Marilyn Monroe Memorabilia

Marilyn MonroeNo other actress has had or continues to have the impact of Marilyn Monroe.

Born Norma Jeane Mortenson on June 1, 1926 she became famous the world over as a model and actress.

Pictured left: A Marilyn Monroe signed black and white photograph, circa 1955 with accompanying letter of provenance – sold for $12,000 Bonham Los Angeles June 2007.

Her life and death have been subject of countless articles, papers, books, documentaries, and films. Theories and conspiracies abound about her private life and the manner of her death.

The mystique and interest continues today. There are many collectors of Marilyn Monroe memorabilia and noted auctions houses such as Christies, Sothebys and Bonhams who hold regular entertainment auctions often have Marilyn Monroe elements.

The largest of these was the Christie’s sale of the Personal Property of Marilyn Monroe in 1999.

Marilyn Monroe DressChristies SalePictured left and right : Christies Catalogue and the World Auction Record Marilyn Monroe dress which sold for $1,267,500

These had been left to Anna Strasberg by her late husband, Lee, and had been stored ever since Marilyn’s death in 1962. The sale totaled more than $13 million and set a world auction record of $1,267,500 for Monroe’s dress that she wore singing “HappyBirthday” to President John F. Kennedy at Madison Square Garden, New York, in 1962.

Andy Warhol Marilyn MonroeAlso for collectors with very deep pockets are Andy Warhol’s Marilyn Monroe works. Andy Warhol is one of the most celebrated artists of the 20th Century.

Pictured right: Complete set of ten screenprints in colours, 1967, from the edition of 250, published by Factory Additions, New York.

4 Marilyns Andy WarholHe became fascinated by celebrities and he began to paint screen idols. The iconic images he created of Marilyn Monroe are famous the world over. It is interesting to note that he did not begin to paint her until after her death.

Pictured left: The haunting ‘Four Marilyn’s Reversal Series’ exceuted in 1979-1986. This was sold by Christies, London at auction on June 21 for £1,028,00 ($2,046,748)

Marilyn Monroe PlayboyLuckily for most of us many of Andy Warhol’s Marilyn pictures are available as posters.

Another very important piece of Marilyn memorabilia is her first appearance in the first ever issue of Playboy Magazine in 1953. The nude shot of Mo nroe lounging on a bright red sofa and coyly caressing a red wall covering had originally been taken for a calendar, not for Playboy.

Hugh Hefner purchased the rights to the photo and ran it, as the line on the cover states, for the “first time in any magazine, full color, Marilyn Monroe Nude”.

Marilyn Monroe Franklin Mint DollIn 2007, a described as Mint copy sold at auction for over $5,000. It can be noted that in the comic and magazine field that true mint copies of rare titles can fetch a significant premium.

Pictured left: Franklin Mint Marilyn Monroe™ Vinyl Portrait Doll Awards Night – Black Dress

Marilyn Monroe™ - Red Evening Gown-Gentlemen Prefer BlondesFor most collectors an original dress or a Andy Warhol original is probably not going to happen, but there is a still a plethora of interesting collectibles to be had.

Franklin Mint produce a range of Marilyn Monroe dolls, fashion items and collectibles.

Wall ClockPictured right: Franklin Mint Marilyn Monroe™ – Red Evening Gown-Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

Another leading collectibles company The Bradford Exchange also produce a number of Marilyn items including wall clocks, ornaments, and plates.

Pictured left: Bradford Exchange Marilyn Monroe: A Timeless Beauty Wall Clock

With the advent of the Internet access to items is easier than ever, but always remember ‘Caveat emptor’. A simple ‘Marilyn Monroe‘ search on ebay will normally return over 4,000 items ranging from original photographs to coins to Barbies to new Marilyn art. There are also a number of fan clubs and on-line groups to making collecting that little bit easier and more social – there’s nothing like telling other collectors that you just picked up a Andy Warhol Marilyn Monroe original from a flea market for $10 – well you never know!

Related
Film & TV Memorabilia
Books on Marilyn Monroe Collecting
Marilyn Monroe at Auction

Video: The Mark Bellinghaus Marilyn Monroe Collection
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