Friday, December 8, 2006

Original Costume Design of Marilyn Monroe's Famous White Billowy Dress from ``Seven Year Itch'' to Be Auctioned Dec. 10

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- A famous nude portrait of Marilyn Monroe by photographer Tom Kelley -- the image that helped launch her career and became the most famous pin-up in Hollywood history -- has recently been discovered, which is the only known example that she actually signed. Thought lost in a devastating fire, this signed photograph is inscribed by Marilyn to her dear friend, Academy Award-winning costume designer Bill Travilla, who created many of her most spectacular screen-worn costumes. Measuring a full 16 x 20 inches, Marilyn personally autographed this photograph to Travilla with the following sentiment: "To Billy, my love. Please dress me forever. Love, Marilyn." This rare signed photograph will be up for auction on December 10th, 2004, along with over 500 pieces of original Hollywood memorabilia, by world-renowned memorabilia auctioneer Profiles in History. It is estimated to sell for $20,000 - $30,000.

Also up for auction on December 10th will be Travilla's original costume design of THE most famous dress in Hollywood history -- the billowy, white crepe halter-top dress and sunburst-pleated skirt he created for Marilyn Monroe for the classic subway wind scene in the 1955 Billy Wilder film "The Seven Year Itch," which exposed Marilyn's legs and thighs to the world! Accomplished in gouache on a 15 in. x 20 in. sheet of artist's illustration board, it is Travilla's original concept drawing of this famous dress. Ranked as the most important costume design ever created for film, it is expected to sell for $80,000 to $100,000. The sketch is currently owned by Travilla's long time business partner Bill Sarris, who rescued it from an all-consuming fire at the Travilla offices in Los Angeles in 1991.

During Profiles in History's last auction on July 30, Monroe's signature red evening gown from the 1953 film "How to Marry a Millionaire" was sold for $48,875 while Monroe and Jane Russell's matching sequin dance costumes with hats from the 1953 film "Gentleman Prefer Blondes" sold for $40,250.

Among the top items auctioned during the past year by Profiles in History were Audrey Hepburn's Ascot dress from "My Fair Lady," designed by Academy Award(R) winner Cecil Beaton that sold for $118,000; The Black Beauty car driven by Bruce Lee who played "Kato" in the original "Green Hornet" television series that sold for $192,050; Captain Kirk's Commander chair from the 1960's "Star Trek" series, that sold for $305,000; and the Superman costume worn by George Reeves in the 1955 TV series "The Adventures of Superman," which sold for $129,000. Other recent big selling collectibles were the 1979 Ferrari 308 GTS used by Tom Selleck in the 1980-88 TV series "Magnum, P.I." selling for $57,500; K.I.T.T., the highly modified 1983 Pontiac Trans Am used by David Hasselhoff in the 1982-1985 TV series "Knight Rider," for $54,625; the original jeweled dragon armature used in MGM's 1962 production of "The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm" for $74,500; the Robot from the classic 1960s TV series "Lost in Space" for $264,500; and Charlton Heston's Ten Commandments Tablets from 1956's "Ten Commandments," Cecil B. DeMille's last and greatest film, for $74,500.

As with previous Profiles in History auctions, bidders attend in person or bid by phone or fax, or by simultaneous live internet hookup through eBay Live Auctions (

Said Joe Maddalena:

"The passion to own and collect Hollywood film and television memorabilia, particularly items associated with American icon Marilyn Monroe, is a worldwide phenomenon that gets bigger and bigger every year. Ownership of a favorite piece seems to contribute to a person's happiness as they reminisce the past."

Profiles in History is the number one company in the world for live and simultaneous Internet Hollywood memorabilia auctions.

More information about past and future Profiles in History auctions, conducted four times a year, and about Profiles in History and Maddalena can be accessed through the company's website at

To arrange an interview with Joe Maddalena or get photos of auction items via e-mail, please contact: Murray Weissman, Jessica Parker, Weissman Delson Communications, Tel: 818-760-8995 or e-mail: or

COPYRIGHT 2004 Business Wire
COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group

Business Wire, Sept 8, 2004

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