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Friday, October 29, 1999 Published at 11:07 GMT 12:07 UK


Marilyn sale tops $13.4m

Some Like It Hot star Tony Curtis greets fans at the auction

A two-day auction of movie icon Marilyn Monroe's personal belongings has ended in New York - pulling in more than $13.4m (£8.4m).

More than 500 lots were sold off on Thursday, with bids soaring above the original estimates at Christie's auction house.

A travelling make-up case, still including an assortment of cosmetics, was estimated at up to $1,500 (£940) - but it was bought for $266,500 (£166,500) by the Ripley's Believe It Or Not! collection.

[ image: Bids at the auction soared above original estimates]
Bids at the auction soared above original estimates
The oddities musuem also bought a 1956 temporary driving licence for $145,500 (£91,000).

An unidentified buyer purchased the certificate of Monroe's conversion to Judiasm - signed by Monroe and her third husband, playwright Arthur Miller - for $90,500 (£56,600).

A pair of glass slippers - originally estimated at up to $1,500 (£940) - sold for $90,500 (£53,100).

London-based airline worker Yvonne Johnson bid for most of of Monroe's collection of Pucci clothing, finally ending up with a sleeveless taupe dress for $8,050 (£5,030).

[ image: Monroe died in 1962, aged 36]
Monroe died in 1962, aged 36
The 40-year-old said: "It's actually my size! I really wanted a Pucci, and it was within my price range - barely."

She explained her passion for Monroe began when she was a child, when her father worked as a cameraman on her 1957 film The Prince And The Showgirl.

"So it's really for my dad," she said.

The first day of the sale on Wednesday saw the dress in which Monroe serenaded John F Kennedy by singing Happy Birthday in 1962 sell for $1.26m (£787,000).

The screen icon, who took her own life in 1962 aged 36, left most of her personal effects to her acting coach Lee Strasberg, who died in 1982.

His widow, Anna, decided to sell the items, and Christie's estimates the sale could make over $20m (£12.5m).

Some of the proceeds will be shared between charities.

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