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EDITIONS
 Wednesday, 18 December, 2002, 07:54 GMT
Monroe snap fetches 14,000
Star Wars stormtrooper's helmet
Star Wars memorabilia was also popular
A head-and-shoulders portrait of film icon Marilyn Monroe sold for over twice as much as expected at a London auction.

The black-and-white shot of the actress, which she dedicated to an agent which helped her career, sold for 14,100 - including a buyer's premium - at Christie's in South Kensington.

Marilyn Monroe picture sold at auction
The shot was bought by Hyde's agency
It was given to John Hyde, an influential agent who met Monroe at a New Year's Eve party in 1948, when her career was at a standstill.

The picture, taken in around 1949, was inscribed: "To John, I love you, my Dearest, Marilyn."

According to a biography of the film star Hyde was desperately in love with Monroe, but while she was fond of him and grateful for his help, she did not feel the same way.

Hyde died in 1950 of a heart attack, the same weekend Monroe had declined an invitation to his home in Palm Springs, California.

Suicide attempt

The day after his funeral, Monroe, who died in 1962, attempted suicide.

The photograph, which carried an estimate of 5,500 to 7,000, was bought by Hyde's employer, the William Morris Agency.

Other Monroe memorabilia included a pair of her dove-grey suede stiletto-heeled shoes, made in Italy by Ferragamo, sold for 5,287.

Star Wars items also sold well at the auction house's annual film and entertainment sale - with an imperial forces prop helmet valued at up to 1,500 selling for 16,450 to a private buyer.

A pilot's helmet which was expected to fetch up to 3,000 sold for 14,100.

Marilyn Monroe items
Clothing worn by Monroe was also on offer
Pierce Brosnan's Omega diver's watch from The World Is Not Enough proved to be the only disappointment, selling for 9,400 to an anonymous bidder.

A Walt Disney watercolour and ink sketch of Mickey Mouse went for 5,287 - just over 1,000 more than its estimated value.

Christie's spokesman Sarah Hodgson said the sale attracted "strong international interest".

See also:

11 Oct 02 | Entertainment
07 Mar 01 | Entertainment
25 Jul 02 | Entertainment
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