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Julien’s Auctions to sell intimate collection of Marilyn Monroe memorabilia

A collection of intimate Marilyn Monroe memorabilia once owned by her acting coach Lee Strasberg will be offered for sale by Julien’s Auctions later this year.
Jewelry, clothing, accessories, personal items, letters and notes will go under the hammer as part of an incredible two-day sale in Los Angeles, which also includes the David Gainsborough-Roberts Collection, the world’s largest private collection of Marilyn Monroe memorabilia.

"This is one of the most important and historic auctions of Marilyn Monroe ever," said Martin Nolan, Executive Director of Julien’s Auctions.

"This diverse collection gives us a most intimate glimpse of the screen legend. Never before have there been so many important artifacts from the life and career of the much loved global icon Marilyn Monroe as in our Nov 19th and 20th auction."

Lee Strasberg was a highly influential actor, director and teacher, who revolutionized American theatre and film performance through his theories of ‘method’ acting. Along with Monroe, his pupils included Montgomery Clift and James Dean, and his influence was acknowledged by the likes of Dustin Hoffman, Jack Nicholson, Al Pacino, Jane Fonda and Robert DeNiro.

Monroe struck up a close friendship with Strasberg and his second wife Paula, and later bequeathed him all of her personal effects and clothing following her tragic, untimely death in 1962.

Marilyn Monroe and Lee Strasberg, circa 1955

Strasberg himself passed away in 1982, and for more than 30 years his third wife Anna and his family have maintained the collection of Monroe items which offer an insight into her turbulent personal life.

Leading items from the collection include a ladies platinum and diamond cocktail watch, an alligator men’s accessory case once owned by her ex-husband Joe DiMaggio, and receipts for everything from food and household products to fur, books, beauty, and clothing, which help paint an intimate portrait of Monroe’s day-to-day life.

One of the most revealing lots is a minaudière handbag with its original contents, containing make-up, cigarettes and loose change, which presents "a virtual time capsule of one of the star’s nights out on the town".

"No one person ever really knew every facet of Marilyn Monroe, though countless books have attempted to piece together every first, second and third hand account of each encounter, often embellished through passage of time," said Anna Starsberg.

"Marilyn was a complex and beguiling figure in her lifetime, leaving generations of adoring fans to speculate, infer and debate about her life. What has resulted is a prismatic kaleidoscope image built upon both fact and fantasy."

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