Rare early photographs of Marilyn Monroe starred in Julien's mammoth four-day Annual Icons & Idols memorabilia auction in Beverly Hills over the weekend (December 1-4). Sold with their copyright, the photographs eventually brought more than $300,000.
The rare images were the chief draw in an exceptional sale whose lots included everything from George Reeves's original Superman costume badge and Eddie Munster's costume from popular 1960s series The Munsters, to special effects props from the 1991 blockbuster movie Terminator 2.
The early Monroe photographs date to 1946 when she was still Norma Jeane Dougherty, and had yet to craft her iconic IMAGE_and persona. They were taken by Joseph Jasgur and appeared in Julien's sale after a judge ruled in September that Jasgur must sell them to repay debts.
Vintage Monroe, with the negatives and copyright thrown in to boot...
Collectors had a chance to not only own the photographs themselves, but also their negatives and the right to sell and distribute them. In other words, the lucky winning bidder now has full control over these fascinating pieces of Monroe's early history.
What's more, these photographs should prove to be prized assets. Especially considering that the average value of a Marilyn Monroe signed album page has grown from £2,950 to £6,750 - a rise of 128.8% - in the past 11 years.
Memorabilia items which give an insight into Marilyn's life away from the movie camera, like Joseph Jasgur's photographs, are especially coveted among collectors. Other examples for sale on the markets include this cheque which we have for sale at Paul Fraser Collectibles.
It is signed in blue ballpoint pen by Monroe herself, as President of Marilyn Monroe Productions.
The cheque is payable to Sutton Wines & Liquors, Inc for a sum of $8.81, dated September 15, 1957. A fascinating insight into Marilyn's life away from the spotlight.
Meanwhile, this isn't the first time that a combined sale of iconic images and their copyright has created a burst of excitement on the collectors' markets in recent times...
Photographs of The Beatles' earliest days in Hamburg, taken by Astrid Kirchherr and also sold with their copyright, didn't even make it to the auction block earlier this year. The collection was snapped-up by a mystery buyer (Paul McCartney perhaps?) in a private agreement prior to the sale.
Julien's weekend sale also offered a great opportunity to see how today's stars match up to the icons of yesteryear at auction. The Beverly Hills sale offered a Lady GaGa dress which sold for an impressive $31,250. And the prop gun used in GaGa's video for "Born This Way" brought $7,680.
And it seems that no celebrity auction nowadays is complete without the presence of John Lennon.
Following the World Record price set by his iconic "Bed Peace" artwork at Christie's recent sale, a 1969 caricature drawn by the late Beatle of himself and wife Yoko Ono brought $90,000 at Julien's.
Watch this space for news on other highlights from Julien's Annual Icons & Idols sale.