LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The world’s largest private collection of Marilyn Monroe memorabilia will go up for auction in November, with stage costumes from movies “Some Like it Hot” and “There’s No Business Like Show Business” expected to fetch up to $400,000.
Julien’s Auctions said on Thursday that the collection, owned by Briton David Gainsborough Roberts, is conservatively valued at around $3 million. As well as several costumes and personal wardrobe pieces owned by Monroe, the collection includes posters, jewelry and personal prescriptions.
Gainsborough Roberts has said he began buying Monroe and other memorabilia in 1991 and has amassed what is widely recognized as the largest private collection of the movie icon’s film costumes in the world.
Gainsborough Roberts, who is in his 70s, said in a statement he wanted to sell off the collection, which has been stored at his home in Jersey, in the Channel Islands.
“It is now time for me to share this with the world,” Gainsborough Roberts said, noting that Monroe would have turned 90 years old in June. The actress died in 1962 at the age of 36.
Highlights of the auction include the sheer black and nude beaded cocktail dress Monroe wore in “Some Like it Hot” in 1959 while singing on top of a grand piano. That is expected to sell for $200,000-$400,000, Julien’s said.
The silver and white beaded dress Monroe wore in the 1954 musical “There’s No Business Like Show Business” is estimated at $100,000-$200,000, while the green satin leotard she wore in “Bus Stop” could sell for up to $100,000, Julien’s said.
Marilyn Monroe is one of the most sought-after celebrities for collectors. The billowing ivory “subway” dress she wore in “The Seven Year Itch” sold for a stage costume record of $5.5 million in 2011.
The auction, to be held in Los Angeles on Nov. 19, will be preceded by exhibitions of key pieces aboard the Queen Mary 2 ocean liner in August, and in London, Los Angeles and other cities.
Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Richard Chang