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Full Catalog Available for Icons: Playboy, Hugh Hefner, and Marilyn Monroe

Playboy's most iconic artwork–Albert Vargas’ 'Pinup Girls' AND Leroy Neiman's 'Femlins'–a rare and unseen collection comes to historic first public auction at Julien's...

April 4, 2024

Fine Artwork from Playboy Enterprises to Include Twentieth Century Masters Andy Warhol, Frank Gallo, Larry Rivers, Milton Reznick, Richard Hunt, Patrick Nagel, Keith Haring, Arv Miller, Ellen Lanyon, and More

Additional Historical Objects from the Playboy Era and the Life and Career of Hugh Hefner and Marilyn Monroe Announced


Only U.S. Exhibition Opening Monday, March 25th Before Three-Day Auction Event Thursday, March 28th, Friday, March 29th & Saturday, March 30th at NYA Studios East in Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles, California – (March 5th, 2024) –Julien’s Auctions, the industry leading Hollywood auction house unveiled today the full catalog of its headline making event PROPERTY FROM THE PLAYBOY ARCHIVES AND THE HUGH M. HEFNER FOUNDATION, AND PROPERTY FROM THE LIFE AND CAREER OF MARILYN MONROE taking place Thursday, March 28th, Friday, March 29th and Saturday, March 30th in Los Angeles live and online at Julien’s Auctions. The previously announced three-day event will showcase over 600 historical treasures of Hugh Hefner and Marilyn Monroe and Playboy Enterprises that brings together these three iconoclasts of twentieth-century America for the first time in auction history. View some of these incredible highlights in Julien’s video here.

At the centerpiece is the Playboy Enterprises collection of rare fine artwork that has not been seen since they were displayed in the famed Playboy Mansions and international Playboy headquarters and throughout the pages of Playboy magazine issues. One of the largest collections ever assembled of the famed pin-up art legend and pioneer Alberto Vargas’ famed “Vargas Girl” pinups will be among the stellar highlights. An array of Vargas’ watercolor drawings and paintings that would became synonymous with Playboy iconography in the 1960s and 1970s will be offered for the first time at auction including (each estimate range: $20,000-$40,000): an original signed watercolor and pencil drawing of a Vargas Girl with the caption, "Then the patient in Room 12 turned around and tried to give me an alcohol rub” from Playboy magazine’s October 1960 issue; an original signed watercolor and pencil drawing of a Vargas Girl from the December 1961 magazine with the caption "Room service? I'd like to see someone about my bill"; an original signed watercolor and pencil drawing of a Vargas Girl from Playboy magazine’s April 1971 issue; an original signed watercolor drawing of a Vargas Girl from Playboy magazine’s March 1967 issue and more.

An Alberto Vargas Girl pinup from Playboy magazine’s February 1963 issue (photo left).

Playboy’s iconic Femlin drawings and expressionist paintings by the legendary and popular American artist LeRoy Neiman are another important collection to be offered to the public for the first time at auction and exclusively at Julien’s. In 1955, after the launch of Playboy magazine, editor/publisher Hugh Hefner commissioned LeRoy Neiman for the illustrations in his men’s magazine and created the Femlin, a sexy female gremlin wearing only opera gloves, stockings, and high heels. Each issue of Playboy featured two black and white Femlin figures in various activities of sport and leisure (photo below right: Neiman's "Femlin with Champagne") as well pointed to the historical events of its time, such as the memorable image of a Femlin grieving before a photograph of the late Martin Luther King, Jr. which will be offered at this auction (estimate: $4,000-$6,000). Neiman would contribute his Femlin drawings to the magazine for 50 years which would become a beloved Playboy mainstay as well as a pop culture icon and ironically, a women’s rights symbol.

This drawing appeared on page 40 in the "Party Jokes" section of the January 1958 issue of Playboy magazine.

