This November, hundreds and hundreds of items belonging to late film star Marilyn Monroe will be auctioned off.
The catalogue of items is some 426 pages (really!) long, and filled with all kinds of things that Monroe used in everyday life.
Some of it you might expect, like her lipsticks, rouges, and other makeup she would have used to get her trademark flawless look.
The lipstick seen here is a sample from Elizabeth Arden. Maybe Monroe got an early release, thanks to her star status.
The makeup is more than 50 years old, but the cases are beautiful examples of the glamorous things Monroe, and many other women, would have had at the time.
The compact here held makeup, and also had a hidden compartment for cigarettes.
This compact is decorated withrhinestones and imitation pearls, but still has that feeling ofold Hollywood glamour.
The items were all part of the estate of Lee Strasberg, an actor, director, and theater practitioner who is credited for training the acting talents of Monroe, as well as many other Hollywood stars.
The collection contains clothing, jewelry, shoes, china, accessories, and even furniture.
Some of them, like this diamond and platinum watch and this mink fur coat, are just the kinds of things Monroe came to be known for. The red dress, designed by Jax, was worn by Monroe in 1957.
And naturally, it wouldn’t be complete without the notorious sheer sequined dress Monroe wore to President John F. Kennedy’s birthday, where she sang a sultry rendition of the classic birthday song.
The dress was so tight that Monroe couldn’t wear anything under it, and actually had to be sewn into it!
Bidding on the dress starts at a million dollars, but the sketch of it, by designer Bob Mackie, is “only” worth $6,000.
There’s also a ticket from the event, which was held at Madison Square Garden in New York City in 1962, only about three months before Monroe’s death.
It was also a fundraiser for the Democratic party, but naturally, Monroe stole the show.
There are also lots of Hollywood items, like scripts and notes.
There’s even this film reel and some stills of Monroe’s 1954 USO tour for troops in Korea, where she was quite popular in a purple sequined dress.
Her ID card from that USO tour is also available, and lists her name as “Norma Jeane DiMaggio.” She even looks great in a government-issue ID photo, which is hard to pull off!
There are also some items from other stars, too, by way of Monroe. This signed Christmas card is from singer Ella Fitzgerald.
But it’s not all just glamour and fame. There are plenty of personal affects, too, that show the more human side of Monroe sometimes to a heartbreaking extent.
These photographs of Joe DiMaggio were likely taken by Monroe herself on a boat outing.
The couple would end up divorcing, thanks toDiMaggio’s jealousyover Monroe’s sexy public persona, but they would reconcile before her death in 1962.
There’s also a lot of evidence as to the kind of person Monroe was.
While she’s often seen as the siren floating through life, she was actually a hard worker and perfectionist.
These notes were made on the back of a menu early on in her career, over dinner with an acting coach. The sheer amount of them shows that Monroe took acting and her career very seriously.
And there are some reminders of the less glamorous side of being in the public eye, too.
While Monroe’s calorie-restricted diet plan, seen here, isn’t extreme, it’s a reminder that she was expected to always maintain a certain image and had to shape her life around it.
And amid the hundreds of letters, checks, receipts, cards, and notes, there are some truly heartbreaking windows into the stress of being such a public figure.
This note, written by Monroe, expresses the frustration of being famous, with constant intrusions on her personal life and time.
It reads, “I can’t really stand human beings sometimes I know they all have their problems and I have mine but I’m really too tired for it. Trying to understand, making allowances, seeing certain things that just weary me.”
Monroe also had a typewriter, where she wrote letters and notes to herself.
And there are also some things you might not expect to find in the possession of someone like Marilyn Monroe, but they remind us that she was really just like anyone else.
This is her recipe for Thanksgiving stuffing.
And here’s a collection of her cookware.
There are plenty of other everyday items, too, including some very personal ones.
These tubes of conditioner are for dry hair, and there’s also an empty pillbottle of some medication Monroewas prescribed during the filming ofLet’s Make Love.
Monroe struggled with anxiety and depression for most of her life, and sometimes relied maybe too heavily on prescriptions to calm her nerves.
There are also some unexpected finds, like some of her artwork.
This red pencil sketch shows a nude woman sleeping, being watched over by a man. Monroe titled it, “Lover watching his love sleep.”
There are also plenty of unretouched, everyday snapshots of Monroe spending time with friends, like this one with her poodle, Maf, and a friend.
We’ll never know who Marilyn Monroe really was, but her beauty and her tragedy continue to haunt us, even today. A collection of possessions can never make up a whole human being, but the catalogue is a fascinating look at her life, as well as at the fashions and styles of the 1950s and ’60s.
Take a look through the whole thing on the Julien’s Auctions website to see much more.
SHARE this amazing look at one of the past century’s most iconic figures with anyone who loves Hollywood history.