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Gown Marilyn Monroe Wore To Sing Happy Birthday To JFK Sells For $4.8MILLION

Last sold at Christies for $1.26 million

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Photo Courtesy The Hollywood Archive

Marilyn Monroe sings "Happy Birthday" to President John F. Kennedy at Madison Square Garden, for his upcoming 45th birthday. Photo Courtesy The Hollywood Archive

The skin-tight, crystal-encrusted gown Marilyn Monroe wore during her sultry 1962 performance of "Happy Birthday Mr. President" for John F. Kennedy's 45th birthday fetched $4.8 million at Julien's Auctions in Los Angeles Thursday night, The Guardian reports.

The the highest bid of $4.8 million came from, none other than, Ripley's Believe It or Not museum. This is substantially more than the asking price of $3 million, surpassing the previous most expensive dress sold at auction – Monroe's white costume from The Seven Year Itch – which went for $4.6m in 2011. This dress has been up for auction previously at Christies where it sold for $1.26 million in 1999.

Edward Meyer, vice-president of Ripley's Believe It Or Not, told the Press Association: "We believe this is the most iconic piece of pop culture that there is. In the 20th century I cannot think of one single item that tells the story of the 1960s as well as this dress. It's a new world record for a dress."

Meyer also said it was likely the dress would go on display at Ripley's Believe It Or Not in Hollywood before going on tour to different branches around the world.

The custom-made Jean Louis dress features over 2,500 hand stitched crystals on a flesh colored bodice. It was rumored to be so tight that Monroe had to be sewn into it, right before her performance on May 19, 1962.

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