Elizabeth Taylor’s Customized Dressing Room for “Cleopatra” goes on sale
Thirty nine years after its official release, Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s Cleopatra is back in news for a new reason. The dressing room trailer used by Elizabeth “Cleopatra” Taylor during the film’s shoot is up for grabs. The pre-sale estimate ranges around $50,000 to $75,000. A lavish studio with customized features, the trailer was built by Twentieth Century Fox for a staggering $75,000 at Profiles in History’s upcoming “Icons of Hollywood” auction. The trailer was provided to help Taylor get into the skin of her character of the Egyptian Queen. Hence, everything, right from the size to the features, bears a touch of elegance and sophistication. Moving inside, you would be greeted by rose colored carpet and hand painted ceilings. The bedroom is a fairytale of hand painted murals and detailed crown moldings. Columned furniture is another thing you are going to encounter in generous amounts here. Silk curtains hanging in semi circular patterns form the partition between the bedroom and the living area. This particular design aspect was added to make Taylor feel like Cleopatra.
Tracing back the trailer’s history, we come across an interesting story. It begins with a man named Nicolas Salgo. A millionaire financer, Salgo is best known for developing the Watergate Complex in Washington D.C. For the 1963 epic movie Cleopatra, he helped arrange the finances. Once the producers-Fox Studio- had finished shooting for the movie, Salgo negotiated with the former to keep Liz Taylor’s dressing room trailer. The piece of cinematic history thereafter found place in Nicolas Salgo’s ZX Ranch where it remained parked through the 1960s and 1980s. Guests visiting the Oregon ranch would make a beeline for a night’s stay at the trailer. After Salgo decided to unload his ranch, the trailer was handed over to his neighbor from the adjacent ranch, under whose ownership it remains till date. The second or technically speaking, third owner of the trailer also owned a Museum-The Lakeview Fantastic Museum- where Cleopatra’s dressing room was put on display.
From fixtures to furniture to curtains-a majority of décor items are original. A few, however, are later additions. The Queen sized bed is a case in point. The original round version was removed forty years ago to make room for this equally grand one.
The trailer, barring the sole exception of minor moisture damages, looks shiny as ever. Other features like fixtures and curtains continue to remain intact.
Elizabeth Taylor’s jewelry sale in 2011 recorded a huge success, establishing new records. The jewelry collection of the late actress was estimated to fetch around $20 million, but it finally brought in way higher at a sales total of $115 million. Like the jewelry, the trailer too being an integral part of the starlet’s private world, let us all hope, registers a grand success.
Besides, Liz Taylor’s dressing room going on sale, her Bel-Air estate is currently up on the market for sale too. The 7,000 square foot plush den which according to Taylor had a “magical quality” is listed at $8.6 million.