The gold cape worn by Elizabeth Taylor
The gold cape worn by Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra in 1963 British-American-Swiss epic drama, directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz. The cape was sold for 37,000 pounds. The garment — designed to look like the wings of a phoenix — helped the 1963 blockbuster win an Oscar for Best Costume Design. Taylor wore it in scenes where Cleopatra entered Rome and when she committed suicide with a snake 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. “When Elizabeth Taylor passed away I thought of the magnificent cape and realized it was time for it to find its way into the world.” Taylor died last year at the age of 79.
Historians of antiquity, who observe the life of Cleopatra, are impressed by without doubt, magical abilities of this woman. But if you carefully read the ancient texts, none of them call Egyptian queen – beauty. Instead, is praised her sharp wit and determination, as well as an excellent education. Cleopatra knew seven languages and even wrote philosophical treatises and writings on weights and measures. In addition, she was unsurpassed expert in the field of Women in the Arts – knew the secrets of the special preparation of cosmetic drugs (and poisons!), had mastered the art of dress and jewelry to choose. It is the ability to present herself and talent of Cleopatra to create costume jewellery and unforgettable image later became a myth about her unrivaled beauty. Today she would be called a good stylist.
The role of Cleopatra was a milestone for Elizabeth Taylor. Although the actress has not received the “Oscar” for the film, and the very formulation of the fantastic budget nearly bankrupted the company “20th Century Fox”, without bringing the expected profits at the box office, it was this film adaptation that has created the most spectacular imaginary portrait of the great queen of Egypt.