Gina sells bling for US$4.96 million

Gina Lollobrigida's jewellery collection has been auctioned at Sotheby's Geneva for US$4.96 million.
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Gina Lollobrigida’s jewellery collection has been auctioned at Sotheby’s Geneva for US$4,962,122.

The screen legend’s jewellery sold for double the pre-auction estimate and set an auction record for a pair of natural pearl and diamond pendant earrings.

The earrings, which are said to have originally belonged to the historic collection of the House of Habsburg, sold for US$2,391,321.

The previous record auction price for a pair of natural pearl and diamond ear pendants was US $1,986,500 for a pair of Bulgari earrings from Elizabeth Taylor’s collection which sold at Christie’s New York in 2011.

Speaking after the sale of her jewellery, Lollobrigida said she had for many years garnered “enormous pleasure” from wearing all the pieces in the collection.

“Many people tried to persuade me to sell them but for a very long time I was unwilling,” she said.

“What changed was seeing a little girl called Sofia suffering from a disorder which could only be helped by stem cell treatment – treatment which she is unable to receive in Italy.

“Selling my jewels to help raise awareness of stem cell therapy which can cure so many illnesses seems to me a wonderful use to which to put them.

“It is my hope that the Italian parliament will approve this ground-breaking treatment so that children and adults in Italy should have free access to it without having to travel abroad at great expense.

“It now gives me great pleasure to see that these jewels will create a legacy which will live on after me and continue to do good.”

David Bennett, chairman of Sotheby’s Switzerland, said Lollobrigida’s jewels captured the public imagination around the world.

“The prices achieved reflect not only the importance and rarity of those pieces but also the aura of fascination which this legendary actress continues to exert,” he said.

“Sotheby’s was honoured to be entrusted with the sale and we are delighted that the results will contribute to the noble cause of stem cell research reflecting Miss Lollobrigida’s great generosity of spirit and her humanitarian work.”

* Pictured above is Gina Lollobrigida wearing a 1954 Bulgari diamond necklace/bracelet combination which realised US$783,851 at the Sothebys auction as well as the record-breaking natural pearl and diamond pendant earrings.

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