Marilyn at Julien’s: Legends and Luminaries

Around 80 Marilyn-related items will go under the hammer in the Legends & Luminaries event at Julien’s Auctions on April 28th. In the first of a series of posts, I’m taking a look at what’s on offer – starting with this set of two make-up items owned by Marilyn. (Now with updated totals: read all posts here.)

“The first is a bottle of Jaquet brand Translucid Foundation still in its original box with its small, folded pamphlet of instructions. The second is a lipstick brush housed in a retractable metal case with the red lipstick shade still evident! All items are displayed in a custom-made acrylic shadowbox that features a black and white image of Monroe applying lipstick.”

SOLD for $25,600

“A rhinestone choker necklace featuring a continual strand of alternating and round prong-set stones set into plated rhodium with hood and chain clasp. Clasp is stamped ‘Weiss,’ the high-end costume jeweler popular throughout the 1950s and 1960s due to his use of quality Austrian rhinestones with exceptional clarity.”

SOLD for $12,800

“A modern four-drawer wooden dresser in a British 19th Century style with brass mounted hardware. Metal label affixed to inside of one of the drawers reads ‘Baker Furniture.’ In heavily worn condition now as these ‘campaign’ dressers were designed to be transported easily from place to place.”

SOLD for $6,400

“A typed letter from John E. Holland of the Charles F. Noyes Real Estate Company dated November 15, 1961, and addressed to Miss Marjorie Stengel, Marilyn’s secretary. Included are six photostat copies of architectural drawings for the redesign of an apartment located at 241 East 61st Street in New York. The drawings go into great detail as to the redesign of the apartment, with space for an art studio and specific notes stating, ‘This could be another bedroom or boudoir, or health studio with massage table, chaise lounge, private living room … or … with numerous closets.’ Interestingly, these architectural drawings from November 1961 imply that Monroe was considering relocating from her home on East 57th Street to a three-story apartment on East 61st Street.”

SOLD for $1,280

“A single sheet of folded stationery from the towers of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City with the verso displaying a number of song titles that Marilyn Monroe wrote down in pencil circa 1955. Possibly tunes she was considering performing or maybe just ones she liked; titles include in part ‘Please Don’t Talk About Me When I’m Gone,’ ‘Who’s Sorry Now,’ ‘I Cried for You,’ ‘Easy To Love,’ ‘Have You Ever Been Lonely,’ ‘I’ve Got You Under My Skin,’ and ‘The Gentleman Is a Dope,’ among a few others.”

SOLD for $5,120

“A single sheet of white paper from a notepad featuring a mysterious drawing by Marilyn rendered in blue ballpoint ink. The top portion depicts a man shooting a bird in a tree and the bottom portion depicts a creature with MM’s annotation next to it reading ‘Pig.’ Originally from one of the star’s now famous file cabinets, its meaning will forever be a mystery perhaps it was a representation of a dream or nightmare she had?”

SOLD for $3,840

“Publicity headshot from Clash by Night, signed by Marilyn in blue fountain pen ink on the lower right side. Originally from the estate of Frieda Hull, one of the members of ‘The Monroe Six,’ Monroe’s superfans who followed her around New York City.”

SOLD for $19,200

“A birthday card sent to Marilyn for her 30th birthday in June 1956, funnily enough featuring a cartoon image of her from The Seven Year Itch. From fellow actor Delos V. Smith Jr., the inside has added tiny objects that Smith glued in as well as an inscription from him reading, in part, ‘Remember the pink makeup mirror you gave me in cab en route Anne Frank. I used it and wore it out in my play.’ Interesting to see how ‘iconic’ Marilyn and her white dress already were, even as early as 1956. Included with its original transmittal envelope addressed to the star at the Chateau Marmont hotel in Los Angeles.” {Smith may be referring to the original Broadway production of The Diary of Anne Frank, starring Susan Strasberg. Marilyn attended the first night of its long run in 1955, although Smith isn’t listed in the credits.]

SOLD for $1,280

“A first issue of Playboy magazine from December 1953 famously featuring a black and white image of Marilyn Monroe on the cover. Signed decades later in black felt-tip ink on the left side ‘Hugh Hefner.'”

SOLD for $28,800

“A vintage color nude pin-up poster of Marilyn Monroe, signed lower right ‘H.H.’ in silver marker pen and numbered 286/300. From the Playboy Bunny Mapleton Drive house across the street from the Playboy Mansion. This portrait can be seen in season 5, episode 5 of The Girls Next Door (E!, 2005-2009). Crystal Hefner comments, ‘This is the calendar print of Marilyn Monroe that made Hef famous.’ A copy of the episode accompanies this lot.”

SOLD for $2,560