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Monroe outfit tipped to fetch £500k


Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe in a scene from the movie Misfits

Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe in a scene from the movie Misfits

Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe in a scene from the movie Misfits

A revealing costume worn by Marilyn Monroe for a 1950s photo shoot is expected to fetch around £500,000 when it goes under the hammer at auction next month.

The outfit, a gold braid bustier and bikini bottoms complete with a headdress, chiffon skirt and jewellery, was worn by the Hollywood legend when she posed for famed photographer Richard Avedon for Life magazine in 1958.

It was based on the costume worn by silent-screen siren Theda Bara in her most famous role - playing Cleopatra in a 1917 film.

Monroe used the picture when she tried to get the part of the Egyptian queen in the 1963 film sending it to the boss of Fox Studios, but she lost the role to her great rival Elizabeth Taylor.

It is one of more than 100 lots offered for auction at Christie's pop culture sale in South Kensington, central London, on December 16.

Also going under the hammer is a black leather motorcycle jacket worn by Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator 2: Judgement Day.

The jacket, valued at £25,000, includes several custom-made bullet holes.

A Gretsch guitar made for U2 frontman Bono and signed by all four members of the band is valued at £180,000, while a painting by Bob Dylan of his wife Sara is expected to sell for £70,000.

Film fans can bid for screenplays from The Godfather or scripts for the American Civil War classic Gone With The Wind.

Caitlin Graham, a specialist in pop culture at the auction house, said: "Held in a private collection since purchased at Christie's 1999 sale of the personal property of Marilyn Monroe, this harem costume worn by Marilyn as Theda Bara's Cleopatra is particularly significant as one of only a handful of costumes retained by the star for her personal collection, as a memory of one of the happiest moments of her career.

"Costume and clothing from the 1999 estate sale rarely returns to auction and we are anticipating a great deal of interest from Marilyn collectors, as the provenance is impeccable."