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This year we celebrate Marilyn Monroe’s 90th birhtday,

and just as it was during her lifetime, she continues to

be the most celebrated and recognized film star of all

time. She is impersonated, copied, digitally recreated,

and embodied. She is an icon like no other, and much

like the woman herself, the David Gainsborough-Roberts

Marilyn Monroe collection is also iconic. Amassed

over nearly thirty years, the archive includes famous

movie costumes, personal gowns and clothing, jewelry,

and property owned by Marilyn Monroe, together with

original photographs and film posters. Through David’s

collection, we’ve seen shining visions of the screen

legend and intimate views of the private woman.

The first Monroe costumes in David’s collection were

purchased in the late 1980s, long before the era of

online auctions. He was strategic in his approach to

collecting, and today David’s archive includes pieces

from many of Marilyn’s films, including Niagara, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, There’s No Business Like Show Business, The Seven

Year Itch, Bus Stop, The Prince and the Showgirl, Some Like It Hot, and Let’s Make Love. Several gowns in the collection were

created by award winning designers and well known costumers from Hollywood’s silver screen era, including Orry-Kelly, William

“Billy” Travilla, and Beatrice Dawson.

Along with film worn pieces, David purchased items from Marilyn’s red carpet appearances. Items of note include the shimmering

simulated diamond waterfall pendant earrings she wore to the Seven Year Itch premiere on June 1, 1955, and the custom made

evening gown she wore to the Rose Tattoo premiere on December 12, 1955. From her personal and private life, David acquired

Marilyn’s 1952 “New Faces” award from the Detroit Free Press, her St. Christopher pendant, and a handwritten Beverly Hills

Hotel postcard to friend and confidant Ralph Roberts confirming that she wasn’t pregnant.

This prolific and historic collection is undoubtedly the most important Marilyn Monroe archive of combined professional and

personal property to hit the collecting market in decades. While David has expressed sadness over letting go of these cherished

items, he feels it’s time to share Marilyn with the world and what better time than the year of her 90th birthday. David has said, “I

have very special feelings for Marilyn. The last thirty years have been a marriage made in heaven. I will always keep a special

place for Marilyn in my heart.” I’m sure we all will David. Thank you for your love of Marilyn, and for sharing your collection

with the world.

Scott Fortner

Julien’s Auctions