Bonhams to sell Marilyn Monroe screen-worn costumes

Movie King

Movie King

2015-11-09 16:34:04

A pair of Marilyn Monroe screen-worn costumes could bring up to half a million dollars each at Bonhams later this month.

The outfits will be offered as part of the upcoming Treasures from the Dream Factory sale, an auction of film memorabilia held in conjunction with Turner Classic Movies.

First up is a costume from the classic comedy-musical Gentleman Prefer Blondes, one of Monroe's earliest and most iconic roles. The film, co-starring Jane Russell, was Monroe's breakthrough, helping propel her to stardom in 1953 – the same year she appeared on the cover of Photoplay magazine, and in the inaugural edition of Playboy.

Monroe wears the grey wool suit during the scene in which she goes shopping in Paris, before discovering that her credit has been cut off and performing the song and dance number When Love Goes Wrong with Russell.

The second costume on offer is a red saloon gown from the 1954 Western River of No Return, in which Monroe plays dance hall singer Kay Weston opposite leading man Robert Mitchum.

The period costume is worn by Monroe during her first scene in the film, in which she performs the song One Silver Dollar. It also featured heavily in the promotion of the film, including appearing on the original one-sheet poster. 

The costumes remained in the 20th Century Fox costume department until 1971, when they were acquired by Hollywood star and devoted collector Debbie Reynolds. Having remained in her collection for almost 30 years, both costumes were then sold at auction in 2000, and will now come to auction for only the second time with estimated values of $350,000-$500,000 each.

The Bonhams and TCM 'Treasures from the Dream Factory' sale takes place in New York on November 23.

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