The latest hot Marilyn Monroe items for sale are a collection of 10 color three-dimensional negatives of the star, taken by Lani Carlson in 1952 at a party thrown by bandleader Ray Anthony, celebrating the release of the song Marilyn, written by Ervin Drake and Jimmy Shirl. The incredible images, will be sold as part of Bonhams & Butterfields’ December 14 auction of Entertainment Memorabilia in Los Angeles. The negatives will be offered with the photographer’s copyright and carry an estimate of $70,000 to $90,000.
In one shot Monroe can be seen posing for admirers in a vibrant pink cocktail dress in front of a giant sheet of music. Others show her greeting Ray Anthony, the helicopter pilot and a four-legged fan.Amazingly, the colour pictures, which show a 25-year-old Marilyn living the high life as she steps out of a helicopter, were shot in 3D, meaning when seen through a special viewer they leap out of the page.
In addition to the original negatives and the original viewer through which the 3-d effect can be experienced, this lot includes an Assignment of Copyrights document executed by Lani Carlson which states that he assigns all of his right, title and interest including worldwide copyrights in and to the photographic images to the auction buyer.
The images, which measure 1.5 inches by four inches, were taken on a David White Stereo Realist Camera, a dual-lens point and shoot that creates a three-dimensional effect when seen through a special viewer. Catherine Williamson, director of entertainment at Bonhams, said: It wasn’t this guys profession but he was a great amateur photographer. He was just the sound man at this huge celeb party, but because of the great access that afforded him, he simply took advantage and went roaming with his new camera. He is still alive but has decided that he has had enough enjoyment from them and has decided to share them with other people.
They are, simply put, quality images that have never been seen before of one of the world’s most recognisable and glamorous movie stars. They were taken at an early stage of her career. She had appeared in a couple of films but it was before some of the bigger breakout movies that really made her name like The Seven Year Itch. What is really special about these is the stunning colours they have retained and that they are 3D, Williamson added.
Also up for sale is a group of 15 limited edition prints of Monroe by Carlson from the same 1952 party (estimated at $5,000-7,000). One of the images shows Monroe in a bright pink dress against a background of oversized lyrics from the Marilyn song. Other Marilyn related items at a lower price point include several lots of photographs by Sam Shaw including candid images of the star at home, 1950s (est. $2,500-3,500); photographs of Monroe wearing a fur coat and greeting fans, 1950s (est. $2,500-3,500) and a group of images of the actress taken during the filming of The Seven Year Itch, 1954 (est. $2,500-3,500). A preview is scheduled for December 9 through 11. [Bonhams]