Sale 1237 — American Free Franks and Historical Documents

Sale Date — Tuesday, 22 June, 2021

Category — 20th Century Historical Figures including Marilyn Monroe

Lot
Symbol
Photo/Description
Cat./Est. Value
Realized
168°
 
Sale 1237, Lot 168, 20th Century Historical Figures including Marilyn MonroeMarilyn Monroe's Personal Cookbooks. Two cookbooks owned by and, more importantly, used by Marilyn Monroe, who arguably can be called the most famous actress of all time. The books are as follows:

The New Fanny Farmer Boston Cooking-School Cook Book, published by Little, Brown & Co. and copyright 1951, original cloth, with dust jacket (worn edges). Nestled at page 254 is a recipe for Avery Island French dressing with illustration of a bottle of Tabasco sauce. At page 342 there are two pieces of paper with notes in Marilyn's hand listing menu for Beef Bourguignon, corned beef and cabbage, and marrow bone soup. The second piece of paper has a short shopping list -- 6 or 8 marrow bones for soup, plus bouillon cubes. Page 694 has a blank Thank You card with pencil around the "Thank You", this was used as a book marker for a cake recipe. Page 696 has a hand-written grocery list for rib roast, tomatoes, tomatoes, milk, cream and coffee. A few pages have small stains from cooking -- no doubt the cookbook was kept close to the stove as she cooked these elaborate meals.

The New Joy of Cooking by Irma Bombauer and Marion Bombauer Becker, 1953 edition, original cloth and dust jacket (worn and chipped). This book contains several items between pages, such as a printed Borden's recipe at page 135. Page 274 has a typed diet with times for all three meals plus egg nog at 11:00 P.M. Page 279 has a note to herself to buy a phonograph needle. Page 523 has a blank 3c envelope. Page 633 has a business card for the Hole in the Wall Delicatessen with her handwriting on back "Marilyn Monroe, 8827 Doheny Dr. Los Angeles" with heavily emphasized horizontal lines. Page 635 contains recipes cut out from the New York Post and from a Pyrex pie plate. Page 757 has a clipping from a newspaper with a dinner menu and Marilyn's doodles on an advertisement. Page 787 contains a shopping list in Marilyn's hand plus a small pamphlet for Nature's Own. Page 899 contains a business card for a New York attorney with some names and a phone number in her hand.

A RARE OPPORTUNITY TO ACQUIRE A SET OF MARILYN MONROE'S PERSONAL COOKBOOKS. THESE ARE THE ONLY COOKBOOKS THAT CAN BE CONFIRMED AS HAVING BEEN OWNED BY MARILYN MONROE. THE PERSONAL HAND-WRITTEN NOTES, SHOPPING LISTS AND CLIPPINGS PROVIDE A WINDOW INTO THE PRIVATE SIDE OF THIS ICON.

On October 27 and 28, 1999, Christie's auctioned the personal property of Marilyn Monroe. Among the 576 lots were dresses, clothing, furniture, ash trays and other personal articles. Among these trappings of success were two cookbooks, offered separately as lots 505 and 523. More than any other lots in the sale, which included her driver's license, these cookbooks provide a window into the personal daily life of someone whose personal life was often not her own. One imagines her cooking many meals at home to escape the incessant limelight, or cooking Beef Bourguignon for Joe DiMaggio, or preparing for a private dinner party, or ordering from the local deli as shown by the card between the pages.

The August 16, 1999 issue of People Magazine devoted the front cover and a 12-page spread to the auction (copy accompanies). Page 60 showed both cookbooks on a page with two other items -- her dog's license and a set of cookware. When the smoke cleared from the auction, the results confirmed Marilyn's place as an icon. The sale brought $13 million, multiples of their original estimates. These two cookbooks were acquired at the auction by their current owner for around $45,000.00. They are now offered to the market for the first time since 1999.

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E. 50,000-75,000
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