A much publicised sale of hundreds of items of Marilyn Monroe memorabilia is to be held on 17 November. The auction, at Julien’s in Los Angeles, includes innumerable dresses such as the one Marilyn wore when she sag ‘Happy Birthday’ to John F Kennedy (estimated at $3.3m) and a great deal of jewellery, such as a diamond cocktail watch (estimated at $100,000). It also includes an archive of rare snapshots owned by one of the ‘Monroe Six’: a group of young superfans who followed her every move, and who eventually got to know Monroe well. The archive of 550 candid photographs is being sold by superfan Frieda Hull. The images span from the 1940’s to 1962, the year she passed away.
The auction will also include a number of other personal items of Monroe’s, including a used tube of lipstick, jewelry, cigarettes and several other dresses, which are also expected to attract significant interest. “In the world of investing, Marilyn Monroe has proven to be a blue chip when it comes to a secure asset,” Julien said.”Her values only continue to increase in time as it becomes more difficult to obtain items from her life or career. Also, as other markets continue to increase like Asia and Russia with technology, the fan and collector base for her items will only get stronger.”
But on Monday a new lot became available at an auction house across town, at a rival sale scheduled for the same date: a grave marker from Monroe’s plot at the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles. The item, for which bidding begins at $50,000, is one of many that have been cast over the years, owing to oxidation of the bronze caused by it being touched by visiting fans.