One of Marilyn’s early professional test shots, taken by Joseph Jasgur on March 3, 1946, has been sold for £3,100 in an auction at Henry Aldridge and Sons of Devizes, Wiltshire, according to the Western Daily Press. (This was not, however, her first photo shoot – 19 year-old Norma Jeane Dougherty had been modelling since mid-1945.)
Auctioneer Andrew Aldridge said the photo – which has attracted international press coverage – was purchased by a man who collects showbiz pictures, the true value in this image lies in the fact that it is sold with the copyright to reproduce and distribute the image as the winning bidder wishes.
Sadly, Mr Jasgur spent his final, ailing years at the centre of a legal dispute over the rights to his photos of Marilyn. He died in poverty in a nursing home in 2009.
But in February 2011, the Orlando Sentinel reported that copyright would revert to his estate. That December, a number of Jasgur’s photos were sold at Julien’s Auctions for a total $352,000. According to BBC News, they were sold by court order, to settle debts incurred by Jasgur’s estate.
In my time on this blog, I have noticed that statues of Marilyn tend to get stolen. The latest, a 6ft likeness, was taken from outside the Light and Sound office in Devizes, Wiltshire.
‘Ian Matthews, owner of Devizes Light and Sound in Albion Place, off Sidmouth Street, said: “Apparently Jo Batchelor at Devizes Books heard a kerfuffle going on about 4am on Saturday, so we reckon that’s when it went.
“It must have taken a few of them to take it away. It weighs at least ten stone.
“The statue used to stand in the basement of the Corn Exchange where we hold the discos but when it was renovated a year or so ago I brought it back to the shop.
“I really miss her. It is a beautiful statue. I have no idea what its value is. I was going to do it up to sell it.”
The glass statue was one of a number bought by Mr Matthews to decorate his regular discos in the Corn Exchange.
It had pride of place at the Corn Exchange when the building was revamped in 2002.
But when the building was refurbished in 2009 to become the Merchant’s Suite, there was no place on the premises for Marilyn.
The statue had stood outside Mr Matthews’ shop ever since.
Inspector Ron Peach at Devizes police said: “It may have been stolen as a prank and may be gracing someone’s front room at the moment.
“But it is theft and anyone with information about the offence is asked to contact us as soon as possible.”
Anyone who can help pinpoint Marilyn’s whereabouts should contact Devizes police on 0845 408 7000.’