Another fine offering is Neiman’s stage-bar painting (estimate: $100,000-$200,000) seen in Playboy magazine’s August 1962 issue illustrating the series "Man at His Leisure: A Neiman portrait of the players and pleasures of Vegas"(photo below left); Neiman's original "Le Casino Monte Carlo" watercolor drawing that appeared in the May 1963 Playboy magazine article "Man At His Leisure: Neiman Portrays a Famed Principality's Principal Pastimes" (estimate: $30,000-$40,000); as well as his Playboy 50th Anniversary signed drawing of a Femlin lounging on a Rabbit head logo inscribed " 1955-2005"(estimate: $8,000-$10,000); Neiman’s signed original oil on canvas painting titled "Ernie's" that appeared in the March 1961 Playboy magazine issue, illustrating the series "Man at His Leisure: Ernie's in San Francisco," (estimate: $40,000-$60,000); Neiman’s Maxim de Paris drawing that appeared in the December 1961 Playboy magazine, as part of the series "Man at His Leisure" (estimate: $15,000-$25,000); Neiman’s five original oil on paper paintings of Hialeah Race Course No. 3 jockeys framed together, from the series "Man at His Leisure," that appeared in the February 1960 Playboy magazine issue and hung behind the receptionist desk at the Chicago Playboy Headquarters (estimate: $15,000-$25,000); Neiman’s Bunny No. 1 (The New York Playboy Club) watercolor drawing (estimate: $10,000-$15,000); Neiman’s "National Horse Show No. 2," that appeared in the November 1967 Playboy magazine, as part of the series "Man at His Leisure" (estimate: $10,000-$15,000) and more.

This painting appeared on page 89 of the August 1962 issue of Playboy magazine, illustrating the series "Man at His Leisure: A Neiman portrait of the players and pleasures of Vegas," with the caption, "A well-constructed stripper gets scant attention from a mixed assembly of obvious winners and losers crowded three deep around the bar of an all-night lounge."

Other fine art highlights include sculptures from Frank Gallo, the acclaimed artist known for his sculptures of the female figure and the “Godfather" and "Grandfather" of Pop Art, Larry Rivers whose works appeared in Playboy’s pictorial series "The Playmate as Fine Art: Eleven contemporary artists interpret Playboy's provocative gatefold girl" as well as Richard Hunt, the internationally recognized artist and Chicago native who became the first black American honored with a retrospective at New York’s Museum of Modern Art. Works include Gallo’s original epoxy cast resin sculpture titled "Girl on a Sling chair" which was located in the Master Bedroom suite of the Playboy Mansion West (estimate: $8,000-$10,000) (photo below right) and Gallo’s "Playmate" statue that appeared in the January 1967 Playboy magazine, both as part of the “The Playmate as Fine Art” pictorial (estimate: $8,000-$10,000); Larry Rivers’ original neon pink "Plexiglass Playmate," sculpture that appeared in the January 1967 Playboy magazine issue as part of the pictorial (estimate: $25,000-$35,000; and Richard Hunt’s original monumental bronze Rabbit Head Logo sculpture (estimate: $60,000-$80,000) and original monumental bronze bird sculpture (estimate: $20,000-$30,000).

Artistic work from some of the twentieth century’s most provocative and influential artists will be presented. These include Duran Duran Rio album cover artist and 1980s art legend Patrick Nagel's original watercolor illustration of a seated woman with her legs bound (estimate: $15,000-$25,000) (photo below right),

A label on the verso reads "Done for Playboy magazine...Unused."

and a "Playboy After Hours" illustration that appeared in the April 1982 Playboy magazine; Pop Art icon Andy Warhol’s unique color photo collage of nine photographs featuring actress Patti D'Arbanville, titled "Instant Warhol No. 6 of 7," that appeared in the August 1974 Playboy magazine (estimate: $60,000-$80,000)(photo below left);

Patti D'Arbanville, the American actress, is the model featured in these polaroids; other images, some from this same series of photographs reside in Madrid's Museo Reina Sofia, in an album titled "Little Red Book #35," 1972, donated by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, New York, in 2015.

