Entertainment & Arts

Early Marilyn Monroe photos sell for $352,000

Marilyn Monroe, photographed by Joseph Jasgur in 1946
Image caption The collection was sold in order to settle the late photographer's debts

A collection of images taken at Marilyn Monroe's first photo shoot have been sold at auction for $352,000 (£225,000) in Beverly Hills, California.

Taken by Joseph Jasgur in 1946, when Monroe was named Norma Jeane Dougherty, the photos came with negatives and the right to sell and distribute them.

In September, a judge ruled they should be auctioned to settle Jasgur's debts.

The Icons and Idols auction, held last Thursday and Friday, also saw a Lady Gaga dress sell for $31,250 (£19,987).

Other lots included a 1969 caricature John Lennon drew of himself and Yoko Ono that went for $90,00 (£57,574).

According to the official catalogue, "Jasgur's images of a 19-year-old Norma Jeane mark the beginning of her career and offer a rare glimpse of her before she was Marilyn.

"These early photographs introduce a contradictory and multifaceted personality, which is now known to be characteristic of Marilyn Monroe."

The images, it continued, "captured a sweet, girlish and natural beauty yet to be transformed into the epitome of female glamour".

Jasgur, who died in 2009, had spent the last years of his life trying to regain control of the photographs.

A bankruptcy judge ruled in February that the rights should revert to his family and a bankruptcy trustee, but ordered they should be sold to settle debts.

Jasgur's family said the estate would get 35 per cent of the profits, with the remainder going to the bankruptcy trustee.

Photos of Frank Sinatra, Rita Hayworth and other Hollywood celebrities of the era also formed part of the extensive collection.

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