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Joe DiMaggio Signed News Photo of Joe and Marilyn Monroe
Starting Bid - $500, Sold For - $1,528
Original United Press news photo capturing Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe dining at the chic El Morocco nightclub in New York City on September 12, 1954. The photo has been flawlessly inscribed in blue Sharpie (grading "10") on the front, "Best Always/Joe DiMaggio." As most collectors are well aware, anything related to Marilyn Monroe was considered strictly "off limits" by DiMaggio when it came to autographs, and only the bravest of the brave, or complete fools, would dare submit a piece such as this at one of his signing shows. Given that fact, a piece such as this requires an ideal and verifiable provenance. Fortunately, it has the best provenance possible. This piece originates from the famed Barry Halper Collection and is one of the very few Marilyn Monroe related items DiMaggio personally signed for Halper over the years. Halper enjoyed a very close relationship with DiMaggio and it was only their years of friendship that gave Halper the courage to even request such a favor. According to Barry, Joe originally refused. Halper finally persuaded DiMaggio to sign the items by promising him that he would not show them publicly until after DiMaggio passed away. Halper stayed true to his word and the few Monroe pieces that DiMaggio signed for him were not released from his collection until after DiMaggio's death in the spring of 1999. This particular piece was one of the finest of the several Monroe-related items signed by DiMaggio both because it is an original photo and because it pictures them together (most of the others were second or third generation prints and only pictured Monroe). The photo pictures the couple sharing what would be one of their last good times together. The paper caption on the back of the photo reads: "Blond actress Marilyn Monroe, who caused so-called sophisticated New Yorkers to gawk like so many hicks upon her arrival in Manhattan, and her husband, Joe DiMaggio, Yankee all-time great and himself quite a crowd-gatherer, spend a happy evening together at El Morocco, September 12. Marilyn's here to shoot scenes for her latest movie, "The Seven-Year Itch," and Joe's here because...enough said!" It was the filming of the famed subway grate scene from The Seven-Year Itch that ultimately ended their marriage. Joe was present on location and became infuriated when director Billy Wilder ordered take after take, much to the delight of the ever growing crowd of male onlookers. DiMaggio and Monroe had a tremendous fight afterwards and weren't seen together for two weeks. Shortly after that Monroe revealed that they had separated. The photo (9 x 7 inches) displays editorial pencil notations on the reverse and a "Sep 22 1954" date stamp. In Excellent condition overall. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000/$1,500. SOLD FOR $1,528
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