Photo Courtesy of BonhamsMarilyn Monroe photographs have done particularly well at auction. The incredibly photogenic star posed for thousands of shots. An image by Richard Avedon, sold at Christies for $231,491 and images from "The Last Sitting," a group of photographs taken by Bert Stern for Vogue before her death, sold for nearly $150,000 at Christie's in 2008.
The latest hot Marilyn items are a collection of 10 color three-dimensional negatives of the star, taken by Lani Carlson in 1952 which will be sold as part of Bonhams & Butterfields' December 14 auction of 'Entertainment Memorabilia in Los Angeles.' The negatives will be offered with the photographer's copyright and carry an estimate of $70,000 to $90,000. The photos were taken at a party hosted by bandleader Ray Anthony, celebrating the release of the song "Marilyn," written by Ervin Drake and Jimmy Shirl.
Also up for sale is a group of 15 limited edition prints of Monroe by Carlson from the same 1952 party (estimated at $5,000-7,000). One of the images shows Monroe in a bright pink dress against a background of oversized lyrics from the "Marilyn" song.
Other Marilyn related items at a lower price point include a collection of candid snapshots of Monroe taken by a former Private in the US Army in South Korea while visiting soldiers, 1954 (estimated at $600-900); an apologetic telegram from the actress to director George Cukor in 1962, two months before her passing, regarding her famous dismissal from the film Something's Got To Give (est. $300-500); a group of five snapshots taken of Monroe on two different occasions while sitting in the rear of a car, identified as outside the St. Regis and the 21 Club in New York City, 1954 (est. $300-500); and several lots of photographs by Sam Shaw including candid images of the star at home, 1950s (est. $2,500-3,500); photographs of Monroe wearing a fur coat and greeting fans, 1950s (est. $2,500-3,500) and a group of images of the actress taken during the filming of The Seven Year Itch, 1954 (est. $2,500-3,500). A preview is scheduled for December 9 through 11. Check out the auction catalog at Bonhams.com.