NEW YORK, NY.-
Its a little known and fascinating fact that pop cultures most marketable icon, Marilyn Monroe, converted to Judaism upon her marriage to playwright Arthur Miller in 1956.
Kestenbaum & Company
, the niche New York City auction house, an unrivalled authority in Fine Judaica, having sold more than 40,000 lots including items with Jewish links to Henry VIII, Albert Einstein and Mother Theresa, is hosting a sale which includes Ms. Monroes very own Menorah. A guide price of $100,000-150,000 has been allocated to this unique piece of Hollywood-Judaica memorabilia in Kestenbaum and Companys Fall auction.
The Menorah was among Marilyns possessions when she died alone in 1962, aged 36.
Following her divorce from baseball-player Joe DiMaggio, Marilyn Monroe developed a relationship with the great American playwright, Arthur Miller, and in June 1956 they married in a civil service, followed by a Jewish religious ceremony two days later.
Marilyn had never experienced traditional family life and was eager to join the family of her new husband. Converting to Judaism, she formed a strong bond with Augusta and Isidore, her new parents-in-law, who gifted Marilyn this Menorah.
The Marilyn Monroe Menorah
The Menorah is now being offered for sale by a private collector who purchased it 20 years ago at the famous auction in New York by Christie's The Personal Property of Marilyn Monroe. Among other prominent lots included in that sale was the celebrated dress Marilyn wore to sing Happy Birthday to President John F. Kennedy on May 19, 1962.
The Menorah was briefly shown in public at The Jewish Museum of New York as part of the exhibition Becoming Jewish: Warhols Liz and Marilyn; as well as at the Museum of American Jewish History, Philadelphia.
Concerning this incomparable piece of Americana, company director, Daniel Kestenbaum comments:
Marilyn Monroes spellbinding magnetism knows no bounds. We are thrilled to be able to offer Marilyns personal Menorah at auction next week. The market for memorabilia from the Golden Age of Hollywood goes from strength to strength, as does Fine Judaica, and as such this extraordinary item has remarkable provenance. We anticipate substantial interest from competing collectors.
The Marilyn Monroe Menorah, Lot 234 of Kestenbaum & Companys auction, Fine Judaica: Printed Books, Manuscripts, Graphic & Ceremonial Art, will be sold on Thursday 7 November 2019 at 1pm, New York City.