A Hollywood Vassarette “Debutante” brassiere, style number 1225 in a size 36C, will go on auction next month in Beverly Hills. The dreamy, nude-colored underwire with mesh cups—which sold for a mere $5.95 in the 1950s—is expected to fetch upwards of $800., and is just one of the 329 items up for auction that once belonged to Marilyn Monroe.
Part of the “Icons and Idols: Hollywood” series, Julien’s of Beverly Hills will unearth a plethora of other never-before-seen items once belonging to the late screen goddess during the “Lost Archives of Marilyn Monroe” exhibit. Not only are the contents in this collection some of the actresses’ most beloved, they are among the most rare and sought after by fans and collectors. Of the extensive, highly personal collection, Martin Nolan, Executive Director at Julien’s Auctions, says “This is an absolutely fantastic auction. In fact, the contents are actually considered lost archives, because they have never been viewed by the public until now. We have hundreds of items that were among Marilyn’s most cherished, including what was one of her favorite coats. There are so many photographs of her wearing it. It’s a fawn color silk overcoat with a black velvet collar, apricot satin lining, a seven button closure and two exterior pockets. It is exquisite. We estimate it will be sold for anywhere between $80,000- $120,000.”
Other items include the dress Monroe wore to the official press conference of “The Prince and the Showgirl” at New York’s Plaza Hotel, a gold-tone tube of Helena Rubenstein Mascara in “Black,” a decorative glass bowl, tableware, telegrams (many of which were sent to the actress during her numerous stays at the Beverly Hills Hotel), jewelry, personal photographs, paintings and countless other items. But in spite of the hundreds of personal effects, Nolan says, “It really is all about the love letters. There are many, many letters written by Joe DiMaggio and Arthur Miller to Marilyn. They really give a look inside not only her personal life, but her love life. Both men loved her immensely. In all of the letters, Joe DiMaggio expresses his love and concern for her. This was on October 9, 1954 in a letter he wrote from San Francisco. He begs her to come back to him and tells her that he is very concerned for her well being. DiMaggio was truly sad to see her sad and to watch her spiraling downward.”
Nolan also adds that the letters are as deep and heartfelt as they are eloquent. “Remember this was before there was Facebook or Twitter or text messaging. Arthur Miller was a gifted writer, so when he sat down to compose a letter to Marilyn, he wrote beautifully worded letters to her, expressing his desires for her but also encouraging her in her talent.”
However, even though the two men (both previously married to the actress) showered her with the love she so desperately craved, she would never be able to fully accept it.
“There is a draft to one of the letters from Monroe in response to one that Miller had sent to her. Marilyn was telling him that there was no other way for her in life, no other road, expect for her to become the person—the huge star—she knew she had to become. She talks about her fear, anxiety and doubting herself and how Hollywood built the brand of Marilyn Monroe. She always wanted more and constantly sought after more for herself. She wanted to be valued.” says Nolan.
The “Lost Archives of Marilyn Monroe” will be open December 1-5, from 10:00 A.M until 5:00 P.M daily, inside the Julien’s of Beverly Hills gallery. The event is free and open to the public.
9665 Wilshire Boulevard
Beverly Hills, CA
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