Marilyn Monroe memorabilia retains a deep fascination for collectors all round the world due to her original blonde bombshell image, association with President Kennedy and tragically early death.
Previously her bathrobe has sold for $120,000, a home movie apparently showing her smoking cannabis sold for $165,250 and the figure-hugging dress she wore to sing Happy Birthday to JFK brought a staggering $1.27m.
Now a collection of her personal effects, believed to be the greatest in the world, is to go on show as an exhibition barely more than a stone's throw from where Paul Fraser Collectibles is centred, at the American Museum in Britain at Bath.
|Marilyn performs with Jane Russell in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes|
David Gainsborough Roberts built up his collection over the past two decades, and it includes a wide variety of items from the immediately glamorous to apparently mundane pieces which the star treasured.
For example there is a ring of mediocre value which was given to Monroe by her mother Gladys, whom Marilyn saw only for a limited amount of time during her childhood as Gladys was mentally unstable and spent time in a mental health ward.
There is also a bronze dancing figure which Monroe played with when living in an orphanage during that time, and a photograph of her mother as a smiling teenager.
More glamorous items include: The red sequined gown she wore in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), the green show costume Marilyn wore in Bus Stop (1956) - a performance which won her a Golden Globe - and the iconic cocktail dress from Some Like It Hot (1959) in which Marilyn crooned 'I'm Through With Love'.
There is even the pink 'wiggle' dress from Niagara (1952) - Marilyn's first major role that established her 'blonde bombshell' image.
The exhibition opens on March 12 and is expected to come to London.