LOS ANGELES, CA.- Julien's Auctions
held its Legendary Women of Hollywood auction featuring Property from the Life and Career of Marilyn Monroe on Friday, November 1 in Beverly Hills, CA in front of a spirited audience of collectors and bidders live on the floor, online and on the phone.
The top moments of the event were the sale of three items worn by the Hollywood screen legend, Marilyn Monroe, in her biggest films - Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, There's No Business Like Show Business and River of No Return - as well as her signature style black cocktail dress likely worn to the 1958 press conference for her blockbuster film, Some Like It Hot.
The siren's show stopping ensemble worn in Irving Berlin's There's No Business Like Show Business made heads turn once again when the gavel came down at the hammer price of $280,000. Worn by the star as "Vicky Parker" during the saucy "Heat Wave" song and dance number, the three-piece costume designed by master couturier, William Travilla, consists of a daring black silk bandeau sequined top with a hot pink and black silk sequined scarf that drapes over the left shoulder; a black floral print, decorated floor-length skirt lined with six layers of hot pink silk ruffles, accompanied by a black silk bikini-style bottom brief; and a classic, white over-sized straw hat. A design sketch of the costume in gouache and pencil signed by Travilla also sold for $11,520 (estimate $3,000-$5,000).
Monroe's stunning floor length, red silk, long sleeved sequined dress worn in her role as Lorelei Lee in the 1953 Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (20th Century Fox) opposite Jane Russell sold for an astounding $250,000. The iconic costume together with the matching dramatic red headdress was originally estimated at $60,000-$80,000. Her co-star Jane Russell's costume, a near replica red silk, long sleeved sequined floor length dress with deep V neckline also sold for $43,750.
The bright yellow silk, floor-length period gown worn by Monroe as "Kay Weston" in the final scene of the 1954 drama, River of No Return (20th Century Fox), co-starring Robert Mitchum, sold for $175,000 (estimate at $60,000-$80,000). Monroe's black silk crepe, knee-length, short capped sleeved Henri Bendel cocktail dress with a plunging V neck and back, appearing to be the same dress she wore at the July 1958 press conference for her film, Some Like It Hot (estimate: $20,000 - $40,000) sold for $100,000.
Other auction highlights included: an Italian-style carved wood ornate corner chair used by the star in her final photo shoot in July 1962 with Life magazine that sold for $81,250,
ten times it original estimate of $8,000; a mint green jersey silk Emilio Pucci skirt and top ensemble that sold for $46,875, well over its original estimate of $6,000; a brown and olive green striped couch used in her psychiatrist Dr. Ralph Greenson's office during the time he treated the star that sold for $11,250, well over its estimate of $1,000; a black with blue satin bows bathing suit labeled "Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer / M. Monroe" that sold for $11,250; a crème-colored umbrella with a wooden hook handle used by the star then-called Norma Jeane in 1949 when Andre De Dienes took photographs of her at Jones Beach and at Tobay Beach on Long Island in New York that sold for $21,875, seven times over its original estimate of $3,000; a black silk jersey fabric with a gold and black "lace" print bathing suit worn by Monroe in the 1951 film, Let's Make It Legal (20th Century Fox) that sold for $37,500 (estimate: $10,000 - $20,000) and more. The collection consisting of 115 of her most glamourous and personal items were sold at no reserve.