Marilyn Monroe’s dress sells for world record fee at auction

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Movie memorabilia has always been big business for collectors but it seems ‘50s icon Marilyn Monroe has trumped them all after one of her dresses sold at auction for an eye-popping £3.9 million.

The dress was famously worn when Monroe performed Happy Birthday to the then President of the United States John F. Kennedy. The garment itself has not only been sold for the huge fee of $4.8 million (that’s just under £3.9 million) but it’s now the most expensive dress ever purchased at auction, according to the Guardian.

It was bought by the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not museum chain and surpassed the current world record fee which was held by Monroe’s ‘The Seven Year Itch’ dress that went for an incredible $4.6 million back in 2011.

The item is heaped in cultural significance, with the ‘Happy Birthday, Mr. President’ wishes remaining one of the most iconic moments of the 20th Century, not to mention the importance of Monroe’s status as one of the all time movie icons.

“We believe this is the most iconic piece of pop culture that there is,” declared Ripley’s vice president Edward Meyer.

He went on to say: “In the 20th century I cannot think of one single item that tells the story of the 1960s as well as this dress. It’s a new world record for a dress.”

The custom-made Jean Louis gown was reportedly so tight-fitting that prior to her famous message to JFK on 19 May 1962 to celebrate his 45th birthday, she had to be sewn into it. Monroe performed it in front of 15,000 people during a fundraiser at Madison Square Garden.

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Above: Marilyn Monroe with JKF’s brother-in-law Steve Smith.

The dress will now go on display in Hollywood before being shown off at various Ripley locations around the world.

The actress died just three months after donning the dress but her legacy clearly lives on through her films and iconic status, with titles such as ‘Some Like It Hot’, ‘Gentlemen Prefer Blondes’, and ‘How to Marry a Millionaire.’

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Picture credit: Rex, AP

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