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Marilyn Monroe Cover Image

Estimated value: $10,000-15,000
Photographer: Unknown
Gelatin silver print, December 1953

Marilyn Monroe was an iconic sexual symbol in the 1950’s, and her appearances in Playboy magazine helped solidify her in this role. The December 1953 issue was the first Playboy magazine ever released, and Monroe graced the cover.

The photo was used to tease readers into the magazine, promising nude photos of Monroe, which included the controversial and now infamous shots from a 1949 photo shoot. The photo was taken on a city street by an unknown photographer. The white border around her figure was done to more easily place her on a white background for the original magazine. This flagship issue was reprinted in 2005, although the photo was altered slightly in the reprint.

Photo: Christie's