2022 seems to have been the year of Marilyn Monroe, and it’s not quite over yet.
An array of the silver screen icon’s personal possessions are once again going up for auction, that is if Kim Kardashian doesn’t get her hands on them first. Julien’s Auctions and TCM Present: Icons & Idols Hollywood are teaming up to offer fans the chance to own 175 items formerly belonging to Monroe at an auction that will take place both in-person and online on December 17 and 18. One of the most sought-after pieces in the collection is sure to be a handwritten letter from Charles Stanley Gifford, the man who was recently proven to be the actor’s father via DNA testing.
A press release announcing the sale reads, “This card is the only known material artifact that establishes any connection or communication between Gifford and his famous daughter.” It goes on to say that they believe that Gifford hand-delivered the card to the movie star when she was in the hospital. Scott Fortner, a Monroe historian and collector, told People, “I discovered the card purely by chance while I was preparing Marilyn’s personal archives for auction at Julien’s Auctions. This is the only known documented evidence of a relationship between Monroe and Gifford, which solves the mystery of whether or not she knew or had contact with her biological father.”
The card, which features a little girl standing on a musical note, is expected to be sold for between $2,000 and $3,000. “Dear Marylyn,” the handwritten message inside begins, with Monroe’s name spelled incorrectly. The card’s pre-written text then reads, “This cheery little get-well note comes specially to say that lots of thoughts and wishes, too, are with you every day.” To which Gifford added, “a little prayer too,” signing the card, “Stanley Gifford, Red Rock Dairy Farm, Hemet, Calif.” The Hollywood icon’s real name was Norma Jeane Mortenson and she was born to Gladys Pearl Baker, one of Gifford’s former co-workers. However, Monroe did not have a relationship with her father growing up. The auction’s press release explains, “It is believed that Gifford did not want to upset his wife and children by allowing Monroe to be part of his life.”
In addition to this rare personal artifact, the auction will also feature several of Monroe’s beauty products, including lipstick tubes, fake eyelashes, eye shadows, and more. There will also be several dresses owned and worn my Monroe available, with some expected to go for as much as $80,000. Additional notes and correspondence will also be put on the auction block, as well as photos, her personal check book, her last Screen Actors Guild membership card, and a medical file related to a cosmetic surgery she had done that is expected to sell for $30,000.
Julien’s Auctions executive director Martin Nolan said in the press release for the event, “For nearly two decades, Julien’s has proudly represented the legacy and lore of Hollywood’s most glamorous and iconic star, Marilyn Monroe… In this auction, we’ve curated with TCM what is sure to be one of the most-talked-about and history-making Marilyn collections in the industry.” TCM general manager Pola Changnon added, “Despite the numerous books, movies and stories there are about the life of Marilyn Monroe, she has always been a largely enigmatic and alluring star. This auction brings us closer to the real person she was, and Julien’s has done an incredible job curating this glimpse into her all-too-brief life.”
Originally published in Vanityfair.com