• Sale 2623

    The Collection of Elizabeth Taylor: The Legendary Jewels, Evening Sale (I)

    13 December 2011, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 56

    THE TAJ MAHAL
    AN INDIAN DIAMOND AND JADE PENDANT NECKLACE
    RUBY AND GOLD CHAIN, BY CARTIER

    Price Realised  

    THE TAJ MAHAL
    AN INDIAN DIAMOND AND JADE PENDANT NECKLACE
    RUBY AND GOLD CHAIN, BY CARTIER
    Set with an inscribed heart-shaped table-cut diamond, within a red stone and jade mount set with table-cut diamonds, the reverse decorated with an enamel latticework motif, from a gold neckchain set with cabochon rubies and old mine-cut diamonds, mounted in gold, inscribed heart-shaped table-cut diamond bearing the Islamic date 1037 [1627-1628], gold and enamel cage of later addition, neckchain circa 1972, length adjustable, pendant suspends 17½ ins. at longest
    Neckchain by Cartier, no. 53559


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    Gift from Richard Burton on the occasion of Elizabeth Taylor's 40th birthday, 1972

    Special Notice

    By registering to bid, you hereby agree that the copyright, and any and all associated intellectual property and other rights for this item are exclusively retained by The Elizabeth Taylor Trust and/or Interplanet Productions, Ltd. Buyers of the Property will not receive the copyright or any related reproduction rights in the Property and all intellectual property rights are explicitly reserved by Seller and are freely exploitable by Seller in perpetuity. Furthermore, the use of Elizabeth Taylor’s name, photograph or likeness may not be used relating to this item without the express written permission of The Elizabeth Taylor Trust and/or Interplanet Productions Ltd.


    Pre-Lot Text

    The Collection of Elizabeth Taylor


    Post Lot Text

    The literal translation of the Persian inscription on the stone has three entries: Nur Jahan Baygum-e Padshah; 23; and 1037. This means that Nur Jahan was a lady of the Padshah, while the number 23 refers to the regnal year of Shah Jahangir, which was indeed 1037, equivalent to 1627-28 A.D. Research indicates that Shah Jahangir had the stone engraved with his wife's name, Nur Jahan, although it is not known whether in fact Nur Jahan ever owned or wore the jewelry. It is believed that at some point Shah Jahangir gave the jewel to his son, Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan "King of the World" (1592-1666). Shah Jahan presented the diamond to Mumtaz-I-Mahal, his favorite and most beloved wife. In 1627, at the age of thirty-five, Prince Khurram, as he was then known, ascended the throne and although he had several wives, Mumtaz-I-Mahal was said to have been his most trusted advisor and friend. After bearing him fourteen children, she died in childbirth in 1631, at which point the emperor, overcome by grief, locked himself in his room, refusing food for eight days. In memory of his wife, the emperor commissioned a grand mausoleum in her honor that took 20,000 laborers twenty years to complete and utilized only the finest materials available. Initially referred to as the rauza, or tomb, it was later named the Taj Mahal and stands as one of the greatest testaments of architectural elegance in the world today.

    Originally, the pendant would have been suspended from a silk cord and possibly would have suspended a pearl drop. The 20th century gold and ruby neckchain was fashioned by Cartier in the style of the orignal silk cord.