Buy some wall art for your practice: x-rays of Marilyn Monroe

April 19, 2010

X-rays of Marilyn Monroe will be auctioned off June 26 at Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. The auction house, Julien’s Auctions, said they expect the films to sell for $800 to $1200.

X-rays of Marilyn Monroe will be auctioned off June 26 at Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. The auction house, Julien’s Auctions, said they expect the films to sell for $800 to $1200.

Years ago Monroe walked into Cedars of Lebanon Hospital in Florida, where she registered as Marilyn Di Maggio; at the time, she was divorcing her second husband, baseball star Joe Di Maggio.

The gynecologist who examined Monroe asked if he could use the x-rays in his lesson plans since he was also a professor.

“It became a conversation piece,” said Julien’s Auctions president and CEO Darren Julien.

After the doctor passed away, his family held onto the x-rays and finally approached Julien’s Auctions about selling them, not thinking they had any value.

“Anything associated with an iconic celebrity, especially someone like Marilyn Monroe or Elvis Presley, is highly collectible,” Julien said.

The auction house recently sold x-ray images of Elvis Presley’s head, fetching $3500 for one and $4500 for the other. Those x-rays were obtained in a similar manner to Monroe’s: a family member of the doctor approached Julien’s Auctions.

“It’s a rare occasion to be able to sell x-rays like this because in most cases the hospital, or wherever they are taken, would probably own the rights to those items,” Julien said.

Thus far x-rays of Monroe and Presley are the only ones Julien’s Auctions has sold, but they are open to selling more medical images, as long as they are obtained in a legal and aboveboard manner.

The market for these things is surprisingly large, numbering into the hundreds of people, and crosses the globe, Julien said.

“It spans people in Asia, Russia, Europe, the United States. We’ve got a huge response from Asia just on the Monroe x-rays alone,” he said.