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Lot # 728: 1949 Marilyn Monroe, "Iconic Nude Calendar Photo" by Tom Kelley

Category: Entertainment

Starting Bid: $25.00

Bids: 38 (Bid History)

Time Left: Auction closed
Lot / Auction Closed




This lot is closed. Bidding is not allowed.

Item was in Auction "February Collectors Auction 2024",
which ran from 2/19/2024 10:00 PM to
3/9/2024 8:00 PM



In 1949, a young Marilyn Monroe was released from her contract at Columbia and needed cash. She had lost her car to the bank and needed $50 to get it back, so she called photographer Tom Kelley who had been offering to pay her for nude shots and she finally agreed. He took 24 shots including this iconic photograph from a ladder, ten feet above the starlet who was stretching against red velvet. The photo would become the most famous pin-up of all time, but VERY few actual example of the photograph are known to exist. The offered example is from the early 1950's and within our range for a Vintage 1 example, making it the only specimen we have ever handled to fit this criteria. The photo has also been authenticated by PSA who agreed with our assessment that this is indeed a 1950's example. The photo is crystal clear and very well could be off the original negative, but without the stamps from Kelley or the calendar company he sold the image rights to, it is impossible to tell so PSA has determined it to be off a duplicate negative. This may or may not be the case, but we will offer it with the same assessment as PSA to be consistent. The condition and quality are both outstanding and this is the finest example we have ever seen offered for sale in 20 years of collecting! Our company policy is to not show nude images online so there is a strip of post-it note paper on the photo that can be peeled off easily with no damage to the image.

Size: 8x10
Designation: Vintage 1(b)
Condition: 5/5
Quality: 5/5
Overall Grade: 10/10

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