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Largest collection of Marilyn Monroe worn costumes taking world tour

A Marilyn Monroe collection, which includes film-worn costumes from roles that helped establish Monroe as an icon, is starring in its own public exhibitions before selling in November.

BEVERLY HILLS — Julien’s Auctions has announced the Auction of David Gainsborough-Roberts’

Marilyn Monroe "Some Like It Hot" dress

A figure hugging sheer black and nude embellished cocktail dress worn by Marilyn Monroe while singing “I’m through with Love” atop a grand piano in Billy Wilder’s {Some Like It Hot}(United Artists, 1959), carries a presale estimate of $200,000 to $400,000. (Photos courtesy of Julien's Auctions)

Marilyn Monroe Collection. Comprising film costumes, personal gowns and clothing, jewelry and property owned by Marilyn Monroe, together with original photographs and film posters, this prolific and historic collection is the most important Marilyn Monroe archive of combined professional and personal property to hit the collecting market in decades.

Film-worn costumes included in this sale cover an extensive portion of Marilyn’s acting career, from “Niagara,” released in 1953, to “Some Like It Hot,” released in 1959. Seven of Marilyn’s most notable films are represented in this auction, with many created by award-winning designers and well known costumers of Hollywood yesteryear.

Highlights from the screen icon’s life include the sheer beaded and sequined dress Monroe wore as she crooned, “I’m Through With Love” in the award-winning film “Some Like it Hot.” The film won the best picture Golden Globe in 1960. Monroe won a Golden Globe award for her portrayal of Sugar Kane, perhaps one of her most famous roles. Orry-Kelly won the 1959 Academy Award for costume design for his work on this film.

Other highlights include the white full-length gown of satin with sheer overlay embellished with faux pearls created by Academy Award-nominated designer Beatrice Dawson worn by Marilyn in “The Prince and The Showgirl,” the second of two films produced by Marilyn Monroe Productions. Monroe won the French and Italian equivalents of the American Academy Award for her portrayal of Elsie Marina in this film opposite Sir Laurence Olivier.

“Marilyn Monroe is one of the biggest and most endearing screen icons of our time,” said Darren Julien, founder and CEO of Julien’s Auctions. “We are so honored to be working with David Gainsborough-Roberts with his incredible collection of Marilyn Monroe artifacts. He has meticulously archived so many important aspects of Marilyn’s career and personal life.”

Enjoy an episode of "Person to Person" with Edwin R. Murrow from 1955, where he casually interviews Marilyn Monroe:

The elaborate stage costume worn by Marilyn as she sang, “After You Get What You Want You Don’t Want It” in the 1953 comedy “There’s No Business Like Show Business,” designed by one of Marilyn’s all-time favorite designers, Academy Award-winning designer William “Billy” Travilla, is also part of the collection. Other costumes include the green satin one-piece with black sequins and gold fringe Marilyn wore as she sang “That Old Black Magic” in “Bus Stop,” which was the first of two films produced by Marilyn Monroe Productions.

Monroe "There's No Busines Like Show Business" gown

An embellished gown worn by Marilyn Monroe while singing “After You Get What You Want You Don’t Want It” in the musical {There’s No Business Like Show Business}(20th Cent., 1954), which may command between $100,000 and $200,000.

Marilyn received a Golden Globe nomination for her portrayal of Cherie, and the film itself was nominated for the Best Motion Picture-Musical or Comedy Golden Globe, and also the famous “wiggle dress” designed by Dorothy Jenkins for the 1953 thriller, “Niagara,” which established Marilyn as a star, and showcased her dramatic acting abilities. While ultimately not worn in the film, Marilyn wore this dress to various events and for publicity photos.

Additional highlights include personal prescriptions, evening gloves, jewelry, shoes, household items and Marilyn Monroe’s Detroit Free Press “New Faces Award” from 1952.
The David Gainsborough-Roberts Collection of Marilyn Monroe will make a worldwide tour prior to the November auction. Special exhibitions have been scheduled for the public and include: London, England: Design Centre Chelsea Harbour Lots Road, London, SW10 0XE, May 25-June 20, Monday-Saturday 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Ireland: Newbridge Silverware, Museum of Style Icons (MOSI), Newbridge, Co. Kildare, June 25-July 25; High Seas: Voyage on Cunard’s Queen Mary 2, departs New York Aug. 9, arrives Southampton Aug. 16. During the seven-day eastbound Transatlantic crossing, guests will enjoy the exclusive opportunity to bid on select items in advance of the general auction in November.

More exhibition dates are forthcoming, in addition to the free Los Angeles public exhibition at Julien’s Auctions, 741 North La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles, from Nov. 14-18, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. The live and online auction takes place Nov. 19 (Session I: 10 a.m.; Session II, 2 p.m.)

For more information on the Marilyn Monroe touring exhibition, visit