Marilyn will take center stage at Bonhams

LOS ANGELES – Bonhams & Butterfields, international fine arts auctioneers, is pleased to feature in its June 16, 2008 sale of Entertainment Memorabilia in Los Angeles several items related to and owned by Marilyn Monroe, one of the most collectible of Hollywood’s iconic celebrities.

Hollywood historians may be updating their Marilyn papers based on details found in a group of car service receipts from the firm Marilyn Monroe used as her chauffeurs to both public appearances and private events in the summer of 1962 – often including multiple stops, detailed by a driver as: “Home,” “Studio” and various Hollywood hotspots.

Transporting the star on ten dates in May and June 1962, the Carey Cadillac Renting Co. of Calif., Inc.’s pink carbon copy receipts detail where the service drove Monroe, including the driver’s note about where he took the star on what would ultimately be her last birthday, June 1.

Documenting Monroe’s itinerary on her 36th birthday, the driver wrote: “…601 Montana Dr. > Dodger Stadium> Chasen’s> Home> La Scala> Studio> Home> La Scala> Home.”

“Monroe did attend a well-publicized charity event at the ballpark,” says Entertainment Memorabilia Dept. director Margaret Barrett, “but it’s interesting to see where she went afterwards as most biographies claim she went right home, spending her birthday alone.”

Another receipt, dated months earlier, lists Monroe’s criss-crossing of LA’s west side, from her apartment on Doheny Drive to the beach in Santa Monica, the return trip in the wee hours of a morning in February 1962. The driver listed the stops as: “882 Doheny> 625 Ocean Front Santa Monica> 882 Doheny.”

“From this detailed account we can see that Monroe went from her apartment to the Lawford/Kennedy beach house in Santa Monica,” said Barrett. “She returns to her apartment at 3 a.m. the next morning. This grouping of receipts offers fans and admirers a glimpse into Marilyn, the woman and the icon that she’ll forever be.”

Other highlights in the summer auction include several personal and beauty related items once belonging to Monroe, including a pair of classic design black fishnet stockings – seams up the back with an interior stamp of the designer Triumph (est. $600-$800); two sets of circa 1962 Erno Lazlo make-up products, one with hair conditioner in tubes still in their original boxes (each est. $500-$600). According to Margaret Barrett, “Monroe almost exclusively used Erno Lazlo products towards the end of her life. She was very particular about her beauty regimens and skincare.”

A John F. Kennedy-related program from the former President’s legendary 1962 birthday celebration (where Monroe famously sang to him) will also be featured. From the May 19, 1962, event at Madison Square Garden in New York City, the pamphlet features a black and white photographic image of Kennedy on its cover and a detailed listing of all the participants (including Ella Fitzgerald, Peter Lawford and Miss Monroe) on the inside and back cover. The current owner was an attendee that evening who has saved this program for the past 46 years. Just a few of these “JFK Birthday Celebration” programs have come up on the auction block before; this collectible is expected to bring $300-$500.

Additional property on offer in June related to Monroe includes a rustic-style footstool likely custom-made for the star’s last dwelling on Helena Drive in Brentwood, Calif., offered together with a photograph showing the interior of Monroe’s house circa 1962, this stool evident in the background (est. $1,000-$1,200). Also from her Brentwood home is a small pencil holder (est. $100-$200) that can be seen in that photograph, as well as one of Monroe’s wrought-iron ashtrays from the 1950s (est. $300-$500). Cast in the form of a swan, the base of the ashtray is impressed “Japan.” Monroe evidently purchased two or more of these [possibly while on her honeymoon with Joe DiMaggio in Japan], another example was previously seen at auction.

Additional highlights from the summer memorabilia auction include: a Heath Ledger director’s chair from Brokeback Mountain, 2005 (est. $1,000-$1,500); a Judy Garland pair of pants from Valley of the Dolls, 1967, also worn on her final stage appearance at New York’s Palace Theatre in 1967, her last American concert (est. $2,000-$2,500); and  a massive collection of receipts from ground-breaking comedic star Lucille Ball (est. $2,500-$3,000).

Animation art will also be part of the June auction, with artworks and cels related to Disney, Warner Bros. and Hanna-Barbera films, including a 1940 gouache on a trimmed celluloid depicting Mickey Mouse as the sorcerer’s apprentice on the mountain top conducting the forces of the universe, a favorite scene from the Walt Disney classic Fantasia (est. $5,000-$7,000).

A celluloid from The Jungle Book, the later Walt Disney production from 1967, could bring as much as $6,000, while a large Charles Schulz drawing of the lovable Peanuts character Lucy is expected to bring $7,000-$9,000. The signed drawing depicts Lucy standing behind her “Psychiatric Help The Doctor is Real In” booth.

A selection of vintage film posters includes two inserts from film noir classics starring Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake, The Blue Dahlia (est. $500-$700) and This Gun for Hire (est. $400-$600).

Los Angeles previews are scheduled for June 13-15 or by appointment. The illustrated auction catalog will be online for review and purchase at www.bonhams.com/us in the weeks preceding the previews and sale.

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