ITALIAN actress Gina Lollobrigida is to sell jewellery worth as much as three million euros ($A3.71 million), with some of the proceeds going to help stem cell research, auction house Sotheby’s says.
Designed by Italian creator Bulgari in the 1950s and 1960s, the most valuable items being put up for auction in Geneva in May include pearl and diamond earrings and a 19.3-carat diamond ring.
Both pieces are valued at between $600,000 and one million dollars.
The jewels were displayed at an exhibition entitled Bulgari: 125 years of Italian magnificence at the Grand Palais in Paris in late 2010.
“All of the jewels to be sold by the actress have been estimated at between two and three million dollars,” a Sotheby’s spokeswoman told AFP.
She said she did not yet know whether the 85-year-old Italian star would be in Geneva for the auction on May 14.
Some of the most sought-after of the 22 pieces to go under the hammer are to be shown in London, Rome and New York in the run-up to the sale.
Lollobrigida, star of The World’s Most Beautiful Woman and Come September, says she wants to devote herself to sculpture and “a sculptor doesn’t need jewellery”, Sotheby’s said in a statement.
Some of the proceeds will go towards funding an international hospital for stem cell research, a cause Lollobrigida described as “close to her heart” and something that “every sick child should be able to benefit from”.
David Bennett, the chairman of Sotheby’s Switzerland, described the auction as “a wonderful opportunity for collectors to acquire seminal Bulgari pieces, imbued with Gina Lollobrigida’s magical provenance”.
Such sales often beat the auction house estimates.