Postwar Contemporary painter/Chicago born artist Ellen Lanyon’s original acrylic on canvas painting that appeared in the January 1967 Playboy magazine "The Playmate as Fine Art” series (estimate: $30,000-$40,000); surrealist painter and stage designer Domenico Gnoli’s Roman Quartet drawing that appeared in the December 1968 Playboy magazine issue (estimate: $15,000-$20,000); as well as works from Keith Haring, Arv Miller, Bea Paul, Don Lewis, Robert Branham, Humen Tan, Phill Renaud, Atsushi Kituchi, and more.

A set of early 20th century heavily carved and blue velvet upholstered oak dining chairs on casters. Two armchairs and 12 side chairs.

The Playboy Mansions’ famous style pieces and furniture will be offered including a red, green and gold striped velvet sofa with cushions that was located in the Playboy Mansion West’s study as shown in an archival photo (estimate: $800-$12,00); a 19th century maple triple-pedestal oval Regency dining table (estimate: $2,000-$4,000) and set of 14 blue velvet George II style dining chairs from the Mansion West’s dining room (estimate: $3,000-$5,000) (photo above right), as seen in an archival photo and on the reality television series The Girls Next Door; a pair of carved mahogany lion wall masks from the Mansion West’s Movie Room (estimate: $1,000-$2,000); a circular bed frame and cabinet from the Chicago Playboy Mansion where Hugh Hefner was often photographed writing, working, and lounging with Playmates (estimate: $2,000-$3,000).

A black satin one-piece costume with an attached rhinestone-encrusted corset, a high French-cut leg, interior boning, side laces, detachable white faux fur "bunny" tail; attached nametag reads "Michelle;" inside lining has label reading in part "Palms Casino / Michelle Garlick;" also included is a matching "bunny ears" headband, a silver-tone metal and rhinestone collar, a pair of matching silver-tone metal and rhinestone cuff bracelets, and a pair of black satin and rhinestone cuffs with attached cuff links featuring the Playboy logo.

Iconic memorabilia from Playboy and Hugh Hefner include Bunny costumes worn by Playmates and Bunnies such as 2012 Playmate Of The Year Jaclyn Swedberg (estimate: $600-$800) and a black satin one-piece costume designed by Roberto Cavalli and worn by Palms Club Bunny Michelle Garlick circa 2000s (estimate: $1,000-$2,000) (photo above left); a "Baxer"paisley-patterned, cotton and acrylic velour top worn by Hugh Hefner, as seen in a photograph alongside January 1972's Playmate of the Month, Marilyn Cole (estimate: $600-$800); Hefner's personal bound volume set of 137 Playboy Magazines that was kept in his library at the Playboy Mansion (estimate: $20,000-$30,000); Hefner’s famous pair of custom-made purple silk pajamas (photo below right) embroidered with his name and black slippers (estimate: $800-$1,200) and his black velvet smoking jacket, slippers, pajamas, and tobacco pipe ensemble(estimate: $2,000-$3,000).

Hefner began wearing his now-iconic silk pajamas back at the original Playboy Mansion in Chicago, IL, c. 1960s, and eventually adopted it as his signature, day-to-night wardrobe, making it yet another symbolic staple of the Playboy brand.

In addition to the previously-announced collection of Marilyn Monroe’s film costumes, makeup, wardrobe and personal items, more extraordinary memorabilia and ephemera from the screen goddess’ incandescent life and career will be represented, such as the script for her final and uncompleted film Something's Got To Give featuring annotations in Monroe's handwriting with notes such as "Sentimental Schmaltz" next to her character Ellen's line about men in the South Sea Islands and "deep breath then...that's what he thinks..." (estimate: $20,000-$30,000) (photo below left) and Marilyn Monroe’s handwritten notes outlining her issues with the script, demonstrating that her refusal to appear on set was grounded in these concerns and not simply the actions of a petulant star (estimate: $10,000-$15,000).

The 149-page mimeographed typescript which also contains blue revision pages, is inside a blue paper cover printed with the words "Final...Confidential...Something's Got To Give, March 29, 1962."

