Update (Nov. 18): The dress sold for $4.81 million.
Is it entertainment memorabilia? Yes. Is it political memorabilia? Maybe.
It’s Marilyn Monroe‘s “Happy Birthday Mr. President” dress, and it’s up for auction via Julien’s Auctions.
On May 19, 1962, she sang to John F. Kennedy and forever etched herself into pop culture even more just three months before her untimely death.
“Marilyn Monroe singing ‘Happy Birthday Mr. President’ is certainly one of the most-famous impromptu performances in American history,” said Darren Julien, President & CEO of Julien’s Auctions. “That rendition has lived on for decades as one of the most-remarkable events in her career and certainly one of the most-storied tales in popular culture history — a moment in time squarely at the center of the 1960s, Hollywood and Camelot. We are incredibly privileged to have the opportunity to offer this amazing dress to collectors, fans and contemporary art enthusiasts around the world.”
The dress is one of a number of Monroe personal items up for auction on Nov. 17-20 via the Beverly Hills, Calif.-based company. It was originally sold by Christie’s in 1999 for $1.267 million to Martin Zweig, a financial investor who died in 2013. According to the auction house, his heirs decided to sell the dress thanks to a strong market for Monroe memorabilia.
How strong? Her Seven-year Itch costume previously sold for $5.65 million.
Among the items will be film-worn costumes, wardrobe, jewelry and other personal items. There’s so much history here that the company is selling a set of slip-cased limited edition auction catalogs for $300.
For more on this auction and all its inclusions, click here.
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