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Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Mike Bedigan

Get-well card to Marilyn Monroe from estranged father part of auction

Get-well card to Marilyn Monroe from estranged father to form part of US auction (PA) (Picture: PA Archive)

A get-well card sent to Marilyn Monroe from her father is the centrepiece of a collection of items belonging to the world famous actress due to be auctioned.

Next month, 175 items from the Hollywood star’s life and career will go under the hammer at the Icons and Idols Hollywood auction, taking place in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles.

The card comes from Monroe’s personal archive and was sent by her father Stanley Gifford, from whom she was estranged, according to Julien’s Auctions, the organisers of the sale.

Monroe unsuccessfully attempted to contact her father many times over the years and visited the town of Hemet, California, where he lived, in an attempt to locate him.

It is believed that Gifford did not want to upset his wife and children by allowing the actress to be part of his life.

The card is the only known written communication from Monroe’s father to her, Julien’s Auctions said.

Written in Gifford’s handwriting, with the name misspelled “Marylyn”, it reads: “This cheery little get-well note comes specially to say that lots of thoughts and wishes, too, are with you every day… a little prayer too.”

Discovered by Marilyn Monroe historian and collector Scott Fortner, it is estimated to be worth up to $3,000 (£2,400).

Other items in the sale include wardrobe pieces worn by the screen queen in her most famous photographs, star-making moments and personal appearances.

Correspondence, makeup, and other items from her life and career will also make their way to the auction podium.

Lots include a black velvet opera coat from Monroe’s personal collection, estimated at between $20-30,000 (£16-24,000).

The singer was often photographed wearing coats and furs of a similar style while living in New York in the mid-1950s.

A personalised brown leather Gucci address book with custom stamped “M.M.” on the front cover, circa 1955, with contacts including Marlon Brando, and various handwritten entries and notes throughout is expected to fetch up to $70,000 (£58,000).

Lipstick pots and tubes from Max Factor and Michel Cosmetics belonging to Monroe are valued at up to $2,000 (£1,600) each.

“For nearly two decades, Julien’s has proudly represented the legacy and lore of Hollywood’s most glamorous and iconic star, Marilyn Monroe,” said Martin Nolan, Executive Director of Julien’s Auctions.

“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 with over 175 extraordinary items discovered from her personal archives such as the only known written communication from Marilyn’s father to clothing worn in her most iconic looks on and off the screen, that shaped not only her public persona but pop culture and style writ large.”

The Icons and Idols Hollywood auction is due to take place live on Saturday December 17 and Sunday December 18 in Beverly Hills and online.

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