Top ten pieces of Marilyn Monroe memorabilia
As a chest X-ray of the Some Like it Hot star is put up for sale we look at her greatest collectibles
Marilyn Monroe, the original blonde bombshell, remains an icon of Hollywood and glamour the world over - probably better known in many countries than when she was alive. She remains one of the highest earning dead celebrities and a byword for feminine sex appeal.
Likewise her memorabilia and autographs remain an excellent investment. Co-founder of International Autograph Auctions, Richard Davie, picked out her signature as one which reliably retains and tends to increase its value.
Monroe collectors can look forward to several collectible items appearing in an auction at Julien's in New York in June. Until then, here's a look at some of our favourite pieces of memorabilia linked to the Prince and the Showgirl star.
See through top
First, the most eye-catching piece in the June auction is a chest X-ray of the star. Whilst pictures are in circulation of the star naked, this is one step more up close and personal than most people would expect to get.
The X-ray was taken at the Cedars of Lebanon Hospital in Florida, where Monroe had surgery for endometriosis, in November 1954 and kept as a souvenir. It is offered with an estimate of $1,200, though we suspect it may fetch more than that.
Signed in her prime
A Bank of America cheque dated November 7, 1951 is a reminder than the star suffered from psychological ailments as well as physical ones.
It is made out to a psychiatrist Dr A Gottesman, whom she may have been seeing due to the sudden death of her devoted agent Johnny Hyde who suffered a heart attack less than a year earlier. Marilyn attempted suicide soon afterwards. She was also starting to suffer from stagefright which persisted through her career.
A more triumphant image of Marilyn is presented by a signed magazine page from the 1950s, referring to her under the headline 'super stars: the younger set'. Both these signatures are currently on the market.
The last thing she wore
An excellent example of how investment in the star's memorabilia can pay off is shown by her bathrobe, which sold for $6,000 at Christie's a decade ago, but sold for $120,000 at Julien's Auctions late last year. It is thought to be the last thing she wore before her death in 1962.
A jet black Cadillac
A number of cars were associated with the actress over the years including a black limousine, a black Thunderbird sports car and third husband Arthur Miller's Jaguar. However, it is a black Cadillac which is a star piece at Russia's Vyborg collection, which also includes cars which belonged to Elvis and Richard Nixon.
This could be one of two: Monroe was given a black Cadillac for appearing on The Jack Benny Show in the early 1950s. On the other hand, she hopped into second husband Joe DiMaggio's black Cadillac immediately after they were married in 1954.
Some like it pot
In 2009, collector Keya Morgan paid £165,250 for a home movie which appears to show the Some Like it Hot star enjoying a joint.