Marilyn Monroe had something more than sex appeal, more than talent, more than an intriguing personality. It was indefinable, a spark that shone on camera to garner so many fans that, even more than half a century after her death, we still want more.
Now, the news that a set of X-rays have come to light will lead to an auction, where fans will pay upwards of $20,000 for the privilege of owning them, as well as a batch of medical records from various years. According to auction house Julien’s, the lot includes an X-ray of Monroe’s nose showing a possible slight hairline fracture after she said she suffered a fall. Some Monroe historians say that it’s in the same spot where the actress had a rhinoplasty early in her career.
Other items in the medical records of note include a cartilage implant in her chin–which she complained about as having a “deformity” at one point–and an ectopic pregnancy when she was married to Arthur Miller. And while this very personal information being auctioned off might seem just wrong to some, executive director of Julien’s Martin Nolan says that the medical records predate any laws preventing them from being seen by the public.
“Keep in mind, this is pop-culture history,” Nolan said “[Marilyn’s] date back to the 1950s. Today there are laws preventing the release of such information, but this is prior to that law. Even though X-rays are not tangible like a musical instrument or clothing, it’s part of the story of Marilyn that people are buying. There is such a demand for her worldwide even though it is 50 years since she passed away. Honestly, I could have an auction every day for Marilyn Monroe and the items would be sought after.”
Indeed, the desire to have a genuine piece of Marilyn’s history is so strong that it has led to thievery; this past May, photos, display cases, and mannequins were stolen from an exhibit in Prague.
Image: Wikimedia Commons