Marilyn Turns 95 at Julien’s Auctions

Julien’s Auctions is hosting an online sale featuring more than 200 lots of Marilyn-related photographs, vintage magazines and memorabilia, with bids closing on June 1st, her 95th birthday. As collector Scott Fortner has revealed, lots 192-228 contain a wide range of official merchandise authorised by Anna Strasberg, widow of Lee Strasberg and former owner of Marilyn’s estate. “Items in these lots come directly from Anna’s personal storage lockers,” Scott explains. “These are not basic collectibles. They are first edition items, and in some cases prototypes. These pieces were sent to Anna for her review and approval before they were mass produced for the public.”

I’ve picked some of my favourites from the auction below. What are yours?

“An early 1970s button with surrounding text reading ‘Norma Jean [sic] Dougherty: I Wish I Knew You / Photo From Trip Through California in 1945;’ text on lower rim reads “© Andre De Dienes” — its raison d’être now unknown.”

SOLD for $75

“A film reel and audio recording: the first is a 3 1/2-inch reel of 16mm film with 1952 date codes containing black and white footage of young models posing, including a bikini-clad Marilyn; originally shot by Leo Caloia at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles in 1946 when Monroe (still an unknown at the time) was part of a segment produced by radio station KFI about modelling techniques; after Monroe became a household name, the film footage was repackaged six years later as ‘Seven Sirens’ by World In Color Productions; still housed in its original box. The second piece is a quarter-inch reel of magnetic recording tape, handwriting on its box note the content including a segment from the November 9, 1952 episode of The Charlie McCarthy Show on CBS Radio where famed ventriloquist Edgar Bergen had his dummy, ‘Charlie,’ almost marry Monroe!”

SOLD for $640

At left: “Large original 1946 print with a matte finish on double weight paper depicting an image of the then model holding a bottle of Frank & Joseph shampoo — the salon that had locations on Hollywood and Wilshire Boulevards.” And at right: “Small original 1950 print by Laszlo Willinger depicting a beautiful glamour shot of the then starlet with text in the lower left corner reading ‘Marilyn Monroe’ [not her signature.]”

SOLD for $448 and $256, respectively

At left, “A blotter which features a color illustration by Earl Moran based on a modeling session he had with the young Marilyn Monroe; this particular piece served as an advertisement for the Garfield Screen Co., Inc. in Jersey City in 1948 as the three printed calendar pages for June, July, and August on the lower margin indicate.” And at right: “A limited edition 1992 print, based on a circa 1948 painting that Earl Moran created of the then unknown model; text on lower margin reads in part ‘Marilyn: Lady in the Light‘.”

SOLD for $448 and $1,920 respectively

“A spiral-bound 1954 calendar featuring 12 color pin-up images of movie stars by illustrator T.N. Thompson, with the months of January and February devoted to our gal; included with its original transmittal envelope featuring a repeat image of February which is based on one of Marilyn’s early cheesecake modeling poses; the other image needs no explanation!”

SOLD for $256

Sold separately, three original promotional stills for Hometown Story (1951.)

Photo SOLD for $576

“A huge vinyl street banner used for the outdoor advertising of an exhibit titled ‘100 Years of Hollywood: Photographs from the Delmar Watson Family Archive” which took place at the Los Angeles Public Library in 2003; with one side showing a black and white image of Marilyn at a charity baseball match in 1952.”

SOLD for $50

“Two separate pieces of sheet music; the first for a song titled ‘Marilyn’ [Ray Anthony’s ‘My Marilyn’], with text on the left side reading in part ‘Inspired by Marilyn Monroe, currently starring in Niagara‘; the second for a song titled ‘Kiss’ from the aforementioned film.”

SOLD for $448

“Oversized 1990s era print with a glossy finish depicting the star posing next to Jane Russell in a publicity shot for Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, signed in black felt-tip ink on the mat board ‘Marilyn Monroe & Jane Russell 1953 /Edward Clark.'”

SOLD for $1,024

Limited edition colourised Frank Worth print from 2005, showing Marilyn in her subway grate pose from The Seven Year Itch fifty years earlier.

SOLD for $768

The Marilyn Monroe Story, a 1955 booklet printed by Screen Publications, Inc. in New York filled with 66 pages of possibly ‘lost to history’ text as well as great black and white images of the star.”

SOLD for $192

Various photos of Marilyn by Ed Feingersh, plus an original copy of the 1955 issue of Redbook magazine in which images from the photo-shoot first appeared.

Print SOLD for $256; magazine SOLD for $100

Various prints by Milton Greene, including this image from the 1956 ‘black sitting,’ with verso signed by the photographer.

Print SOLD for $1,024

“An original print with a glossy finish depicting a smiling image of the star, taken during an impromptu press conference in her Sutton Place South apartment building in Manhattan on June 21, 1956, where she confirmed news of her engagement to Arthur Miller. Verso has an affixed typed press snipe reading in part ‘Blonde actress Marilyn Monroe is all smiles …’, with further annotations in blue pencil; snipe is torn off on the lower margin, losing some of its content.”

SOLD for $384

“Sold separately, a linen-backed, one-sheet poster from Let’s Make Love (1960), where Marilyn literally lived out the title with co-star, Yves Montand; and a miniature lobby card for The Prince and the Showgirl (1957.”)

Lobby card SOLD for $256; poster UNSOLD 

“A tiny two-page fold-out pamphlet printed in green ink from the Pitts Charles Washington Theatre in Ranson, West Virginia which lists the current and upcoming movies on their schedule, including The Misfits which was ‘Coming Soon!'”

SOLD for $125

Sold separately, two press photos of Marilyn at the Golden Globes in 1962.

SOLD for $320 and $192, respectively 

Various prints by photographer Bert Stern; and at right, a poster signed by Allan Grant.

Stern print SOLD for $2,880; Grant poster SOLD for $576

Artwork inspired by Bert Stern’s ‘black dress sitting,’ including a 1986 artist’s proof print, signed by ‘Trout‘ [top]; and sold separately, three framed 1990s prints signed by ‘Martindale‘ [bottom.]

SOLD for $512 and $384, respectively 

Various signed prints by photographer George Barris.

SOLD for $448

“A 24 page pamphlet for the Homage to Marilyn Monroe exhibition at the Sidney Janis Gallery in New York, featuring works from a show related to the star created by artists such as Henri Cartier-Bresson, Richard Avedon, Andy Warhol, James Rosenquist, Claes Oldenburg, Salvador DalíRobert Indiana, Willem de Kooning, and other titans of the 20th century art world; the exhibit took place from December 6-30, 1967 and benefitted The Association for Mentally Ill Children in Manhattan, Inc.”

SOLD for $768

UPDATE: View more auction highlights here