Marilyn Monroe’s grave marker from her plot at the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles is up for auction on Thursday, just over a year after another marker from Monroe’s site sold for over $200,000.
The Hollywood star died in 1962 at the age of 36 after overdosing on barbiturates. The bronze marker reads “Marilyn Monroe” on the first line, and “1926 – 1962” on the second line. The back of the marker reads, “Make Two Patterns for Marge,” referring to the production supervisor who handled the lettering.
“Monroe’s bronze grave marker has been replaced periodically due to the attention of thousands of adoring of fans who visit the beloved star's grave each year,” Nate D. Sanders Auctions said in a release on its website. The chemical reaction from the fans’ fingers and lipstick marks cause the bronze to oxidize, prompting a replacement.
A bronze foundry in Vernon, California — Gasser-Olds Company —is responsible for making all of the Monroe markers.
Other items going on sale are: a slice of cake from Charles and Diana’s Royal 1981 wedding, a Christmas card sent by Martin Luther King, Jr. and Bruce Lee's National Karate Championship Plaque.
At a rival sale scheduled for the same date, Julien’s in Los Angeles is putting out a number of Monroe’s dresses — like the one the star wore to sing “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” to John F Kennedy (estimated at $3.3 million) — and pieces of jewelry, such as a diamond cocktail watch ( $100,000), along with her now famous recipe for stuffing.
Monroe has been the favorite of such auctions and in 2009 the crypt next to hers was auctioned off for $4.6 million. The eBay auction that ran the sale used the description: “Here is a once in a lifetime and into eternity opportunity to spend your eternal days directly above Marilyn Monroe.”