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Lot #1053
Marilyn Monroe

Signing as Norma Jeane, the future icon poses on an early magazine cover

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Signing as Norma Jeane, the future icon poses on an early magazine cover

Rare original vintage January 1947 Laff magazine, 10.25 x 13.5, 30 pages, featuring a bikini-clad Norma Jean Dougherty on the cover. Signed and inscribed in black ink on the front cover, “To Sylvia, Thanks a million for everything. Your [sic] really wonderful. Love always, Norma Jeane.” Moderate contrast to portions of the signature and inscription, a light vertical fold running the length of the cover, light creasing and wrinkling passing through portions of signature and inscription, a few small edge tears, mild handling wear, and a fragile hinge, otherwise very good condition. It’s interesting to note that the publication misspelled her name twice.

Recently divorced and with her sights set on stardom, the fledgling actress and model turned a lot of heads with her early, and daring, photographic appearances—as well as catching the attention of millionaire industrialist and RKO Pictures president, Howard Hughes. Just a few months before this issue hit newsstands, Hughes was flipping through pin-up magazines when his eyes fell upon Norma Jeane on another cover of Laff. He tried to sign her to an RKO contract, only to be bested by 20th Century Fox. This desirable signed cover shot, captured by the lens of famed Hollywood photographer Bruno Bernard, rates as one of the earliest U.S. magazine appearances by the young Norma Jeane, who would grow to become Marilyn Monroe. Items signed as “Norma Jeane” are notably rare. Pre-certified PSA/DNA and RRAuction COA.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title:
  • Dates: #356 - Ended April 14, 2010