Winter Premier Auction 2021

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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 4/3/2021

Hollywood couldn’t have come up with a better story – Marilyn Monroe, the most desirable woman in the world, marries the greatest living ballplayer, Joe DiMaggio. The two icons’ whirlwind courtship and marriage in January 1954 began so promising, with the outgoing personality of the movie star complimenting the ballplayer’s reserved, shy nature. The two appeared at all the famous nightspots and toured the world. Then, as quickly as it had begun, the relationship soured. DiMaggio, used to being the most admired baseball player in the land, saw his fame dimming as his wife’s continued to rise. The pair separated in October 1954 and their divorce finalized the following year. However, over the years the couple’s strong bond endured and by 1962 the two appeared to be close to a reconciliation. Joe always remained silent on the issue, but circumstantial evidence does tend to reinforce an attempt at an eventual reunion. Case-in-point is this 4-page letter Joe penned to Marilyn while on a promotional tour of Europe in the spring of 1962.
Addressed to “Dearest Marilyn” on four pages of Hotel Excelsior stationary. In flowing blue pen DiMaggio tells of his visit to the Vatican and private tour of the Pope’s apartments. The normally taciturn DiMaggio seems to have gotten a thrill at how close he was to His Holiness: “We were told he was writing and to keep our voices to a whisper.” Like every tourist to the Vatican, DiMaggio was taken with the beauty of the Sistine Chapel: “There we were able to appreciate the work that Michelangelo took ten years on his back – high up on a scaffold painting the entire ceiling.” DiMaggio then tells his ex-wife about his visit to Naples where he was touring American military bases. Even three years after his retirement and half a world away he remained a superstar: “I wound it up by paying a visit to the little leaguers where they really put me to work by signing every autograph – gloves, balls, etc. After my little “hello” speech the little leaguers insisted on my taking a few swings. Luckily after my fourth swing I connected and hit it out of the park.” What a thrill that must have been for the American kids so far from home! Joe wraps up his letter to tell of his next stop in Athens and a friend’s arrival in New York. He ends it with, “Will write to you again, as ever, Love, Joe.”
Unfortunately, a Marilyn and Joe reunion was not to be. The movie star was found dead of an accidental overdose of prescription medicine just over four months after DiMaggio penned this letter to his beloved ex. The ballplayer never got over his one true love, reportedly placing a standing order for a dozen red roses to be placed on her grave three times a week.
The four sheets of Hotel Excelsior letterhead shows toning and light edge wear. There are two horizontal folds from mailing and a small brown stain present at the bottom of the “J” in DiMaggio’s signature on the last page. The pages come with the original April 8, 1962 postmarked envelope, which shows the expected wear from overseas mailing and has been torn when opened by Marilyn upon its receipt. This unique glimpse into the post-divorce lives of Joe and Marilyn comes with a 1954 press photograph of the pair taken during their marriage. Originally sold at Sotheby's in 1995 and has been kept in the Al Tapper Collection ever since.

Accompanied by full Letters of Authenticity from PSA/DNA and Beckett Authentication Services.

Estimate: $75,000+

Bidding
Current Bidding (Reserve Has Been Met)
Minimum Bid: $20,000
Final prices include buyers premium.: $51,450
Number Bids: 8
Auction closed on Saturday, April 3, 2021.
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