The wedding dress Elizabeth Taylor wore for the first of her eight marriages sold for 121,875 British pounds – or about $188,175 – at a London auction Wednesday, fetching more than twice the highest estimate for the gown.
The late actress donned the cream-colored, silk satin dress for her 1950 wedding to hotel heir Conrad “Nicky” Hilton. She was only 18 at the time but already a star and veteran actress.
The high-collar, long-sleeved gown was a gift to Taylor from MGM studios, which had its chief costume designer, Helen Rose, create the dress. The seed pearl-covered gown has a built-in corset and a 15-yard satin train. It was such a priority for the studio that MGM had 15 people working full time on it for three straight months.
Taylor’s wedding included hundreds of guests including legendary Hollywood A-listers such as Gene Kelly, Ginger Rogers, Fred Astaire and Esther Williams. Other guests included Spencer Tracy and Joan Bennett, Taylor’s co-stars from “Father of the Bride,” which the studio marketed immediately after her real-life wedding.
Taylor divorced Hilton nearly nine months later. She went on to get married seven more times, including twice to actor Richard Burton.
The gown was auctioned off by Christie’s, which estimated it could fetch between 30,000 to 50,000 pounds – or roughly $46,000 to $75,000. The dress was sold as part of the auction house’s Pop Culture sale.
Taylor died in 2011 when she was 79.