Auction houses, especially prestigious ones such as Bonhams, Christie’s, and Sotheby’s, are renowned for their lavish and unusual jewels that are put up for auction as well as significant and symbolic pieces, like those left behind by celebrities and royalty. For example, in 2012 Lily Safra's Jewelry was auctioned off for charity, and managed to raise a fine sum. The belongings of the late Marilyn Monroe that have been auctioned off over the years fall into the last category, as the deceased actress was most definitely a celebrity. Various belongings of the blond bombshell have been sold for absurd prices, such as x-rays of her chin revealing implants, which sold for ridiculous $30,000. Jewels of hers, like the ring from Joe DiMaggio that consisted of 35 baguette-cut diamonds, sold at auction with one missing diamond for $772,500. And, the iconic white dress worn by the star in The Seven Year Itch sold for $5 million. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that the corseted red gown with black beading that Monroe wore during the unforgettable scene in River of No Return is on sale for the asking price of $600,000. The most ludicrous part is that it will unquestionably draw in that sum, if not more. Here is a bit more about the legendary actress, her memorable dresses, and her extraordinary jewelry.
Perhaps just as famous as Marilyn Monroe’s platinum blonde hairdo and sensuous “Happy Birthday” rendition are her myriad of eye-catching numbers worn in various films and at countless events over the years. In Gentlemen Prefer Blondes Monroe wore a red sequined dress and headdress, which later sold for $1.4 million. Another dress worn in that movie was the pink satin bustier dress with matching gloves. Monroe might have been the one to give birth to the “little black dress,” as she famously wore an elegant and revealing black getup in the 1950s film, The Asphalt Jungle. Last but not least, who can forget the see-through crystal-encrusted gown that Marilyn wore when she infamously sang “Happy Birthday” to the president? It was fitted to her body perfectly because it was sewn onto her. The dress was auctioned off for $1.2 million.
In addition to the beautiful diamond ring that Joe DiMaggio gave Marilyn Monroe after their marriage in 1954, DiMaggio gave her a 16-inch strand of pearls during their honeymoon in Japan. Another noteworthy piece of jewelry worn by Marilyn was The Moon of Baroda necklace, which consisted of a 24-carat pear-shaped yellow diamond. In Gentlemen Prefer Blondes Monroe wore the famous diamond necklace that seared an image of a sparkling choker into our minds forever.
Marilyn Monroe was the true definition of an icon, and it is for that reason that fans from all generations are so eager to own items that she wore, used, or had anything to do with. Monroe made plenty of fashion statements and was the epitome of sensuality, but she actually did not own very many of her own precious jewels and flamboyant outfits. Those were mostly given to her on loan. It is said that she was very different onscreen than she was off-screen, which only highlights how much the film industry is designed to sell us an image. In any case, one thing is for certain; Marilyn Monroe left behind an entire culture filled with fashion, etiquette, and class that is simply irreplaceable.