‘Icons and Idols’ Auction Details

Full listings for the Icons and Idols auction (December 1-2) are now online at Julien’s Auctions. A print catalogue – featuring a cover shot of the young Marilyn by Joseph Jasgurs – can be ordered (for $100.)

On the subject of Marilyn-related items, collector Scott Fortner has been lucky enough to acquire the ivory cotton coat she wore throughout 1961, and has posted more details on his MM Collection Blog. (She was photographed in the coat while leaving New York’s Polyclinic Hospital in July, having undergone gallbladder surgery.)

 

Julien’s Auctions in China

Julien’s Auctions will hold their annual ‘Legends’ sale at Ponte 16, Macao, China, on October 22. For a full list of MM-related items, click here

“Marilyn Monroe seduced on-screen and film going audiences with her performance as Kay Weston in River of No Return. Monroe conjured a saloon hall vixen to perform ‘I’m Gonna File My Claim’. The provocative green gown she wore during this song and dance routine is offered for sale along with Monroe’s personal phone book, pearl necklace, medical prescription orders and a rare painting created by the iconic actress.”

Broadway World

 

Marilyn at Julien’s: Hollywood Legends 2011

Julien’s Auctions have announced a ‘Hollywood Legends’ exhibition from April 25-May 6 at their Beverly Hills office, followed by a public and online sale on May 7-8.

Items related to Marlene Dietrich, Lucille Ball and Marilyn Monroe feature in the catalogue (plus modern celebrities like Princess Diana and Angelina Jolie), which can be viewed online or ordered in print.

The black cocktail dress worn by Marilyn on the cover is among the highlights. She wore it at the press party for Some Like it Hot in 1958 (photo by Earl Leaf.)

Joseph Jasgur, 1946, signed by photographer
Richard C. Miller, 1946
Pages from Andre De Dienes’ journal
Marilyn at Harold Lloyd’s home, 1953

Marilyn’s X-Ray Sold at Julien’s

A 1954 X-ray of Marilyn Monroe’s chest is reported to have sold for $45,000 (about £30,000) at the ‘Hollywood Legends’ auction in Las Vegas this weekend. Here’s the item description from Julien’s Auctions:

“X-ray of Marilyn Monroe’s chest. Printed on the x-ray is the following information, ‘Cedars of Lebanon Hospital/Drs. E. Freedman and S. Finck/ Name Di Maggio Marilyn/ No. 50612 Date 11-10-54/ Ref. By Dr. L. Krohn.’ As a radiology resident at Cedars, a young doctor obtained these x-rays. When he taught at the school himself, he used these x-rays to ensure that students were paying attention. Monroe was said to have known about the x-rays and their use, about which she said ‘Isn’t that sweet.’ Monroe’s hospital visit was said to be for her chronic endometriosis – or as her doctor’s described it, ‘For correction of a female disorder she has suffered for years.’ Accompanied by a copy of the X-Ray. 17 by 13 3/4 inches”

It’s hard to know what to make of Marilyn’s comment at the time, or how she might have felt about this sale.

The X-Ray dates from November 1954, when Marilyn underwent surgery to relieve her chronic endometriosis. Photos taken of her leaving Cedars of Lebanon Hospital the following day showed her to be extremely distressed by the paparazzi’s presence.

To illustrate this point, I have posted the least upsetting photo from this occasion above (I have no intention of posting the X-ray here. This is a personal decision, those who wish to see it can search on Google.)

In The X-Rays of Others, an article for yesterday’s Huffington Post, Dr Elaine Schattner criticises the auction:

“It seems ironic that Monroe, who was hospitalized for gynecological reasons and died childless, has no descendants to hold her records near, to intervene or somehow say ‘no, the x-rays are off-limits.’ Rather, it’s her doctor’s children who’ve cut the deal.

I can’t help thinking that she, who struggled so in her life, in and out of strangers’ households, love affairs and flicks, is defenseless now again. The films render her vulnerable, again, to more inspection. The loss of privacy is irrevocable, a violation after death.”

Read full article here

Marilyn’s Ceil Chapman Dress in Las Vegas

Photo by Ethan Miller

Marilyn Monroe’s Ceil Chapman evening gown is displayed next to Anna Nicole Smith’s custom painted Marilyn Monroe dresser at Julien’s Auctions annual summer sale at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino June 24-27, 2010, in Las Vegas,Nevada.

Scott Fortner has noted on his blog that while beautiful, the gown is partially damaged due to neglect over the years since Marilyn died. Sadly, this is true of many of Monroe’s former possessions – but still, they continue to sell at high prices. Another Chapman gown belonging to the star sold at Christie’s for $100,000 in 1999.

Some info on Ceil Chapman from Vintage Bulletin:

“Ceil Chapman began her career in New York, her first company was ‘Her Ladyship Gowns’ started in 1940 with partner Gloria Vanderbilt. The she went on to another company labeled ‘A Chapman Original’ which later became simply ‘Ceil Chapman’. She was a popular, talented designer through the early 1960’s. Known for her exquisite draping that enhanced the female form, she became a favorite among many stars of the era, such as Deborah Kerr and Elizabeth Taylor. Rumor has it she was the favorite designer of Marilyn Monroe.

Her specialty was evening, formal wear, done in silks, taffeta, chiffon and organdy, embellished with beading and lace. She designed a great deal for movies and television.”