The famous dress worn by Marylin Monroe when she sang “happy birthday Mr President” to John F Kennedy has sold for a world-record price at auction, fetching US$4.8m.
It was bought by museum chain Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, surpassing the previous most expensive dress sold at auction. Edward Meyer, vice-president of Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, told the Press Association: “We believe this is the most iconic piece of pop culture that there is.”
The Hollywood star was found dead less than three months later, aged 36.
Monroe sang her version of happy birthday in her trademark tones in front of 15,000 guests at a Democratic fundraiser at New York’s Madison Square Garden.
It was one of her last public appearances before her death from a drug overdose.
The dress, which the auction house said was so tight she had to be sewn into it, had previously been bought at auction for $1.3m in 1999 by the late business mogul and collector Martin Zweig.
Edward Meyer, stated that he could not “think of one single item that tells the story of the 1960s as well as this dress”.
Nathan Breitman, IEJ 3E