It was 1962, the height of the Camelot. John F Kennedy was coming to the end of his first term as president and history was yet to reveal that he and MM were an item. Now the fabulously sexy dress that Monroe wore at her historic appearance at the Madison Square Garden charity dinner, where she performed the song ‘Happy Birthday’ to President John F. Kennedy who was turning 45, is up for grabs Julien’s auction in the US on 17th-19th November.
Pontus Silfverstolpe, one of the co-founders of the company says: “The sale of this dress and the rest of the Monroe collection is likely to be one of the auction events of 2016 partly because it comes in the wake of the American Presidential election with the whole world watching the change of power taking place in the US.”
The dress designed by Jean Louis is expected to sell for $2m to $3m, according to Barnebys. “This astronomical value is partly due to the fact that the performance of this song is now part of history – two of the most famous people in the world publicly acknowledging what was a very private love affair, and finally because the dress is covered with 2,500 crystals, and because it was one of Marilyn Monroe’s last public appearances,” says Silfverstolpe.
Less than three months later, Marilyn Monroe was dead, and just a year later President Kennedy had been assassinated. “Marilyn Monroe’s performance of ‘Happy Birthday Mr. President ‘is definitely the most famous spontaneous behaviour in America’s history,” said Darren Julien, president of Julien’s Auctions to Barnebys.
The dress will be part of Julien’s three-day auction of Marilyn Monroe-related pieces this month.