Marilyn Monroe Collectibles: A Comprehensive Guide to the Memorabilia of an American Legend

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More than thirty-five years after her tragic death, Marilyn Monroe is one of the hottest stars of the collectibles business. Although Marilyn Monroe's career spanned just sixteen years, it generated a huge number and variety of collectibles, which are now commanding record prices at auction houses around the world.

The quintessential guide to this sensational star, MARILYN MONROE COLLECTIBLES offers up-to-the-minute prices ...

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More than thirty-five years after her tragic death, Marilyn Monroe is one of the hottest stars of the collectibles business. Although Marilyn Monroe's career spanned just sixteen years, it generated a huge number and variety of collectibles, which are now commanding record prices at auction houses around the world.

The quintessential guide to this sensational star, MARILYN MONROE COLLECTIBLES offers up-to-the-minute prices on everything Monroe, from paper collectibles, books, dolls, plaques and plates to stamps, calendars, advertising, movie and record collectibles, and more.

7 This is the most complete source available for information on:
7 The latest auction prices
7 Starting a collection
7 Trading with other collectors
7 Buying from foreign countries
7 Mail and Internet buying
7 Insuring your collection
7 Protecting your paper collectibles
7 Fan clubs and collector sources

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780380799091
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 11/1/1999
  • Series: Confident Collector Ser.
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 5.24 (w) x 8.02 (h) x 0.78 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

The Beginning Collector

Nearly all of us have collected something in our lifetime. Remember that baseball card or stamp collection you had as a child', Sooner or later such collections got tucked away in the attic, sold in a rummage sale, or simply (and sadly) tossed in the trash. It really takes 2 special sort of person to be a collector. You might say you have to be bitten by the "collecting bug."

Quite often, collections are started on a very small scale and at a slow pace. There are, of course, exceptions to this rule. Some people collect for monetary reasons exclusively-for investment purposes. There is certainly nothing wrong with collecting for investment purposes, and it makes great sense from a business standpoint. However, a true dyed-in-the-wool collector is one who cares little about the investment potential but instead derives an extreme amount of pleasure from the pursuit of collecting itself.

I tend to fall somewhere in the middle. There is the businessman in me who really cares about the long-term investment potential of my collection. However, I also derive great pleasure from my Marilyn collection; to me, that is the true meaning of collecting.

I began my Marilyn collection at a snail's pace in the early 1980s. My first purchases were a framed photo purchased at Kmart and a couple books that had just been published on Marilyn. After spying the Life magazine article on Marilyn collector George Zeno in the October 1981 issue, which featured a two-page spread on George's wall of Marilyn magazine covers, I was hooked! From then on I hunted at a more feverish pace for vintage Monroe items,primarily magazine covers.

My first finds were at local auctions, garage sales, and antique shops. They consisted mainly of Marilyn's 1950s and 60s magazine cover appearances on Life and Look magazines. I was soon extracting from the classified ads of collecting-related periodicals the names and addresses of people who dealt in old magazines or Hollywood memorabilia in general. From here my collection really took off via mail order. The sky was the limit, and I soon found myself dealing with foreign sellers and trading with foreign collectors who had also advertised in U.S. collecting periodicals. A list of such periodicals can be found in the last chapter of this book.

It's best to stick to a budget as closely as you can when amassing your collection. It's very easy and tempting to purchase every item that comes your way. Set some realistic goals and stick to them. Perhaps you'll wish to specialize in movie posters, books, or magazine covers. Stay focused, whatever your collecting objective may be, and you'll be just fine. Consider such things as how much space you have to store or display your collection effectively and safely. Visit your library. Surf the Internet! Read up and ask as many questions as you can from experienced collectors. The better informed you are from the start, the better your entire collecting experience will be. Most important of all, enjoy yourself along the way!

Storing Your Marilyn Paper Collectibles

After going to the trouble of hunting down a valuable and fragile Marilyn paper collectible, it is a very good idea to take some precautions to preserve it. One good rule of thumb is to never store magazines in deep stacks, as this can crush their already fragile spines. Ideally, one should secure acid-free backing boards and plastic sleeves to store and encase your paper collectibles. It's best to wear a pair of plastic gloves when you handle an item, as this will prevent the damaging oils and acids from your skin from blemishing its surface.

Always store your paper collectibles in an environment that is fairly dry but not overly dry. Avoid placing the items in the direct path of sunlight, or near registers and water pipes that can also damage them. It only takes exposure to a half hour of sunlight a day to badly damage an item. Use a commonsense approach, and you'll be fine.

