In 1999 the dress that Marilyn Monroe wore when she sang Happy Birthday Mr President sold for $1,150,000 at a Christies auction in New York.
We used that as the benchmark when we decided to buy the Seven Year itch dress at the weekend. This is an area where we invest heavily. Marilyn Monroe signatures are up 128.8% in value in the last 12 years, so there are fewer better places to put your money.
The seven year itch dress is probably the image you have in your mind when you think of Marilyn…. standing over the subway grill as the warm air sends her dress billowing up around her waist. You know the one…
The dress was estimated at $1,000,000 – 2,000,000, and if you’re lucky enough to ‘win’ you can add in an auction commission of 20% on top.
We actually opened the bidding at $1.1m. At $2m we thought we had it.
Our bid was twice the lower estimate and including 20% auction commission would cost us a total $2.4m.
Of course history will show our bid was unsuccessful! The dress eventually sold for $5,658,000.
5 times the price the Happy Birthday Mr President dress achieved just 12 years ago.
That’s a compounded increase of 14.2% per annum and shows just how effective an investment these unique pieces of history can be.
Still, we live to fight another day… and we still have what could be considered the finest piece of Marilyn Monroe memorabilia in the world.
Sitting in our bank vault are Marilyn’s blonde locks, collected by her personal hairdresser following an appointment at his salon on the day she sang Happy Birthday Mr President.