|Elizabeth Taylor's collection of jewelry designs recently went for $156,756,576.
|Liz as Cleopatra. The outfit is
said to have weighed more than
|Phoenician bracelet, 10th century BC
--hammered gold. (Sorry, no picture
of Liz wearing it.)
|Cleopatra the numismatist
It would seem that the art of jewelry design proceeded through history parallel with that of coinage, a fact not lost on MGM's Sharaff in depicting her Cleopatra wearing a necklace made entirely of gold coins (left) bearing the likeness of Julius Caesar, hoping to make Mark Anthony (Richard Burton) jealous. When pursuing the history of jewelry design, very often the major emphasis often strays to the stars of the show, the gems. Even Liz's $150-million collection was more about the stones than what held them all together. However that's like saying that the movie stars are more important than the movies in which they display their talents. That's where the art of the jewelry designer becomes paramount (pun intended). The designer writes the script. Like a scriptwriter, the jewelry designer needs a broad range of knowledge--metallurgy, art, history, gemology--and often possesses the technical skills to make up his or her designs into models for others to reproduce or for the making of molds used in casting precious metals.
|The Bulgari emerald ensemble,
a gift in 1962 from Burton.
|King Tut's taste in jewelry ran toward enameled gold and semi-precious stones.