A magnificent custom-made three-panel .925 sterling silver Cartier frame, gifted to Marilyn by Nedda and Joshua Logan, after the latter's collaboration with the actress as director on Bus Stop. The centre frame houses a stunning black and white silver gelatin print of a portrait that famed photographer, Cecil Beaton, took of Marilyn in 1956. She once commented to Logan that this exact shot was her favourite image of herself, which is why he thoughfully choose the photo for the presentation. Adding to it's prestige, this exquisite print is mounted on a board and personally signed on matte by Beaton. The silver frame is engraved with the words: 'For Marilyn Monroe Miller' along the top and with 'Love Nedda and Joshua Logan' along the bottom.
Joshua Logan directed Marilyn in the 1956 film, Bus Stop, produced by Marilyn Monroe Productions and 20th Century Fox. Adapted for the screen by George Axelrod (The Seven Year Itch, Breakfast at Tiffany's) from the play by William Inge, it tells the story of a naive, misogynistic cowboy (Don Murray), who falls in love with a beautiful saloon singer (Marilyn) and tries to marry her against her will. Marilyn famously posed in her Bus Stop outfit for celebrated photographer and business partner, Milton Greene, to help promote the film and their recently formed production company.
The top edge of the silver Cartier frame is engraved as follows: Cartier - STERLING 925-1000, 56-36-3, HAND MADE.
The left and right frames house a two-page letter, handwritten and signed by Cecil Beaton in June 1956, describing Marilyn Monroe. The photographer is clearly fascinated by the actress. An extract appears below:
'But the real marvel is the paradox - somehow we know that this extraordinary performance is pure charade, a little girlís caricature of Mae West. The puzzling truth is that Miss Monroe is a make-believe siren, unsophisticated as a Rhine maiden, innocent as a sleepwalker. She is an urchin pretending to be grown up, having the time of her life in mother's moth-eaten finery, tottering about in high-heeled shoes and sipping ginger ale, as though it were a champagne cocktail. There is an otherwordly, a winsome naivete about the child's eyes...'
This unique and charming triptych was greatly treasured by Marilyn herself. Period photos of her home at 12305 Fifth Helena Drive, Brentwood, show the Beaton portrait hanging on the wall, where it was displayed from March 1962 until the actress' sad and untimely death on August 5th, 1962.
This magnificent article of Marilyn Monroe history was originally LOT 22 at the now iconic auction, 'The Personal Property of Marilyn Monroe', Christie's, New York, Sale Number 9216, October 27 & 28, 1999.