The necklace, created by legendary American jeweler Harry Winston in 1964, features 45 graduated round brilliant-cut diamonds weighing a total of 66 carats, and is estimated at US$1,200,000-1,500,000.
Zsa Zsa Gabor was a self-confessed jewellery lover, just about every photograph taken of the actress features her wearing magnificent earrings, bracelets and necklaces, all dripping in diamonds. These sent the jewellery world buzzing with excitement with people asking how many carats she was wearing and the designer behind each piece.
Susan Abeles, Head of Jewellery for Bonhams US, said: “Zsa Zsa Gabor’s life was all about ‘more is more fabulous’ and when it came to jewelry, it was always ‘more, more, more’. She was the definition of Old Hollywood glamor, a rare breed of fabulous, and this necklace epitomizes the starlet’s personality to a tee: it’s not just gorgeous, it is over-the-top gorgeous!
“This necklace is the quintessential center of any collection. Only this necklace takes the classic diamond necklace, which goes with everything, to another level of superior quality, signature and provenance; it is absolutely breathtaking. As a result, we’re anticipating that there will be a lot of interest in it given the wonderful provenance of its original owner.”
As well as her expensive jewelry habit, the Hungarian-born actress, who died in 2016 aged 99, was known for her razor-sharp wit. She once reportedly said: “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend and dogs are a man’s best friend. Now you know which sex has more sense!” And one of the most famous lines attributed to her came after one of her divorces when Zsa Zsa was asked whether a lady should give back the ring. Her answer? “Of course dahlink, but first, you take out all the diamonds.”
Fortunately for Bonhams, this necklace remained a much-loved piece in her collection and the diamonds are very much in tact with the five central diamonds weighing 8.07, 6.34, 6.33, 5.35 and 4.88 carats respectively. It was worn frequently by the actress at the many glamorous events she attended and features in numerous photographs of her from the early Sixties and throughout her public life.
The actress was cast in dozens of films over the years. One of her most famous was Moulin Rouge in which she outdazzled the rest of the cast in the sumptuous costumes designed for her by Elsa Schiaparelli.
Outside her acting career, Gabor was known for her extravagant Hollywood lifestyle, her glamorous personality, and her many marriages. In total, Gabor had nine husbands, including hotel magnate Conrad Hilton, and actor George Sanders.
The necklace will be previewed at Bonhams in New York, Geneva, Los Angeles and Bonhams Hong Kong during November and December before the auction which will take place on Monday 4 December at 3pm EST at Bonhams New York in Madison Avenue.