Marilyn Monroe at Bonhams

See below Marilyn Monroe highlights from recent auctions at Bonhams in San Francisco and Los Angels, December, 2010.

Sale 18411 – Fine Books and Manuscripts Including English and Continental Books from a San Francisco Estate, 9 Dec 2010

Lot No: 6191
A group of 29 negatives and 23 gelatin silver prints, May 19, 1962, the negatives all on black and white Kodak 120 roll film except for 3 which are on black and white Kodak 35 mm film, the gelatin silver prints 11 x 11 to 7½ x 7½ inches, printed later. The negatives contained in an envelope marked in Stoughton’s hand “Sensitive material, Do not file, Protect trash, no extra prints please.”

“Sensitive material”—one of very few photographs showing Marilyn Monroe with John and Robert Kennedy. JFK held a democratic fundraiser on May 19, 1962 at the Manhattan home of Arthur and Mathilde Krim; Stoughton is believed to have been the only photographer at the party. Among the notable guests at the party was none other than Marilyn Monroe, who came straight from Madison Square Gardens where she had sung “Happy Birthday” to the President, and who was still wearing the same tight, pearl-encrusted dress.

Stoughton’s negatives show a smiling Marilyn being led through guests, JFK socializing, the band, and general party scenes. JFK appears in upwards of a dozen of the negatives, and it is reasonable to believe that these images have never been published. Later prints of many of the negatives are included in the lot.
One negative is missing, and is represented here by a later gelatin silver print. It shows Marilyn talking to the President, Robert Kennedy, and Arthur Schlesinger Jr. Rumour has it that the Secret Service had strict instructions not to allow Kennedy and Monroe to be photographed together. Notwithstanding that instruction, Stoughton managed to snap one such frame, in which JFK noticeably turns his head away from the camera. Despite being later asked by the Secret Service to hand over all of the incriminating negatives, he managed to save one, and from it produced the present print.

Sold for $9,150 inclusive of Buyer’s Premium

Lot Notice
This lot does not include any negatives, but does contain the 23 photographs described.

Sale 18410 – Entertainment Memorabilia including Animation Art, 13 Dec 2010

7601 W. Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles

Lot No: 7001
A Marilyn Monroe signed black and white photograph, early 1950s
A vintage print with a matte finish; showing a classic headshot of the star with her blue fountain pen ink inscription on the left side reading “To Sammy / It’s a pleasure to work / with you / Warmest Regards / Marilyn Monroe;” ‘Sammy’ likely being Sam Benson from the Wardrobe Department at 20th Century Fox who worked on numerous MM films. (Please note there are condition issues with this photograph: it has been slightly trimmed though signature is not affected, there is some surface chipping around MM’s hair, face, and dress, there is a crease in her forehead and over her left eye, and there is a very thin line of masking tape residue on the top and bottom margins.)
13 1/2 x 10 1/2in

Sold for $10,980 inclusive of Buyer’s Premium

Lot No: 7002
A Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller twice signed bank document, 1957
A mimeographed form with three fold marks titled ‘Financial Statement for Woodbury Savings Bank;’ dated “Sept 9, 1957;” mostly filled out by a bank employee in blue ballpoint ink with information such as age (“Mrs. Miller 31 / Mr. Miller 41”), annual salary (“$50,000+”), employer (“20th Cent. Fox Co.”), etc., with an additional note reading “Suit pending against M.M. Productions as a corporation” [See LOTS 7004 and 7005]; signed in blue ballpoint ink on the lower right side by both Arthur Miller and “Mrs. Marilyn Miller” and further signed on the lower left side by Miller and “Marilyn Monroe Miller.” This form was for “mortgage credit on property at Roxbury, Conn.” where the couple bought a vacation home; included is a different photocopied form also relating to this same transaction.
14 x 9in

Sold for $4,636 inclusive of Buyer’s Premium

Lot No: 7003
A Marilyn Monroe and Milton Greene signed contract relating to “Bus Stop,” 1956
A three page document typed on Twentieth Century-Fox letterhead; dated “February 7, 1956;” addressed to “Marilyn Monroe Productions, Inc.;” contract outlines the details of the “loan out” of Monroe to work on “Bus Stop” (though the film’s title is not specifically mentioned), including stipulations like “her full name to be given credit as star or co-star in first position of the cast” and “full name of the Artist…(to be) above said title and in the same color and prominence;” among other standards for an A-list star like MM; signed on the bottom of the last page in blue ballpoint ink by MM and in black ballpoint ink by Milton H. Greene, her short-lived business partner. [See LOTS 7004 and 7005]11 x 8 1/2in

Sold for $10,980 inclusive of Buyer’s Premium

Lot No: 7017
A Marilyn Monroe group of never before seen black and white snapshots, 1948
Five total; vintage prints with a glossy finish; depicting the then-starlet performing on stage in an “employee only” show at 20th Century Fox called ‘Strictly for Kicks’ that took place in early 1948. Unfortunately, four of the five were taken from many feet away, but MM still stands out, especially since she’s wearing the same black evening gown from “Ladies of the Chorus.” Also included are two copies of the April 1948 issue of ‘Action,’ the internal Fox newsletter, where two of the snapshots are pictured on page 10 next to text reading “Marilyn Monroe revealing the ‘secret of her success’…”
5 x 4 1/2in

Sold for $1,159 inclusive of Buyer’s Premium

PROVENANCE: This lot was consigned directly by Robert Temple who was an employee at 20th Century Fox and who acted in this play along with Marilyn Monroe (and others); his name is listed after MM’s on page 10 of the ‘Action’ newsletter noted above.

Lot No: 7021
A Marilyn Monroe limited edition portfolio of rare black and white photographs numbered and signed by Marvin Scott, 1955, 2010, Eight total; all recent prints on archival fiber paper; depicting a series of images of the actress on the night of March 31, 1955 at a Madison Square Garden charity event where she famously rode a pink elephant; each mounted to a white matte board, numbered “1/35” and signed in pencil in the lower right corner by the photographer; further included is a signed note from Scott describing the events of that night 55 years ago.

Mounted: 20 x 16in; Photographs only: 14 1/2 x 10 1/2in.

Sold for $6,100 inclusive of Buyer’s Premium