer presents the height of Hollywood decadence, featuring faux columns and garish themed murals decorating the walls. Unfortunately, by the time it reached the auction, the original round bed that Taylor would have shared with husband Richard Burton had been removed and replaced with an equally palatial queen-sized version.
Following filming the lavish dressing room was owned by millionaire financier Nicholas Salgo, who, after helping source funding for the film, negotiated with the studio and had the trailer sent to his Oregon ranch. It remained there for 20 years before Salgo sold up and transferred ownership to a museum dedicated to Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton memorabilia.
Following her death in 2011, Elizabeth Taylor's estate is still sending shockwaves through the collectibles market, with almost any item from her vast collection seeing brilliant results at auction. See Paul Fraser Collectibles' top five Elizabeth Taylor memorabilia here for some of the highlights.
For those who don't share Cleopatra's vast budget but still want to share in her monumental legacy, we currently have an authentic strand of Elizabeth Taylor's hair on offer.
Here at Paul Fraser Collectibles, we specialise in sourcing quality celebrity memorabilia with excellent provenance. We currently have this stage-worn basque on offer, from another leading lady to command similarly impressive prices at auction - Madonna.