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Julien's Auctions
This black doctor’s bag was used by Elvis Presley’s personal physician, George C. Nichopoulos — better known as “Dr. Nick” — for making house calls to Graceland. It will be accompanied by a photo of Dr. Nick about to board Elvis’s plane, with Lisa Marie holding the bag, at the auction of Elvis and Marilyn Monroe personal items being held in Las Vegas later this month.
TODAY contributor
updated 6/4/2009 9:51:56 AM ET 2009-06-04T13:51:56

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.”

Image: Elvis Presley
AP file
“People want anything to do with his life or career,” Darren Julien said of Elvis Presley.
Other items include Dr. Nick’s medical bag (estimated to bring $4,000-$6,000), Presley’s desk and chair made by his Uncle Vester Presley ($8,000-$10,000), and Elvis’s personal copy of “The Prophet” with hand notations ($8,000-$10,000.)

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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Photos: Marilyn memorabilia

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  1. Some like it orange

    Hundreds of personal items belonging to Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley were auctioned in Las Vegas in June, 2009. Among them was this Pucci blouse of Marilyn's. Made in Italy for Saks Fifth Avenue, it is sherbet orange, with long sleeves and a boat neck. (Julien's Auctions) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Marilyn's favorite poetry

    Marilyn Monroe both wrote and read poetry. Three of her books will be auctioned this month: "The Penguin Book of English Verse," "The Laurel Poetry Series Wordsworth," and "The Poetry and Prose of Heinrich Heine." Accompanying them: a black-and-white reprinted photograph of Marilyn reading the Heine book. (Julien's Auctions) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Hot property

    Marilyn Monroe’s personal script from her classic 1959 film "Some Like It Hot" will be on the auction block. It includes nine additional blue pages with script changes, dating from October and November 1958. (Julien's Auctions) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Bricks from Brentwood

    On auction this month: Two construction bricks from a poolside wall at Marilyn Monroe’s Brentwood home, obtained from the home’s subsequent owner, Betty Nunez. One brick reads, “12305 St. Helena Drive Taken 9/30/97 (poolside),” in black marker. (Julien's Auctions) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Foxy lady

    Marilyn Monroe often wore this white fox fur stole. It has a triple-pleated ivory silk lining and a label that reads: “Teitelbaum Furs/ Beverly Hills.” It is accompanied by photographs of Monroe wearing the stole. (Julien's Auctions) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Up in the hair

    Among the personal items of Marilyn Monroe's going on the auction block this month are a group of hairpins of various shapes and sizes that once nestled in the locks of the world's most famous blonde. (Julien's Auctions) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Happy birthday, dear Marilyn

    This painted birthday card from Marilyn Monroe’s 34th birthday is signed by the cast of her 1960 film "Let’s Make Love," including director George Cukor and co-star Yves Montand. It's accompanied by a reproduction photograph of Monroe with Montand. (Julien's Auctions) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Precious stones

    This necklace of glass stones in brown, yellow, and gray, on a gold chain with knot work, was owned by Marilyn Monroe. It's accompanied by a framed postcard of Monroe wearing the same necklace, and a framed poster. (Julien's Auctions) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Payment due

    This bill for $117.31 from the New York Telephone Company was issued to Marilyn Monroe Productions, Inc. on September 1, 1958. Marilyn Monroe Productions, Inc. was founded in 1955 to help Marilyn have more control over her career. (Julien's Auctions) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Princely garment

    This chiffon jacket was worn by Marilyn Monroe in the 1957 film "The Prince and the Showgirl," co-starring Laurence Olivier, with whom she reportedly did not get along. The jacket is colored blue and dusty rose, with silk embroidered flower details. (Julien's Auctions) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Evening wear

    This ivory satin evening jacket belonging to Marilyn Monroe is double-breasted, with oversize mother-of-pearl buttons. (Julien's Auctions) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. A smile was her umbrella

    This Evans Sweson Frame white umbrella was used in a photo shoot on Long Island's Jones Beach with photographer Andre De Dienes in 1949. It was Marilyn’s first visit to the New York City area. (Andre De Dienes, Julien's Auctio) Back to slideshow navigation
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