'La Peregrina' sells for $11.8m

December 14 2011

Image of 'La Peregrina' sells for $11.8m

Picture: NPG (left)

Elizabeth Taylor's 'Peregrina' pearl, one of the most famous in the world, sold in New York last night for $11.8m. The pearl can be seen in most portraits of Mary Tudor, for whom it was a gift from her husband Philip II of Spain.

There's a nice art history post-script about Taylor and the pearl. The portrait above, by Hans Eworth, came up at auction in 1971, two years after Richard Burton bought 'La Peregrina' for Taylor. The NPG were short of cash, and so asked the famous couple for help. They duly obliged, and if you look the picture up on the NPG site today, you will find their names still credited. Cool eh?

Incidentally, the Eworth now is probably worth about the same as the pearl. For more details on this story, go to Hope Walker's Hans Eworth blog.

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