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Video: Marilyn Monroe’s bra sells at auction

By
TODAY staff
updated 7/20/2009 10:09:39 AM ET 2009-07-20T14:09:39

Marilyn Monroe once sang that "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend," but, it turns out, her best friend was actually closer to her heart.

A sling-strapped bra that enhanced the Hollywood icon's ample bosom was sold for $5,200 by London auction house International Autograph Auctions this past weekend. The unidentified winning bid came from a caller in Hong Kong.

An ancestor to the modern-day Wonderbra, Monroe's lingerie gave her the lift and separation without the nip and tuck. The slings and double-cup design of the cream-colored bra worked to pull up her breasts, said Katie Haliford, who designs and sells vintage lingerie in her London shop.

Monroe was able to keep her futuristic undergarments under wraps, as the placement of the straps helped keep the bra hidden.

"Because the top's open, it gives the illusion that she's not wearing a bra at all," Haliford explained.

Monroe, known for her pouty lips and curvaceous figure, became a household name after starring in classic hits “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” in 1953, “The Seven Year Itch” in 1955 and “Some Like It Hot” in 1959.

Hundreds of the star's other personal items, including a fur stole, a personal script from "Some Like It Hot" and a phone bill went on the auction block in Las Vegas last month.

Monroe's bosom buddy makes one thing clear: Even international sex symbols need help fighting gravity.

"Every woman needs a little boost occasionally," Haliford said.

© 2012 MSNBC Interactive.  Reprints

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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