‘I Love You Joe’: Marilyn’s Signed Photo Breaks Auction Record

A photograph signed by Marilyn to husband Joe DiMaggio sold for $300,000 at Heritage Auctions yesterday – setting a new record for a signed Monroe photo. The studio publicity image, shot by Frank Powolny in 1952 (see here) is inscribed in Marilyn’s own hand with this simple but touching message: ‘I love you Joe, Marilyn’.

“Heritage Auctions’ latest Historical Platinum event, held Dec. 1, was filled with myriad documents written and signed by titans of history … But five words handwritten by one woman topped them all.

‘Bidding was extraordinary from the moment the auction began, with heated battles among collectors over some of the most significant artifacts Heritage has ever had the privilege of bringing to market,’ says Executive Vice President Joe Maddalena. ‘But as someone so enamoured of Monroe – as an actor and icon, as someone whose fame has only increased with each passing year – I am particularly thrilled to see this benchmark realized during this event.’

The photograph has extraordinary provenance, having come from The Joe DiMaggio Collection with a signed letter from the Yankee Clipper’s [grand]daughters, Paula DiMaggio Hamra and Kathie DiMaggio Stein.

Only one item in Thursday’s auction topped the Monroe photo: one of likely four known Sputnik 1 test models and the accompanying Tesla broadcast receiver, which soared to an out-of-this-world $375,000.”