Grave markers have held a meaningful place in countless human hearts over many centuries. Not only do they pay tribute to a life and individual through name, design, and various details, but they often give those who visit the grave site an important physical touchstone.
A fingertip can trace a raised name, and paper and pencil are often brandished to create a moving memento.
Marilyn Monroe's grave marker is undoubtedly one of the most recognizable of all markers found anywhere. The movie star's crypt at Pierce Brothers Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery regularly draws lifelong fans, the curious, and those who still count the legend as a personal icon.
And now, someone owns Marilyn Monroe's grave marker, after bidding the top amount at a Beverly Hills auction.
That auction took place on Friday, June 26 and Saturday, June 27 at Julien's Auctions, and, no, the marker that currently denotes Ms. Monroe's final resting place is still in Westwood, where it has remained in regal fashion for decades. Rather, the bronze casting that went on the auction block was a former marker, made by Gasser-Olds, a bronze foundry located in Vernon.
On the marker: Marilyn Monroe stands out, in raised letters, and below? The dates denoting her life: 1926-1962.
A Julien's posting reveals that this marker "was removed in the 1970s and replaced with a new grave marker." Where did the older marker go? To a Gasser-Olds employee.
As for that final bid that brought the grave marker to the top bidder? It was $209,000.
Paying one's respects to Ms. Monroe, a star among stars in the ultimate Hollywood pantheon, is still done every day by visiting fans, who frequently leave lipstick-heavy kisses on the white marble that fronts the performer's grave site.
To see other items of Ms. Monroe's that were auctioned, including a famous flowery dress seen in "Something's Gotta Give," click.