The gold cape worn by Elizabeth Taylor in two major scenes from the 1963 film Cleopatra is to go up for auction. Bidding for the intricate garment, made from leather and gold, is set to start at $10,000 when it goes under the hammer at Dallas-based auction house Heritage Auctions on 30 May. But industry insiders predict bidding could soar way beyond that, reaching into the hundreds of thousands.
Screen legend Liz Taylor wore the golden cape in two scenes from the 1963 film Cleopatra. The leather and gold garment, designed to look like the wings of a Pheonix, were worn in the two most memorable scenes blockbuster
The costume, designed to look like the wings of a phoenix, is intricately designed using thin strips of gold leather and embellished with thousands of seed beads, bugle beads and bead-anchored sequins.
The craftsmanship involved is impressive, and plays testament to the time, effort and money that went into the design of Taylor’s costumes – the star was allocated an incredible $194,800 wardrobe budget for the film.
Taylor wore the gold cape in two pivotal scenes of the Hollywood blockbuster. Firstly, for the portrayal of Cleopatra’s entrance to Rome and, second, in the final scenes of the film where she apparently commits suicide using the venom from a snake bite.
The cape will be up for auction alongside the wig worn by the star in the same film. “Theseare just a few of the highlights and legendary names we have lined up in this auction,” Margaret Barrett, Director of Entertainment & Music auctions at Heritage, said in a statement. “Taylor was featured in countless newspaper and magazine articles wearing this cape,” added Barrett, “most famously on the cover of the October 6, 1961 issue of Life.”