👑 Casual Friday dedicated to the second most expensive historical pearl ever sold: La Peregrina, and her history of disappearance.
In the mid-16th century an African slave was awarded freedom for finding a 50 carat pearl in the Gulf of Panama. The pearl was carried to Spain, adorned many Spanish Queens throughout 2 centuries, until taken by Napoleon Bonaparte’s brother Joseph to France, who gave the pearl her name, which means ‘the wanderer’. The Pearl indeed did wander: when she belonged to the noble Hamilton family in England, she was lost twice, once inside a sofa in Windsor castle, and another time at a ball in Buckingham palace.
In 1969 Richard Burton bought the pearl for $37,000 at Sotheby’s for Elizabeth Taylor as a valentine’s present during their first marriage. She lost it too.
In her book “My Love Affair with Jewelry” Taylor wrote that upon touching her chest at their suite in Ceasar’s Palace, she discovered the pearl was missing.
She left the room so Burton would not notice, she was terrified he’d realise it was gone, because he loved that jewel so much.
After retracing her steps she noticed one of her puppies chewing on something, and instinctively reached inside the dogs mouth to recover La Peregrina, which was fortunately left unscathed.
The pearl was sold at the famous Christie's Elizabeth Taylor sale in 2011 for $11 Million, a record at the time.
Whoever owns La Peregrina today, better keep both eyes on it. She clearly likes to get around.
In this picture Elizabeth is wearing La Peregrina in the 1969 film Anne of a Thousand days
#laperegrina #elizabethtaylor #richardburton #historicaljewelry #naturalpearls