Photographs of the iconic sex symbol Marilyn Monroe attracted a bevy of bidders at an auction conducted in Poland.
Desa Unicum in Warsaw hosted the auction of images by photographer Milton H. Greene on Thursday. Besides the pictures of Monroe, the collection included images of other celebrities, such as Marlon Brando, Cary Grant, Alfred Hitchcock, Paul Newman, and Frank Sinatra.
Before the auction, the collection's value had been estimated as $680,000.
In all, 237 of the 238 photos on offer were sold, raising a total of about $750,000, the Associated Press reported.
The auction house noted in a statement that the take at the event made it Poland's biggest photo auction ever, AP said.
Proceeds of the auction will go to the Polish government.
“The interest in this photo auction was unprecedented,” said Michal Olszewski, Desa Unicum's sales director, Agence France-Presse reported via Google.
An estimated 600 people around the world participated in the six-hour auction, including bidders from U.S., Saudi Arabia, and Ecuador, AFP said. Prospective buyers were able to place bids online and via phone.
Monroe and Greene were business partners and friends, and the star posed for the celebrity photographer in 52 sessions between 1953 and 1957, while the two co-owned a production company, the Daily Mail reported.
Many of the photos were unpublished until they were featured at the auction, the Mail said.
The collection of prints, highly valued by collectors, included a well-known photo of Monroe sitting quite innocently in a white tutu dress. The photo sold for $18,000, the highest price bid for a single picture at the auction, AFP reported.
Polish bidder Piotr Kolasinski told AFP he had to settle for buying only two photos to stay within his $3,060 budget: He had originally planned to buy seven.
Meanwhile, many others went home empty-handed.
"I'm very disappointed," Jerzy Derczyk told AP. "I was hoping to buy a picture for myself because she is gorgeous, but it just went far beyond my possibilities. Pity."