Monroe’s checkbook containing seventeen blank checks from the Irving Trust Company with "Marilyn Monroe" printed on each check and seven checks payment stubs, with one notation listing, "Jan 9 1960" in the amount of $100 (estimate: $3,000-$5,000); previously unseen and unpublished photos (with copyright) of Monroe and several crew members on the Nevada set of The Misfits taken in October 1960 by visiting Charlotte News columnist Emory Wister (each lot estimate: $800-$1,200); a black and white passport photo of Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio taken in 1954 just prior to their departure for their honeymoon trip to Tokyo and goodwill tour to Korea where Monroe would perform for the American troops stationed there (estimate: $10,000-$20,000) (photo below right).

The photograph is encapsulated in a clear plastic case with a PSA authentication sticker numbered 84342780.

Also included are a limited-edition print of Marilyn Monroe taken by Andre de Dienes at Tobay/Jones Beach, Long Island New York in 1949 (estimate: $800-$1,200) and de Dienes’s Rolleiflex camera that was used for the shoot (estimate: $4,000-$6,000); a typewritten receipt from Pilgrim's Furniture addressed to Marilyn Monroe dated August 4, 1962, the same day Monroe passed away (estimate: $3,000-$5,000); an invoice from Frank's Nurseries and Flowers handwritten to Monroe dated August 1, 1962, just three days before her unexpected death that lists begonias, petunias, tomatoes, terra-cotta pots, hummingbird feeders, and hummingbird food, indicating that she had intended to nurture a garden there at her only home in Brentwood (estimate: $1,000-$1,500); an original copy of the first 1953 issue of Playboy magazine featuring Marilyn Monroe on the cover where she was named “Sweetheart of the Month,” which evolved into Playmate of the Month (estimate: $2,000-$4,000) (photo below left).

Monroe appears on the cover and in the interior of the premiere issue of Hugh Hefner's famous magazine in an article on pages 17 and 18 titled "What Makes Marilyn" and a color pin-up of Monroe taken by Tom Kelley during the 1949 Red Velvet session is published on page 19.

A brass plaque grave marker from Marilyn Monroe's crypt at Pierce Brothers Westwood Village Memorial Park & Mortuary in Los Angeles that reads "MARILYN MONROE / 1926 - 1962" (estimate: $2,000-$3,000) (photo below right), and more are available for browsing and bidding.

Monroe died unexpectedly at age 36 on August 4, 1962 and was interred following a private funeral that took place in the cemetery chapel on August 8. Monroe fans from around the world continue to make pilgrimages to the cemetery to pay respects to the entertainer. The constant touching of the marker has led to minor wear causing it to be replaced as needed.

A burial crypt near Marilyn Monroe and Hugh Hefner’s final resting places (estimate: $200,000 - $400,000) at Pierce Brothers Westwood Village Memorial Park & Mortuary was previously announced to be part of the upcoming auction.

Julien’s Auctions announced today that the three-day auction will take place at NYA StudiosEast in Hollywood with an exhibition of highlights opening March 25th and running through March 28th.

JULIEN’S AUCTIONS EXHIBITION AND AUCTION

NYA Studios East

1541 N. Cahuenga Blvd. Hollywood, CA 90028

Free and open to the public exhibition (10am-5pm daily)

Thursday, March 28th

“Property From the Playboy Archives and The Hugh M. Hefner Foundation and Property FromThe Life and Career of Marilyn Monroe” 

Evening session at 7:00 pm Pacific Time

Friday, March 29th

“Property From the Playboy Archives and The Hugh M. Hefner Foundation and Property FromThe Life and Career of Marilyn Monroe” 

Day Sale at 10:00 am Pacific Time

Saturday, March 30th 

“Property From the Playboy Archives and The Hugh M. Hefner Foundation and Property FromThe Life and Career of Marilyn Monroe” 

Day Sale at 10:00 am Pacific Time

Julien’s Auctions

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