Joe DiMaggio Marilyn Monroe signed photo sells for $300,000 at Heritage Auctions

An 8 inch x 10 inch black and white photograph of a reclining Marilyn Monroe has been sold by Heritage Auctions in Dallas, Texas, for a world record breaking $300,000 - the highest price ever achieved for a signed Marilyn Monroe photograph.

The same item was sold by Hunt Auctions in 2006 for just $70,000.

Marilyn Monroe Joe DiMaggio photo sells for $300,000
Image: Heritage Auctions


The photo is described as the only known inscribed photo of Marilyn to her husband Joe DiMaggio, with Marilyn declaring in blue pen ink:

I love you Joe, Marilyn. 

The photo, taken by Frank Powolny in 1953, was initially used as a publicity shot for the Gentleman Prefer Blondes movie that made Marilyn famous. 

Heritage's Joe Maddalena told us:

"Bidding was extraordinary from the moment the auction began, with heated battles among collectors over some of the most significant artifacts Heritage has ever had the privilege of bringing to market,"

The photo comes with impeccable provenance, originally from the collection of Joe DiMaggio and accompanied by a letter of provenance from his daughters Paula and Kathie.

Previous examples of the same Frank Powolny photo, signed by Marilyn but without the Joe DiMaggio link, have sold for $15,000 at auction so the personal nature of the link to her husband has seen the value increase twenty fold. 

Items from their relationship are rare and In May 2006 Heritage sold a baseball signed by Marilyn and Joe DiMaggio for $191,200.

Here at The Memorabilia Club we consider Marilyn one of the "Blue Chips" of collectibles.

The Celebrity Memorabilia Index shows that a standard Marilyn Monroe signed photograph has increased in value by 8.70% in 2022 to £6,250.

The most valuable piece of Marilyn Monroe memorabilia remains her Subway dress from the Seven Year Itch film, which was part of the Debbie Reynolds collection, and sold for $5,658,000 in June 2011 at profiles in History.


About your Author:

Adrian Roose has over 30 years’ experience covering all aspects of the rare stamp & memorabilia industry during which he has sold over £50m of unique items, helping build collections for Royalty, household name celebrities and 1,000s of collectors around the world.

Adrian was previously a Director at Stanley Gibbons, a Board Member of Stampex, and Executive Director of Paul Fraser Collectibles, PFC Auctions and JustCollecting, prior to founding The Memorabilia Club.

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