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Rare Marilyn Monroe photos could fetch £80,000 at Shropshire auction

South Shropshire | News | Published:

One of the largest private collections of Marilyn Monroe photographs including never seen before images from her first and final photoshoots could fetch a staggering £80,000 at auction in Shropshire.

The incredible hoard of 32 rare photographs depict the Hollywood icon's career from start to finish and will go under the hammer on November 26 at Ludlow Racecourse.

The collection includes an early shot of the actress in early 1946, aged just 15, wearing a white jumper and beret in her first ever glamour shoot.

Pictures of Marilyn Monroe are being auctioned

Other candid snaps show the blonde beauty at different stages of her life right up until one of the last ever photos taken of her in July 1962.

The black and white image was captured just weeks before she was found dead aged 36 at her LA home following a barbiturate overdose on August 5, 1962.

Taken by celebrity snapper George Barris the poignant snap shows Marilyn in a cream jumper lying on a beach, resting her chin on her hands and staring into the camera.

The set also includes a chilling picture Monroe had commissioned herself of her pretending to be dead - just a few months before she passed away.

Others include an original photo issued by Fox Studios showing her in sultry pose, wearing a sling back dress.

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It was this image which inspired artist Andy Warhol as the basis for his now world famous screen print images of her.

The collection of original prints are being sold by professional snooker player Dominic Dale, who has collected Monroe memorabilia for the past 25 years.

The individual images could fetch up to £2,500 each when they are auctioned by Mullocks Auctioneers at Ludlow Racecourse, Shrops., in two weeks time.

Richard Westwood-Brookes, historical document expert at the auctioneers, said: "These are classic images of Marilyn and are works of high art in their own right.

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"What's important about these photos is that they all have their photographer's stamp on the back, so they have come straight from the negative of the image.

"As a result we are pricing them at £500 estimate each.

"But judging from the worldwide interest in original photographs such as these of Marilyn we expect that they will make far more.

Pictures of Marilyn Monroe are being auctioned

"We have seen similar images to these changing hands in recent times for five times that figure.

"This is a chance to own one of the largest private collections of Marilyn Monroe memorabilia in the world.

"It really is a really unique opportunity to get your hands on some rare photos of one of the most iconic Hollywood stars that ever lived."

The collection also boasts an original signature of Marilyn surmounted by a rare black and white photograph taken by the celebrated American photographer Andre De Dienes on Tobey Beach in May 1949.

Marilyn was on a promotional tour for the film titled "Love Happy", a Marx Brothers movie, when she met up with the Mr De Dienes who first photographed her in 1945 as the young Norma Jeane Dougherty, a 19 year old model with the Blue Book Modelling Agency.

The set also includes snaps by several other renowned photographers including Joseph Jasgur, Bruno Bernard, Philippe Halsman and Milton H Greene.

Mr Westwood-Brookes added: "In addition to the photographs, Dominic's collection also has some very important books including an extremely rare edition of 'Marilyn – a Hollywood Farewell' by Leigh Wiener with preface by Richard B Stolley.

Pictures of Marilyn Monroe are being auctioned

"This was produced in 1990 as a limited edition signed by Wiener and Stolley.

"Unfortunately Wiener died before he could complete more than a few signings, and the copy we are offering is one of those very few which bear both signatures, together with an autograph dedication from Stolley to Dominic Dale.

"The collection also contains the definitive books produced by the photographers, which include printed versions of the originals we are offering in the sale, and many other rare and desirable books about Marilyn."

Snooker ace Dominic, 42, added: "It will be sad to see them go but my snooker commitments now call for me to be jetting around the world all the time.

"I think the time has come for my collection to pass into the hands of other lovers of Marilyn who will cherish them as much as I have done."

Dominic, whose nickname is 'The Spaceman', is one of the top 30 professional snooker champions in the world.

Despite being born in Coventry, he represents Wales and has won the Grand Prix of snooker as well as the prestigious Shanghai Masters.

He regularly appears on television where, in addition to playing, he also appears as a commentator and presenter.

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