Object of desire: millionaires investing in Monroe memorabilia

Margaret Barrett, the director of Entertainment Memorabilia for Bonhams & Butterfields is on the phone from LA. She says she is sitting beside a table that once belonged to Marilyn Monroe with a book of Jim Morrison poetry on top of it. “Two of my favourite icons together in one place,” she laughs down the phone. “Sometimes people come into my department and start moving things around to sit down and I tell them to be really careful, some of those things used to belong to Marilyn.”Barrett has to be cautious, celebrity memorabilia is big business these days and it doesn’t get any bigger than Monroe. If you want a major return on your millions forget investing in shares or property, you need an item of clothing that once belonged to the world’s most famous screen goddess. “I attended a 2009 sale at Julien’s and watched in disbelief as a simple white terry robe that belonged to Marilyn sold for US$120,000,” says life-long Monroe collector Scott Fortner. “In 1999 it sold for US$18,400.” To read Andy's story as it appeared in Prestige click images above.

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