Marilyn Monroe. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.
A menorah that belonged to the late Hollywood icon Marilyn Monroe is expected to sell for up to $150,000 when it gets auctioned off next week in New York, The Jewish News reported.
A private collector who purchased the menorah in 1999 at a Christie’s auction of Monroe’s personal belongings asked Kestenbaum & Company to sell the religious item on November 7.
“Marilyn Monroe’s spellbinding magnetism knows no bounds. We are thrilled to be able to offer Marilyn’s personal Menorah at auction next week,” Kestenbaum & Company director Daniel Kestenbaum said. “The market for memorabilia from the Golden Age of Hollywood goes from strength to strength, as does Fine Judaica, and as such this extraordinary item has remarkable provenance. We anticipate substantial interest from competing collectors.”
The menorah, which features a wind-up mechanism that plays Israel’s national anthem, was a gift to the American actress from the parents of her third husband, famous playwright Arthur Miller, after she decided to convert to Judaism when the couple married in June 1956.
Monroe, who was 30 at the time, studied Jewish texts with the Miller family’s rabbi, Robert E Goldburg, before converting. The menorah was found among her possessions when she died in 1962, at the age of 36.
The menorah was briefly displayed at The Jewish Museum of New York as part of the exhibition, “Becoming Jewish: Warhol’s Liz and Marilyn,” as well as at the Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia.
A Jewish prayer book owned by Monroe was auctioned by J. Greenstein & Company last year.