Business & Real Estate

Marilyn Monroe, Joe DiMaggio items up for auction in Sacramento

This photo includes personal items that actress Marilyn Monroe had in her purse the day she wed Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Joe DiMaggio in 1954. These are among the items up for bids in an auction overseen by Witherell’s auction house in Sacramento.
This photo includes personal items that actress Marilyn Monroe had in her purse the day she wed Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Joe DiMaggio in 1954. These are among the items up for bids in an auction overseen by Witherell’s auction house in Sacramento. Douglas Sandberg

Witherell’s auction house in Sacramento is auctioning personal items that once belonged to movie star Marilyn Monroe and Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Joe DiMaggio.

The auction began Nov. 4 and will conclude Wednesday.

A preview of the items available for bid can be seen from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Witherell’s gallery, 300 20th St., in Sacramento.

“Marilyn and Joe were iconic figures; their marriage was the love story of the century,” said Brian Witherell, chief operating officer of the midtown auction house. “They were, and still are, American royalty. With the auction, people have a chance to own a personal memento from one of these larger-than-life figures.”

Auction items were either former possessions or part of the estate of DiMaggio’s late niece, actress June DiMaggio.

June DiMaggio and Monroe were friends until Monroe’s death in 1962. June DiMaggio moved to Sacramento after retiring from Hollywood and lived in Sacramento’s Campus Commons until her death in May 2014. She was a longtime friend of Sacramento TV and radio personality Mary Jane Popp, and they co-authored the 2006 book, “Marilyn, Joe & Me.”

Popp was given items once belonging to Monroe and Joe DiMaggio. In a Witherell’s media release, Popp said: “I still have many items June gave me. But there are so many fans of Marilyn and Joe out there, I wanted these family treasures to go to others who would also appreciate them.”

The 50 lots include personal photos, signed books, personal items Monroe had with her the day she married DiMaggio in 1954, costume jewelry, kitchen/clothing items and a memorial pamphlet from Monroe’s Aug. 8, 1962, funeral in Los Angeles.

Witherell’s cited “the uniqueness of the items,” and due to that, there are no comparable items to determine a precise value. Consequently, there are no estimates on the items.

Founded in 1969, Witherell’s does appraisals and auctions of various objects of value, from decorative arts and design to antiques and fine art. The auction house places items globally through private sales and online auctions.

Brian Witherell is known nationally for his work as an expert appraiser on PBS’ long-running “Antiques Roadshow” series.

For more information, visit witherells.com.

Mark Glover: 916-321-1184, @markhglover

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