A white fox stole may not be politically correct these days. But the one that appeared on the TODAY show Thursday belonged to Marilyn Monroe, and that makes it a piece of pop history — not to mention a potentially potent investment in these troubled economic times.
“This is something very personal to Marilyn Monroe,” Martin Nolan of Julien’s Auctions told Meredith Vieira, inviting her to try it on.
As Vieira tossed the fur — estimated to be worth $12,000 — over her shoulders, Nolan and the auction house’s Darien Julien talked about their upcoming sale of personal items once owned by two of the most luminous and iconic stars of 20th century America: Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley.
Items of icons
Among the hundreds of items are prescription pill bottles that once held the many medications Presley was taking at the time of his death at the age of 42 on Aug. 16, 1977.
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In a similarly macabre vein, one of the Monroe items is the bathrobe that is said to be the last article of clothing she wore on Aug. 5, 1962, the day she died in her Brentwood, Calif., home of an overdose of barbiturates.
The auction event will take place on June 26 and 27 at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.
The measure of the enduring popularity of both Monroe and Presley is the $800-$1,200 that each of 12 ordinary pill containers is expected to bring. One of the bottles bears a label showing it was prescribed the day before Presley died. Another item is a curious bit of glass tubing called a nasal douche that Presley used to irrigate his sinuses with saline solution before a concert performance.
“People want anything to do with his life or career,” Julien told Vieira.
Paging Dr. Nick
Also among the items in the Presley lot are former possessions of Presley’s personal physician, Dr. George Nichopoulos, better known as “Dr. Nick.” They include a ring and necklace that Presley once owned and gave to the physician who kept him supplied with the pills that contributed to his death. Three gold watches are also among the items being auctioned.
“Elvis was known as a giver,” Julien explained. “He gave gifts of things that he wore.”
In 1980, Nichopoulos was indicted on 14 counts of overprescribing drugs to Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis and 12 other patients. In 1977 alone, Nichopoulos had prescribed more than 10,000 doses of amphetamines, barbiturates, narcotics, tranquilizers, sleeping pills, laxatives and hormones for Presley. A jury acquitted him on all counts. But in 1995, the Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners suspended Nichopoulos’ license for overprescribing drugs to his patients.
Memories of Marilyn
The Monroe lot includes furniture from the sex symbol’s home, including her dining room table (expected to bring $10,000-$12,000), a coffee table ($8,000-$10,000), wall sconces ($800-$1,000) and a Mexican framed mirror ($3,000-$5,000).
Another article of clothing is an orange Pucci blouse that could bring as much as $40,000. Also up for auction is Monroe’s personal copy of the script for the movie “Some Like It Hot,” which could bring $10,000 to $12,000. Slideshow: Marilyn memorabilia (on this page)
Julien said the articles from both sex symbols are excellent investments. As an example, he told of a woman who purchased two pairs of Presley’s shoes at auction in 1999 for $3,000. She sold them separately last year, with one pair going for $15,000 and the other for $13,000.
He said that Monroe is enormously popular today in Europe and Asia, where collectors are snapping up memorabilia as investments.
Anyone interested in viewing all of the items to be auctioned or in bidding online can do so by visiting Juliensauctions.com.
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