Lot 178

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Marilyn Monroe
n.p., ca. September 1947
First Known Photo Signed "Marilyn Monroe", PSA Graded 10, Signed the Year She Transformed from Norma Jeane to a Super Star
Signed Photo
A black and white matte photograph boldly signed and inscribed by Marilyn Monroe shortly after she adopted her stage name. Measuring 8" x 10", n.p., dated September 1947. Signed the year after she adopted her iconic stage name, "My very best wishes, Marilyn Monroe." A very early photograph of Marilyn in a classic pin-up pose, taken by photographer Ed Cronenweth. Near fine, bold signature. With a notation in pencil on verso. Provenance: Ex. Christie's. Accompanied by a Letter of Authenticity by PSA/DNA.

This is one of the finest signed Marilyn Monroe photos we have ever seen. To our knowledge, no other photo has been graded by PSA as 10; in fact, we know of no photos graded at 9. In terms of the combination of photo quality, signature quality, image composition, and how early this was taken in her career, we feel a better one will never be found. At an auction in 2014, a Marilyn Monroe photo not nearly as nice as this one, and only signed "Marilyn", fetched over $33,000.

At the time this photograph was taken, the young, little-known starlet had done work as a model before signing with 20th Century Fox in June 1946. A year later, after the completion of Monroe's tiny role in "Dangerous Years", Fox made the infamous blunder of dropping Monroe's film contract. Instead, they seemed content to feature her in dozens of cheesecake publicity photos or to shuttle her around to publicity events, such as the Fox Studio Club golf tournament. However, 1947 would be the defining year for Marilyn, who changed agencies, and more importantly, changed her name - leaving Norma Jeane behind. This image captures the beginning of the bumpy but meteoric rise of Monroe as a superstar.

This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.


  • Ex. Christie's; PSA LOA
  • Dimensions:
  • 8" x 10"
  • Artist Name:
  • Marilyn Monroe
  • Medium:
  • Signed Photo

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April 10, 2024 10:30 AM EDT
Wilton, CT, US

University Archives

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Bid Increments
From: To: Increments:
$0 $99 $10
$100 $299 $20
$300 $499 $25
$500 $999 $50
$1,000 $1,999 $100
$2,000 $2,999 $200
$3,000 $4,999 $250
$5,000 $9,999 $500
$10,000 $19,999 $1,000
$20,000 $49,999 $2,500
$50,000 + $5,000