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Items Owned by Marilyn Monroe and Hugh Hefner To Go Under Hammer at Julien’s Auctions 

mar 8

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Rebel. Entrepreneur. American Icon. Goddess. Legend. Hollywood Icon. Hefner. Marilyn. Two of only a handful of legends known by one name, these important figures of twentieth-century America and Playboy Enterprises will come together for the first time in a one-of-a-kind auction, ‘Property From the Playboy Archives AND The Hugh M. Hefner Foundation’, and ‘Property From The Life and Career of Marilyn Monroe’ taking place Thursday, March 28, Friday, March 29 and Saturday, March 30 in Los Angeles live and online at Hollywood’s leading auction house, Julien’s Auctions. 

Photo from Julien’s Auctions

Highlights from this auction will be heading to Asia in two exclusive exhibitions presented for the first time in Hong Kong and Shanghai. The public will be invited to view these artifacts in two museum-like exhibitions to be held first at the Fringe Club in Hong Kong January 27 through February 1. The collection will then travel to K11 Art Mall in Shanghai for an exhibition from March 6 through March 17 before heading back to Los Angeles, California for auction March 28through March 30.

This stunning and fascinating collection of over 1,000 artifacts from the early life of the legendary magazine founder to the Playboy era’s heyday, direct from the Playboy Headquarters and Mansion, and personal property consisting of film wardrobe, photographs, documents and ephemera from the incandescent life of Marilyn Monroe, provokes a gaze at the two icons’ lives and times particularly in the 1950s and early 1960s during the height of their fame and influence on American pop culture, as well as on each other’s careers (photo credit of Hugh Hefner @Playboy Enterprises; and Marilyn in Pucci dress Photo Credit © Eric Skipsey mptvimages.com). 

Photo from Julien’s Auctions

Both born in 1926, Marilyn Monroe and Hugh Hefner together gained worldwide fame when Marilyn appeared in Hefner’s inaugural 1953 issue of Playboy. The magazine’s cover image and centerfold of Marilyn launched the success of Hefner’s groundbreaking men’s lifestyle magazine which the publisher would build into an empire by transforming Playboy into an iconic global brand. Marilyn’s appearance in Playboy turned her into an instant household name and enduring sex symbol who blazed a path like no other in Hollywood who would also be admired years after her passing in 1962 as a modern feminist icon. Hefner’s Playboy magazine embodied the modern American male lifestyle and philosophy with its layouts of celebrities and models mixed with some of the most acclaimed and famous journalism and literary pieces on politics, art, and social commentary written by the likes of Alex Haley, Hunter S. Thompson and Margaret Atwood. 

While these two figures remarkably never intersected in reality, their legacies are inextricably linked as both were influential symbols of the sexual revolution whose cult of personalities and depictions made a profound impact on society and on the cultural landscape still felt today. In 1992, Hugh Hefner bought the tomb next to Marilyn Monroe at Westwood Village Memorial Park in Los Angeles where he was laid to rest in 2017.

The Playboy Enterprisescollection includes artwork by LeRoy Neiman, Andy Warhol, Alberto Vargas and more; as well as 1950s architectural renderings of the Playboy Chicago headquarters, Los Angeles Playboy Mansion furniture from the dining room and master bedroom. 

 Highlights include (with estimates): 

  • Andy Warhol original “Playboy Bunny” silkscreen
Photo from Julien’s Auctions
  • LeRoy Neiman 1959 original oil on canvas painting titled, “Romanoffs” (Estimate: US$60,000-$80,000).
  • Alberto Vargas original watercolour drawing of a Vargas Girl pinup, from the March 1967 issue of Playboy Magazine (Estimate: US$30,000-$40,000).
  • LeRoy Neiman 1956 watercolour, ink and collage drawing of the New York City skyline (Estimate: US$8,000-$10,000) (photo below).
Photo from Julien’s Auctions
  • LeRoy Neiman original pen, ink, watercolour, and collage drawing of a Femlin grieving before a photograph of the late Martin Luther King, Jr., with annotations from the original Playboy Magazine layout (Estimate: US$4,000-$6,000).
  • LeRoy Neiman 1957 original ink and gouache on paper drawing of a Femlin with blonde hair holding a Playboy Club key (Estimate: US$4,000-$6,000).
  • An ensemble consisting of Hugh Hefner’s classic smoking jacket, silk pyjamas, slippers and tobacco pipe (Estimate: US$2,000-$3,000) and more to be announced.
Photo from Julien’s Auctions

Highlights of Marilyn Monroe’s collection include (with estimates):

