The world's largest private collection of Marilyn Monoe's iconic film costumes, gowns, personal clothing, jewelry, and other property will be hitting the auction block along with original photographs and film posters of the late actress including the dress she wore at a Democratic fundraiser while singing “Happy Birthday Mr. President” in her trademark sultry, sexy voice with original lyrics she wrote herself for President John F. Kennedy in 1962.
Julien’s Auctions is billing this as a once-in-a-lifetime Marilyn Monroe auction that includes the Marilyn Monroe Property From The Collection of David Gainsborough-Roberts. A curated collection of Marilyn Monroe film-worn costumes, personal wardrobe, jewelry and personal items.
Also up for bid will be Marilyn Monroe Property From The Estate of Lee Strasberg consisting of documents and personal items once owned by Marilyn Monroe as well as Déjà vu Property From The Life and Career of Marilyn Monroe including personal items originally sold at Christie’s 1999 and Julien’s Auctions' 2005.
The entire auction event features film costumes representing a significant part of Marilyn’s acting career from Niagara (1953) to Some Like It Hot (1959.) According to Julien Auctions, this is the largest collection of Marilyn Monroe ephemera ever offered at auction. [beautifulquote align="full" cite=""]Marilyn Monroe is one of the biggest and most endearing screen icons of our time,[/beautifulquote] said Darren Julien, founder and CEO of Julien’s Auctions in a statement. "We are so honored to be working with David Gainsborough-Roberts with his incredible collection of Marilyn Monroe artifacts." "He has meticulously archived so many important aspects of Marilyn’s career and personal life. The legendary actress was found dead in her Brentwood home in Los Angeles in 1962 at the age of 36, and the collector noted that Marilyn would have turned 90 years old this June.
Highlights from the Gainsborough-Roberts Collection include a sheer black beaded and sequined dress worn by Monroe in her Golden Globe winning role Sugar Kane as she crooned “I’m Through With Love” in the award winning 1959 film Some Like it Hot; an elaborate embellished stage gown worn by Monroe as she sang “After You Get What You Want You Don’t Want It” in the 1953 comedy There’s No Business Like Show Business which was designed by one of Marilyn’s all-time favorite designers, William Travilla; a pink linen halter wiggle dress designed for the 1953 thriller Niagara; a green satin one-piece with black sequins and gold fringe worn by Monroe in the 1956 film Bus Stop; a lilac satin leotard worn by Monroe as Lillian Russell in the 1958 photo series by Richard Avedon and featured in Life magazine in 1958. Additional film pieces offered include costumes from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and Let’s Make Love, along with a pair of rhinestone earrings worn by Monroe in How To Marry A Millionaire and a pair of sequin embellished opera gloves from the Rachmaninoff scene of The Seven Year Itch.
Monroe’s own personal style is also represented at the auction including a slender fitting bias cut crepe evening gown worn by Monroe to the 1955 premiere of The Rose Tattoo while accompanied by Marlon Brando.
Personal items include prescription pill bottles, Victoria and Albert museum exhibited high heels, a plastic doll in the likeness of Monroe given as a souvenir at her 34th birthday party; documents and correspondences; household items; and Monroe’s Detroit Free Press “New Faces Award” from 1952.
Strasberg's collection includes a 1950’s brown alligator ladies handbag from I. Magnin & Co. with matching accessories; a grey pony handbag from Mexico still containing three one peso bills; a number of other handbags, fur coats and stoles; a ladies minaudière with the original box, featuring multiple compartments containing loose powder with cotton buffer, mirror, comb, two mercury dimes, eight Phillip Morris cigarettes and a tube of used Revlon lipstick in “Bachelor’s Carnation” with a date of 1947, a virtual time capsule of one of the star's nights out on the town.
Ephemera in this collection include documents that mark simple and remarkable moments in Marilyn’s life and career, from a taxi receipt dated February 2, 1960 listing the trip details as simply “From: 904 To: 20th Century”, to a check dated July 25, 1952 written in Monroe’s hand to her mother Gladys Eley in the amount of $150.00 endorsed by her mother signed, 'Mrs. Gladys P. Eley.' In addition to household, food, fur, books, beauty, and clothing receipts, there are tax documents listing the star’s expenditures in great detail, a collection of recipes given to her by friends, and her 1962 checkbook containing the filled out stubs of every check written from her account in the final year of her life, as well as the checks written from her account immediately after her death, correspondence, poems and intimate notes.
Marilyn Monroe (born Norma Jeane Mortenson in 1926, was famous for playing "dumb blonde" characters. She became one of the most popular sex symbols of the 1950s, emblematic of the era's attitudes towards sexuality. Monroe's troubled private life received much attention and she struggled with addiction, depression, and anxiety during the last years of her life. She had two highly publicized marriages, to baseball player Joe DiMaggio and playwright Arthur Miller, which both ended in divorce. She died at the age of 36 on August 5, 1962 from an overdose of barbiturates at her home in Los Angeles. Although the death was ruled a probable suicide, several conspiracy theories have been proposed in the decades following her death.
Julien’s live auction will be held on November 17th, 18th and 19th, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. For more information visit the official Julien's Auctions website.
Pictured Here: Marilyn Monroe and Marlon Brando the 1955 premiere of "The Rose Tattoo" Photo: The Hollywood Archive