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- November 15, 1999
- Vol. 52
- No. 19
Taking Marilyn Home
Huge Crowds and More Than $13.4 Million in Auction Sales Prove One Thing: There's No Business Like Monroe Business
Singer Mariah Carey placed the winning bid for Monroe's white lacquered baby grand piano—which had originally belonged to Marilyn's mother, Gladys—by phone. "I wish her things didn't have to be auctioned off," Carey later said. "It's a shame—I wish somebody had the money to buy it all and put it in a museum."
A pair of rhinestone-encrusted satin stilettos by Salvatore Ferragamo were bought by the designer's widow Wanda and son Massimo, who plan to put them in the family's shoe museum in Florence. "It's like having my father and Marilyn together," said Massimo.
"I love Marilyn Monroe," said designer Tommy Hilfiger, explaining why he splurged on the jeans she wore in 1954's River of No Return and the cowboy boots she donned in '61's The Misfits. Besides, he added, "I'm going to use them as inspiration for my collections. I may put my name on them—I'm known to do that."
THREE PAIRS OF JEANS $42,550
Outbid on the piano, actress Virginia Madsen opted for two Louis XV tables.
BEDSIDE TABLES $9,775
This platinum wedding ring with 34 diamonds—given to Monroe by Joe DiMaggio—was estimated to have a value of $3000-$5000. The anonymous winning bidder obviously thought it was worth a bit more.
Aspiring chef Nicole Martin, 23, said she planned to make "one big celebration dinner" with her new cookware, and "then they'll go in a glass case."
POTS & PANS $25,300
Edward Meyer of Ripley's Believe It or Not! took home this makeup cart and the sweater A Monroe wore for a famous George Barris beach photo shoot.
MAKE UP $266,500
Robert Schagrin and Peter Siegel took home the most expensive piece, the dress Monroe wore to sing "Happy Birthday" to JFK in '62. Despite offers to buy it from them, they said they plan eventually to display it.
THE DRESS $1,267,500
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