Marlborough jewellery shop displays gems worn by Elizabeth Taylor (From The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald)
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Marlborough jewellery shop displays gems worn by Elizabeth Taylor
2:00pm Thursday 15th November 2012 in News
Diamond and pearl ear drops and a diamond and platinum watch worn by Holly-wood icon Elizabeth Taylor are on display in Marlborough.
Jeweller David Dudley, who has run a shop in the town centre for 20 years, confesses to being in love with two leading actresses of his youth: Elizabeth Taylor and Brigitte Bardot.
Dame Elizabeth managed to amass a collection of jewellery with the help of seven husbands and eight marriages. She wed and divorced fellow-Brit actor Richard Burton twice.
She died in March last year, at the age of 79, and in December her fabulous collection of jewellery and clothes went under the hammer in New York.
The sale made a total of $156 million (£100m), which was the largest sum ever raised by such an event.
Jewellery designer Mr Dudley did not attend the Christie’s auction, but bid over the telephone for a number of items.
He was only successful in buying the Rothschild watch and the ear drops, although he would not disclose how much he paid, only saying it was “a fair amount of money”.
He said: “I bid for a lot of items, but these were the only two that were affordable.”
There was no provenance that Richard Burton bought either of the items but, Mr Dudley said, he was satisfied Dame Elizabeth had worn them.
The watch and ear drops were displayed at an evening event at the town hall for about 100 customers.
The event raised £2,500 for two charities, Hope and Homes for Children and the Neuro Foundation.
The jeweller’s wife, Kim Vine, who has a fashion shop in High Street, is afflicted by neurological deafness.
Kennet Valley Arts Trust screened the star’s film Cat on a Hot Tin Roof on Marlborough town hall’s big screen during the event.
Mr Dudley said: “I have always loved Elizabeth Taylor, although she was older than me.
“In fact she appeared in the film National Velvet in the year I was born, 1944.”
He said he hoped his wife would wear the gems on special occasions.