Do you have a favorite Elizabeth Taylor movie? Hard to say, but I think mine is “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.” She looked so beautiful!
I had always heard that Elizabeth had a few of our frames, but I was completely blown away to see nine pages of Jay Strongwater in the recent catalog Christies published for their Elizabeth Taylor Auction. What an honor to know that something we designed and made was in her home.
Patrick and I invited our good friends and collectors from North Carolina to see the preview exhibit with us. They brought their adorable young son Landon with them. We stood on line and slowly made our way through all the rooms. First was the clothing, fabulous caftans, layers of exotic jewelry and accessories. Then onto the rooms exhibiting her home pieces, and yes there was the Jay Strongwater, beautifully displayed behind glass. I never thought I would see something I made at Christies.
The next room had larger furniture, including my first hand wrought bronze table. Crystal pave leaves wrapping around hammered legs accented with bejeweled butterflies and dragonflies. Certainly the high point of the exhibit for me! But it was hard not to be overwhelmed by the final rooms filled with her precious jewel collection. Each stone, setting, and design is a story unto itself: who it came from, when she received it, and where she wore it.
I have never been to a Christies auction in person, and I am sorry I could not make it to this one. But I was able to bid by phone, while watching a live feed on the computer. I was nervous, and I certainly got caught up in the momentum, but when it was all over I owned four Jay Strongwater pieces from her collection. How funny to be buying my own work back!
She was a true icon. Something I don’t think exists anymore. It gives me great pleasure to know that we were part of her life.