Marilyn Monroe's grave marker auctions for $212,500

Marilyn Monroe's former grave marker has sold for $212,500 - demolishing its $4,000 estimate.

It was among the top performing lots at Julien's Auctions' Hollywood Legends sale in Beverly Hills on June 27.

Monroe grave marker
Visitors to Monroe's grave caused wear on the original grave marker

The marker, which once stood at Los Angeles' Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles, was replaced in the 1970s - after constant touching by visitors caused excessive wear.

It was consigned from the collection of a former employee of Gasser-Olds, the bronze-casting firm who made the marker.

Items surrounding Monroe's death achieve large sums. The dressing gown Monroe was wearing the night she died achieved $120,000 in 2009, while the crypt above Marilyn Monroe's grave auctioned for $4.6m in 2009. Playboy founder Hugh Hefner bought another crypt next to Monroe's for $75,000 in 1992. A Hefner-signed first edition of Playboy, featuring Marilyn Monroe on the cover, auctioned for $87,500.

Despite its strong showing, the grave marker wasn't the top selling Monroe item at the auction. That accolade went to a dress Monroe wore in her last film, Something's Got to Give.

The dress from the unfinished 1962 picture made $348,000.

The auction house's Martin Nolan explained the importance of the dress to Paul Fraser Collectibles. "This is a very iconic dress. When Marilyn passed away tragically on Aug 5th that same year, the image of Marilyn wearing this dress was used on the cover of all the major newspapers including the New York Times, The LA Times and the San Francisco Chronicle," he said.

Check out our superb selection of rare Monroe collectibles here.

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