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August 14, 2014updated 11 Jan 2016 2:29pm

Marilyn Monroe’s red dress among cultural artefacts on display at Christie’s

By Spear's

Author: Aoife Moriarty

Christie’s South Kensington is to hold an exhibition of items of cultural significance from the collection of former banker David Gainsborough Roberts.

Famous and Infamous: Highlights from the Collection of David Gainsborough Roberts is free to the public and will run at Christie’s South Kensington auction house until September 2nd.

The unique display features some of the items collected by Roberts since 1989, including the red dress worn by Monroe in the 1953 film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. The Hollywood legend famously wore the dress to perform the movie’s opening number Two Little Girls from Little Rock, alongside co-star Jane Russell.

Marilyn Monroe gown

The red sequinned evening gown made for Marilyn Monroe as Lorelei Lee in the 1953 film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

Roberts’ vast collection spans 150 years of iconography from the worlds of film, music, royalty – even the Wild West. Chief among the historical highlights are Lawrence of Arabia’s silk headdress, a slice of Queen Victoria’s wedding cake and a bulletproof vest from the ‘death car’ of Bonnie and Clyde. A stetson once owned by John Wayne also features.

Commenting on the new exhibition, Gainsborough Roberts said: ‘In 1989 I bought a Marilyn Monroe film costume from Christie’s and my life changed completely. Although I have always been a collector of antiques since before I could read or write, that day in 1989 brought out the serious collector in me.

‘Although I have put on dozens of exhibitions worldwide, this is my first one with Christie’s. I hope all you fellow collectors enjoy this small selection of highlights from my collection.’

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Famous and Infamous: Highlights from the Collection of David Gainsborough Roberts runs until September 2 at Christie’s South Kensington.

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