Exceptional Marilyn Monroe Items at Julien’s Auctions “Icons & Idols” Sale

There are some truly rare and exceptional items coming up for auction at the Julien’s Auctions “Icons & Idols” sale on December 2.   An exciting array of Marilyn Monroe photos are hitting the auction block, as well as a cache of quality Monroe memorabilia, including several pieces from the now famous 1999 Christie’s sale, The Personal Property of Marilyn Monroe.  Likely the most important item at this sale is the Cecil Beaton Triptych, gifted to Marilyn by Bus Stop director Joshua Logan, in which Marilyn posted her favorite photo of herself.  This is perhaps the highest priced item from the 1999 Christie’s sale to return to auction.  The hammer price in 1999 was $145,500.00.  What will it sell for this time?

Another item of note is an early photograph of Monroe, signed by the screen legend with her original name, Norma Jeane, and her new movie star name, Marilyn Monroe.  I’ve never before seen an autographed photo of Marilyn signed with her given name AND her stage name.  This is sure to be an exciting item at the sale. Also included is Marilyn’s costume from The Seven Year Itch, along with the harem costume Marilyn wore as she portrayed Theda Bara, and photographed by Richard Avedon.

To see all lots in this auction, visit Julien’s Auctions here.

Estimate: $80,000 – $100,000
A three-panel sterling silver custom-made Cartier frame, gifted to Marilyn Monroe by Nedda and Joshua Logan. The center frame houses a black and white silver gelatin print of the portrait Cecil Beaton took of Monroe in 1956. This image is purported to be Monroe’s favorite image of herself. The portrait is mounted to board and signed on matte by Beaton. The center frame is engraved at the top “For Marilyn Monroe Miller” and at the bottom “Love Nedda and Joshua Logan.” Joshua Logan directed Monroe in her 1956 film Bus Stop. The left and right frames house a handwritten letter from Cecil Beaton describing Monroe. It reads in part, “But the real marvel is the paradox – somehow we know that this extraordinary performance is pure charade, a little girl’s caricature of Mae West. The puzzling truth is that Miss Monroe is a make-believe siren, unsophisticated as a Rhine maiden, innocent as a sleepwalker. She is an urchin pretending to be grown-up, having the time of her life in mother’s moth-eaten finery, tottering about in high-heeled shoes and sipping gingerale as though it were a champagne cocktail. There is an otherworldly, a winsome naiveté about the child’s eyes…” The portrait can be seen in images of Monroe’s living room, where it was housed from 1956 until the actress’ death in 1962. PROVENANCE Lot 22, “The Personal Property of Marilyn Monroe,” Christie’s, New York, Sale number 9216, October 27 & 28, 1999

Estimate: $10,000 – $20,000
An early black and white headshot of Marilyn Monroe inscribed to her then neighbor Phil Hooper. Inscription reads “To Phil Best Wishes Always Sincerely Marilyn Monroe (Norma Jeane).” Monroe and Hooper both lived at El Palaccio Apartments in West Hollywood. Monroe showed Hooper her photographs as they discussed their careers, and he asked her to sign a photograph for him. The image was signed at some time in 1947–48. Norma Jeane had begun using the name Marilyn Monroe in 1946 but did not change it officially until 10 years later. The photograph has remained in the possession of the Hooper family since the time of the signing. 10 by 8 inches

Estimate: $80,000 – $100,000
A raw silk pink ensemble worn by Marilyn Monroe in The Seven Year Itch (20th Century Fox, 1955). The costume is composed of a three-quarter-length-sleeve top and tapered leg pants containing a costumer’s label that reads “Marilyn Monroe A-734” and a maker’s label that reads “designed by Jax.” Pants feature back zipper closure and shirt features deep V neckline with wing collar. Monroe can be seen wearing the ensemble with a matching belt, now absent, as she portrayed “The Girl” in the film. No size present.

Estimate:  $200,000 – $300,000
A harem costume worn by Marilyn Monroe for a 1958 photoshoot with Richard Avedon. Avedon dressed Monroe as five of Hollywood’s famed leading ladies. In this costume, Monroe dressed as Theda Bara in her role as Cleopatra. It is purported that this was part of Monroe’s campaign to play the role of the Egyptian queen in the film Cleopatra that eventually starred Elizabeth Taylor. The costume is comprised of a goldtone brassierewith snake motif cups, prong set costume gems and metal ring straps, and a skirt created by a series of scarves affixed to a gold lame bikini bottom. The accessories include a serpentine headdress with goldtone linked rings at each side, three pressed metal wristbands and armbands with arabesque designs, and a belt designed to be worn at the hip with goldtone bead, gen and paillette embellishments. Accompanied by one scarfnot affixed to skirt. PROVENANCE Lot 25 “The Personal Property of Marilyn Monroe,” Christie’s, New York, Sale number 9216, October 27 and 28, 1999