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Description1954 Joe DiMaggio & Marilyn Monroe Signed Photograph. Those who followed the May 2006 Heritage Signature Sports auction will certainly remember the historic sale of the Finest Known Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe Signed Baseball, which set a World Record with a price realized of $191,200. Tremendous press exposure followed, as both hobby and mainstream publications trumpeted this extraordinary new mark for the autographed baseball record books. As a result of this international post-auction coverage, we were contacted by the family of the former sports editor for the Tokyo newspaper that owned the "Yankees" of the Japanese League, the Tokyo Giants. They claimed to have a very special autographed piece of their own.
And they were right. Presented here, for the second time in as many auctions, is the definitive example of a piece signed by this most famous of celebrity couples, in this case an 8x10" photograph snapped and signed as the pair honeymooned in Japan. As in the case of the $191,000 baseball, the autographs of Joe and Marilyn are essentially unimprovable, rating 9+/10 on a conservative grading scale. Joining them in the image, and in flawless black ink, is Joe's best buddy Frank "Lefty" O'Doul. Unbelievably, DiMaggio requested that O'Doul join him and Marilyn on this romantic getaway, a fact that might help to explain why the couple didn't make it to their first anniversary. The photograph itself is likewise magnificent in appearance, with no condition flaws to note.
Included in the lot is a copy of a 1954 Japanese sports magazine that features a photo montage of the marriage and honeymoon of the newlyweds. One photo finds Joe, Marilyn and Lefty posing together, clearly taken at the same event as was the signed image.
It is well known within hobby circles that DiMaggio flatly refused to sign any piece related to his former wife Marilyn in the years following her death. While his marriage to this timeless icon of Hollywood glamor was short and painful, she remained very close to his heart even after her untimely passing, which Joe was convinced was orchestrated by the Kennedy family. "They murdered the one person I loved," DiMaggio confided in his friend and attorney Morris Engelberg, as recounted in Engelberg's biography of the Yankee legend. This reluctance to share his love with the world was a major factor in the failure of the marriage, and likewise in the scarcity of any pieces bearing the autographs of both. Following the collectibles formula that states that desirability times scarcity equals value, one can certainly understand why world records fall when fueled by this All-American pair. LOA from PSA/DNA. LOA from James Spence Authentication.
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2017 May 20 Vintage Sports Photography Catalog Auction - Dallas