Marilyn Monroe’s Rhinestone Earrings Auctioned For $185,000

April 21, 2014

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Some symbols of sex, beauty and class are simply timeless. Like Helen of “Troy” or Cleopatra, it’s a good bet that people will be talking about and looking up to Marilyn Monroe long after other movie stars have been forgotten.

She still remains a huge name in film, art, and fashion, and like other celebrities of her era (such as James Dean or Elvis) remains a household name even for those who were born decades after her death. Recently, a piece of Monroe’s legacy was auctioned off at a Hollywood memorabilia sale, fetching nearly a quarter of a million dollars.

Film attendance

Though not part of any costume that Monroe wore during her film career in the 1950s and 1960s, these rhinestone earrings graced her outfit during the opening of a new film, “The Rose Tattoo.”

Monroe did not actually play any role in the film itself, an adaptation of a stage play written by Tennessee Williams, but rather attended the opening in Hollywood in 1955.

Other celebs who attended the film showing (which itself starred Burt Lancaster) included Marlon Brando and Arthur Miller.

Anna Magnani, lead actress for the role, reportedly turned it down at first because she had difficulty speaking English, but believed six months later to be equal to the task.

Auction day

The total sum of $185,000 makes the earrings a notable piece of Monroe’s personal history, though it pales in comparison to some of the priciest memorabilia ever auctioned off. For example, the red slippers worn in “The Wizard of Oz” movie reportedly fetched over $600,000. A black cocktail dress worn by Monroe went for nearly $400,000, and her wedding ring to Joe DiMaggio was auctioned off for $300,000.

Twenty percent of the cost of the earrings go towards the auction house’s commission. Since the names of the bidders were not released, per the auction policy, all we know about the collector is that they are foreign. Other items in the auction fetched high prices as well, such as a lighter used by Humphrey Bogart auctioning for just under $20,000.