The gold cape worn by Hollywood legend Elizabeth Taylor in the classic movie Cleopatra which has been kept safe and sound, wrapped in tissue paper and kept in a cedar closet, brought $59,375 when it crossed the block at Heritage Auctions Friday as part of an Entertainment & Music Memorabilia auction.
The owner, who asked not to be identified, said her mother had acquired the cape from the now defunct Western Costume company sometime after the film’s premiere. The woman’s mother had worked in the couture fashion industry, Heritage officials said. The woman told officials at the auction house that she had never mentioned or showed the cape to anyone.
The Elizabeth Taylor Ceremonial Cape from Cleopatra is crafted to resemble the wings of a Phoenix and is made of thin panels of gold-painted leather adorned with hand-stitched gold beads and sequins. Taylor wore the cape in two key scenes: Cleopatra’s dramatic entrance to Rome, the most lavish portrayal of this event in film history and Cleopatra’s dramatic exit by asp bite.
The cape was bought in 1970 from a costume shop by a woman who never showed it to anyone. When she died her daughter put it up for sale. The anonymous seller said after the auction in Dallas: I never mentioned it or showed it to anyone. When Elizabeth Taylor passed away I thought of the magnificent cape and realised it was time for it to find its way into the world.