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November 14, 2018 10:31 am

Marilyn Monroe’s Jewish Prayer Book Sells at Auction for $21,000 to ‘Obsessed Fan’

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

American actress Marilyn Monroe’s personal prayer book that was auctioned on Nov. 12, 2018. Photo: J Greenstein & Company, Inc.

A Jewish prayer book owned by American actress Marilyn Monroe sold on Monday at an auction house in Long Island, NY, for $21,000.

Jonathan Greenstein, the owner of J. Greenstein & Company, Inc., the auction house that sold the item, told The Algemeiner that the buyer was a middle-aged Long Island resident who was a collector of Marilyn Monroe memorabilia and an “obsessed fan” of the actress, model, and singer, who converted to Judaism in 1956 prior to marrying Jewish-American playwright Arthur Miller.

The prayer book, a cream-colored edition of The Form of Daily Prayers: According to the Custom of the German and Polish Jews, was published in 1922.

The auction on Monday was attended by many people, Greenstein added, and the starting bid for the prayer book was $4,600. Greenstein said the item reached a bid “significantly” higher than what was expected, and that the original estimate bid for the item was $5,000-8,000.

While the item was sold for $21,000, Greenstein explained that the buyer ended up paying $26,250, plus sales tax, because of the 25 percent premium that is paid to the auction house, its fee for selling the item.

Monroe and Miller divorced after five years of marriage, but Monroe continued to maintain her Jewish identity with the help of Rabbi Robert Goldburg of Congregation Mishkan Israel in New Haven, Conn., who oversaw her conversion and marriage.

A copy of a Union Prayer Book for Jewish Worship, made out to Monroe with the name “Marilyn Monroe Miller” written on its cover, sold in 1999 for $19,250.

Watch Monday night’s auction below:

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