Some collectors prefer to display their items, which allows them to enjoy their collectibles every day. If you choose to frame the pieces for display, it's always a good idea to use acid-free matting material. Some folks choose to shrink-wrap their items, which is fine as long as they don't forget to punch the occasional hole in the plastic so that the article can "breathe."

Ideally, collectible paper items should be stored in a temperaturecontrolled room. Short of this, one can utilize an air-conditioning system during the humid summer months and a humidifier during the super dry months of winter. It's not uncommon for humidity levels in a home to dive to 13 percent during the winter.

Insuring Your Collection

It's a great idea to insure your collectibles, because before you know it you may have a considerable investment. Usually you can just simply contact the company you have your household insurance with and they will accommodate you. If this falls, ask your insurance agent to recommend someone who will insure your collectibles. I have found that the cost is minimal and, in my case, it costs just forty cents to insure each one hundred dollars' worth of collectibles per year. Usually an inventory list is required by the insurance company, and it's a good idea to go a step further and make a videotape of all of the insured items as well. place a copy of the tape with your insurance company and put one in your safe-deposit box at the bank.

Here's a cautionary example: I have a friend with a sizable Marilyn collection who woke up one morning to discover that a water pipe had ruptured in the bathroom situated directly above his collectibles. The result was disastrous. Luckily he had insurance and was reimbursed for his loss, although the loss of such cherished items was very upsetting. Don't procrastinate! Get that insurance today!

Restoring Paper Collectibles

The thought of restoring collectible paper items tends to intimidate most of us, and justifiably so. However, one should not be afraid to consider either sending a certain item to a professional restorer or doing a little home restoration on a piece that has minimal problems. Restoration of such items as...

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Table of Contents

Foreword x
Introduction xiii
Marilyn Bio/Time Line 1
The Beginning Collector 5
Storing Your Marilyn Paper Collectibles 6
Insuring Your Collection 7
Restoring Paper Collectibles 7
Buying from Foreign Countries 8
Trading with Other Collectors 8
Mail-Order Buying 9
Magazines 11
Descriptions of Magazine Grades 12
U.S. Cover Appearances 14
Foreign Cover Appearances 43
Books 110
International Books on Marilyn Monroe 110
Marilyn Movie-Related Novels 160
Marilyn Postcard Books 166
Poster Books 169
Marilyn Monroe Autograph Values 170
Secretarial and Forgery Signatures 171
Authentic Marilyn Autographs 173
Secretarial Signatures 173
Collectible Marilyn Monroe Dolls 174
Porcelain and Vinyl Doll Values 175
Paper Doll Values 181
Marilyn Figural Collectibles 184
Royal Orleans Items 188
Clay Art Items 189
Movie-Related Collectibles 191
Pressbooks (Campaign Books) 191
Publicity Stills 193
Film Stills 194
Miscellaneous Movie-Related Collectibles 195
Miscellaneous Movie Posters and Lobby Cards 197
Selected Poster, Lobby Card, and Related Values 199
Vintage Marilyn Personality Poster 207
Newspapers 209
Plates and Plaques 215
Marilyn Plates 215
Marilyn Plaques 223
Postcards and Related Collectibles 225
Postcards 225
Mutoscope (Arcade) Cards 229
Greeting Cards 231
Cigarette, Gum, and Assorted Cards 231
Records and Related Collectibles 233
LP and EP Records 233
45 RPM Records 244
Picture Discs 247
Cassettes 249
CDs 249
CD-ROMs 251
8-Track Tapes 251
Films on Laser Disc 252
Films on Videocassette 254
Sound Cards 259
Super-8 Film Reels 259
Sheet Music 261
Stamps and Related Collectibles 267
Calendars and Advertising Collectibles 276
U.S. Calendars 277
Foreign Calendars (1983-1996) 286
Advertising Posters 288
Ink Blotters 288
Product Advertisements 289
Miscellaneous Collectibles 292
Fan Clubs and Collector Sources 316
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2000

    Well defined and very descriptive!

    Well defined and very descrpitive on all the collectibles that are out on Marilyn Monroe. Worth the price! Very rewarding guide!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 1999

    Great Book But....

    Wonderful, original concept. However, two things bothered me. First of all, the colour section filled with photos is great but why on earth would he include the EXACT same photos in b/w later in the book. SHow us some pictures we haven't seen. Secondly, the prices quoted are on the high side. With internet auctions available the prices in the book will never be realized.

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