Hugh Hefner's legendary tuxedo and Marilyn Monroe's dress go to auction


Over 1,000 items of these two legends will be offered for sale at the Julien's Auctions event this spring.

In March, items once belonging to the late Playboy founder Hugh Hefner and actress Marilyn Monroe will be offered for sale by Julien’s Auctions. The three-day sale titled "Property from the Archives of Playboy and The Hugh M. Hefner Foundation, and Property from the Life and Career of Marilyn Monroe" will take place in Los Angeles from March 28 to 30. Over 1,000 artifacts from this duo will be on sale, with connections to Hefner's early life and the height of the Playboy era, as well as film wardrobe and photographs once belonging to Monroe.

The Playboy Enterprises collection to be offered will contain numerous pieces dating from the 1950s. A 1956 oil on canvas by LeRoy Neiman carries the highest pre-sale estimates from Hefner's collection, ranging from $60,000 to $80,000. Next in line is the original watercolor by Alberto Vargas from the 1967 Playboy Vargas Girl painting. Experts estimate it could fetch between $30,000 and $40,000 at auction. Other highlights from the collection include his classic red robe with silk pajamas, slippers, and pipe (estimated at $2,000-$3,000) and the original Andy Warhol "Playboy Bunny" silkscreen.

The costume Marilyn Monroe wore as Lillian Russell for a photo story in the December 1958 issue of Life magazine is one of the most striking lots from her collection. The lavender satin corset with draped chiffon ribbons is estimated to sell for between $20,000 and $40,000. A black evening dress with a cellophane effect inspired by Mae West, designed by legendary costume designer William Travilla – which Monroe wore in the 1955 film "The Seven Year Itch" – has the highest estimate, between $100,000 and $200,000.

Other interesting lots from the Marilyn Monroe collection include her original program and ticket for John F. Kennedy's 1962 birthday gala dinner (estimated at $4,000-$6,000), her custom Elizabeth Arden lipstick tone in a gold box (estimated at $7,000-$9,000), and a diamond flower brooch (estimated at $8,000-$10,000).

Born in 1926, the legacies of Marilyn Monroe and Hugh Hefner are forever connected. The magazine's founder featured Marilyn Monroe as the central figure in his first 1953 issue of Playboy. His edition launched the success of the men's magazine and made Monroe instantly famous and a sex symbol. They were never a couple, but now rest side by side at Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles, following Hefner's death in 2017."

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