  •  A Mae West-inspired black and cellophane effect evening gown designed by legendary costume designer William Travilla, worn by Marilyn Monroe during the filming of her classic 1955 film The Seven Year Itch. It comes with a black and white feather boa (not film’s original), similar to the one worn by Marilyn with the gown. Marilyn wore this in a dream sequence scene, which was later cut from the film, where Richard Sherman (played by Tom Ewell) envisions his neighbour, the Girl (played by Marilyn) impersonating Mae West in this costume (Estimate: US$100,000-$200,000).
Photo from Julien’s Auctions
  • A costume worn by Marilyn Monroe as Lillian Russell for a pictorial feature in the December 22, 1958 issue of Life magazine, photographed by Richard Avedon. This lavender satin, boned leotard with neckline is trimmed with bouquets of fabric flowers and pink, lavender and cream draped chiffon sashes with pink satin bows and trimmed in lavender, pink and cream chiffon. Monroe also dressed as Theda Bara,  Clara Bow, Jean Harlow, and Marlene Dietrich for this series of photographs (Estimate: US$20,000-$40,000).
Photo from Julien’s Auctions
  • A colour print of a photograph of Marilyn Monroe dressed and posing as silent film star Clara Bow that was taken in 1958 by Richard Avedon (Estimate: US$100-$200).
  • A pink Pucci long-sleeved dress of silk jersey accompanied by a rope and crystal tassel belt, size 10 owned and worn by Marilyn Monroe (Estimate: US$40,000 – $60,000) (black & white photo on p2).
  • Marilyn Monroe’s 1962 John F. Kennedy birthday gala original program and ticket stub. The star-studded birthday celebration for President Kennedy was held 10 days before his actual birthday, and remains one of the most discussed events in his and Monroe’s career as she serenaded the president with a sultry rendition of “Happy Birthday, Mister President” while wearing a sheer, skin-tight Jean Louis gown that she’d been sewn into just before the event (Estimate: US$4,000-$6,000).
  • Marilyn Monroe’s custom shade of Elizabeth Arden lipstick in a goldtone case with typewritten label reading “Orange Pink like Miss I./ sample 05022/ May 2, 1960” (Estimate: US$7,000-$9,000).
Photo from Julien’s Auctions
  • Marilyn’s personal annotated The Misfits script sides with her handwritten notes for her iconic role as Roslyn such as Stretch like a cat / see painted / follow him like kitten and Nothing is coming / but at least I can / make the (an) effort and My thought are any place (Estimate: US$5,000-$7,000).
  • An original Jean Louis painted cream/beige silk jersey cocktail dress worn by Marilyn Monroe for The Misfits cast press conference in the summer of 1960 (Estimate: US$40,000-$60,000).
Photo from Julien’s Auctions
  • Marilyn Monroe’s floret styled brooch of simulated diamonds (Estimate: US$8,000-$10,000).
Photo from Julien’s Auctions
  • Marilyn Monroe’s handwritten Actor’s Studios notes (Estimate: US$4,000-$6,000).
  • A Marilyn Monroe signed Metropolitan Opera playbill from the 1958-1959 season accompanied by a black and white image of Marilyn signing a playbill that is believed to have been signed on February 10, 1959, when Marilyn and her husband Arthur Miller attended a performance of Macbeth (Estimate: US$5,000-$7,000).
  • Red and white polka dot umbrella, with wood hook handle used by Marilyn Monroe in a 1949 photo shoot on Jones Beach with photographer Andre de Dienes (Estimate: US$20,000-$40,000).
  • A silver-tone St. Christopher pendant in the style of a wax seal given to Ralph Roberts by Marilyn Monroe (Estimate: US$6,000-$8,000).

Other highlights include: numerous photos of Marilyn Monroe kicking a soccer ball, fishing, on the sets of River of No Return and Gentleman Prefer Blondes, at her 1954 Korean tour, with husband Joe DiMaggio on their honeymoon and others; her checkbook, perfume receipt and more.

Click HERE to Download Images

AUCTION & ASIA EXHIBITONS DETAILS

Los Angeles

AUCTION Property From The Playboy Archives and The Hugh M. Hefner Foundation and Property From The Life and Career of Marilyn Monroe
Date:  Thursday, March 28 Friday, March 29 Saturday, March 30
Time:  Day Sale at 10:00 am Pacific Time / 01:00am+1, Hong Kong Time
Hong Kong
PUBLIC EXHIBITION ‘Icons: Playboy, Hugh Hefner, And Marilyn Monroe’ Free and open to the public Click HERE to RSVP  Date: January 27 – February 1  Venue: Fringe Club (2 Lower Albert Road, Central)
ShanghaiPUBLIC EXHIBITION ‘Icons: Playboy, Hugh Hefner, And Marilyn Monroe’ Free and open to the public Date: March 6 – 17 Venue: K11 Art Mall (No. 300, Huaihai Middle Road)

*Cover Photo/Thumbnail Photo from Julien’s Auctions

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