Top 5 most shocking Marilyn Monroe memorabilia

Today, Marilyn Monroe is often presented as the super-sweet Hollywood darling that she sometimes was.

However, it is her most shocking moments that truly caught the attention of the public back in the late 1950s. And it is these that keep us coming back for more over 50 years after her death.

For example, PFC Auctions is currently selling the bustier from Some Like it Hot, with collectors focusing on what was underneath her clothes rather than on top.

Likewise, Profiles in History expects to see $50,000 on May 30 for a letter that shows the star's suicidal thoughts, detailing her deepening depression.

In light of these sales, Paul Fraser Collectibles decided to look at the top five items of memorabilia that frame Marilyn's most shocking moments:

5. Marilyn's bras

Marilyn Monroe bra auction
One of Marilyn's saucy cocktail dresses also sold in the auction, bringing $25,000

Ok, so with today's celebrities flashing every inch of flesh possible, a bra worn by Marilyn Monroe may not seem that shocking. However, back in the day, this would have had more than a few admirers hot under the collar.

A bra worn by Monroe in Some Like it Hot - considered by many to be her greatest role - sold for $28,125 in April, making an 89% increase on estimate, and proving that Marilyn's sex appeal is still as strong today as it ever was.

Paul Fraser Collectibles also sold a bra from Marilyn's personal wardrobe back in 2010 for �9,500 ($14,331).

4. The burial vault above Marilyn's

Marilyn Monroe tomb
Fans still lovingly adorn Marilyn's grave with flowers

In a somewhat distasteful move, and much to the shock of her dedicated fan base, the Los Angeles burial vault above Marilyn's auctioned for $4.6m in 2009.

It was sold by Elsie Poncher, whose husband was formerly buried there, and who said that his body would move to a neighbouring plot so that she could make the sale.

The plot next door to Marilyn's had already been snapped up in 1992 by geriatric lothario Hugh Hefner for $75,000.

3. Video of Marilyn smoking cannabis

Marilyn Monroe Cannabis
The video of Marilyn smoking cannabis is now freely available on the internet

With Hollywood famous for the drugs that circulate between its aspiring actors, one might be surprised to learn that any of today's stars had passed through having managed to keep their noses clean.

And it seems that 1950s Hollywood was no different, after a video emerged of Marilyn Monroe smoking cannabis.

Originating from a 1958 or 1959 gathering (no-one seems to remember!), the video came from a friend of Marilyn, who confirmed:

"I got it (the pot). It was mine. It was just passed around. It was not a party. It was just a get-together. You know, come over and hang out."

The video sold for �165,250 ($250,000) in 2009.

4. Marilyn's inscribed artwork to JFK

Marilyn Monroe JFK painting rose
Marilyn was mulit-talented, showing off her art skills with this delicate painting of a rose for the president

Did they? Didn't they?

Marilyn is well-known for her flirtatious personality, and this was even more pronounced whenever she came into contact with the charismatic John F Kennedy, especially during her famous "Happy Birthday" performance.

In 2005, a painting of a red rose that Marilyn completed but never gave to the president sold for $78,000.

It was inscribed, "Happy Birthday Pres. Kennedy from Marilyn Monroe" in blue ink, but the star appears to have gifted it to herself at a later date, writing "Happy Birthday/ June 1, 1962/ My Best Wishes/ Marilyn/ Marilyn."

1. Seven Year Itch subway dress

There aren't many lists of Marilyn Monroe memorabilia that this won't top

Regardless of the subject, this dress will always top any list of Marilyn Monroe memorabilia. Standing as the world's most valuable movie costume of all-time at $5.6m, it marks Marilyn's most iconic screen moment - the scene where her dress is famously lifted by a subway vent.

But it also frames a shocking moment for Marilyn, as one of the most revealing scenes of her acting career.

It is rumoured that the scene also led to the downfall of her marriage to Joe DiMaggio, with the staunchly traditional and reserved baseball player unable to stomach the amount of his wife that the crowd were getting to see.

The dress last surfaced during the Debbie Reynolds memorabilia auction in Beverly Hills in June 2011, valued at $1-2m. Exceeding the expectations of even the most optimistic collector, it set a record that will likely remain unbroken for years to come.

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