Marilyn Monroe’s menorah expected to fetch £100K at auction

Marilyn Monroe’s menorah expected to fetch £100K at auction

Hollywood icon was gifted the musical menorah by Arthur Miller's parents, following her marriage to the playwright and conversion to Judaism

Francine Wolfisz is the Features Editor for Jewish News.

Marilyn Monroe’s personal menorah, which features a wind-up mechanism playing Israel’s national anthem, is expected to fetch up to $150,000 (£115,000) when it goes under the hammer in New York, next week.

The Hollywood icon was gifted the musical menorah by the parents of Arthur Miller, after she decided to embrace Judaism following her marriage to the famous playwright in 1956.

Monroe who had just turned 30, never had a real family of her own and was eager to join the family of her new husband by becoming Jewish.

She took the decision seriously, studying Judaic texts with the Miller family’s rabbi, Robert E Goldburg, before becoming fully Jewish.

The menorah was treasured by Monroe and found among her possessions when she died alone in 1962, aged 36.

Now a private collector who purchased it 20 years ago at Christies has asked Kestenbaum & Company to auction the menorah next Thursday, and experts are predicting it will fetch a six-figure sum.

The menorah was briefly shown in public at The Jewish Museum of New York as part of the exhibition, Becoming Jewish: Warhol’s Liz and Marilyn, as well as at the Museum of American Jewish History, Philadelphia.

Company director  Daniel Kestenbaum says: “Marilyn Monroe’s spellbinding magnetism knows no bounds. We are thrilled to be able to offer Marilyn’s personal Menorah at auction next week.

“The market for memorabilia from the Golden Age of Hollywood goes from strength to strength, as does Fine Judaica, and as such this extraordinary item has remarkable provenance. We anticipate substantial interest from competing collectors.”

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