At a recent auction in Las Vegas I noticed that a quartz necklace of Marilyn Monroe's in a general state of disrepair was expected to go for $4,000 - $6,000. The necklace was of a basic construction with a polo and t-bar clasp, strung on thread with a gold chain. Some of the quartz drops had become detached and the necklace would have definitely needed re-stringing. The provenance was provided by Christies of New York who originally sold the piece, in the sale of October 1999 under the title "The Personal Property of Marilyn Monroe". It was accompanied by a photograph of Marilyn wearing the necklace taken by Sam Shaw.
What really surprised me was the hammer price. It eventually sold for $63,000! This was ten times the original estimate!
The estate jewellery market is as strong as ever, it just goes to prove that pieces can just keep going up and up as investments. Some lucky girl may even get the chance to wear this piece in the meantime...
If you would like to own your own piece of original estate jewellery, you can browse our extensive collection online or stop by our showroom in Hatton Garden.