The Rock & Roll Pop Culture Auction November 2020
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This Nikon camera (Nippon Kogaku Japan, with serial number 64460989) was used by Marilyn Monroe and photographer Bert Stern during Marilyn’s historic "Last Sitting" photo shoot during the "Nikon" session. Legendary fashion photographer Bert Stern was commissioned by Vogue Magazine to take a series of photographs of Marilyn Monroe in the nude, the shoots took place in 1962, six weeks before her untimely passing. Stern took a series of over 2,700 photograph, which were taken in 3 daily sessions (from late June 1962 to early July)

While props, jewelry, clothing and accessories were all provided by Vogue magazine, this camera was actually Bert Stern's personal camera which was used to photograph Marilyn throughout the shoot. This camera was also used as a prop by Marilyn Monroe after she spontaneously grabbed Stern's camera and started posing with it. Stern, to not break the momentum used one of his spare cameras and continued snapping Marilyn.

Stern can be seen photographing Monroe with this camera during her "The Make-Up and Hairdressing Session". Monroe can be seen getting her hair touched up by Kenneth Battelle in a "mirror selfie" taken by Stern. Stern and Marilyn also took a more intimate mirror selfie while she was lying nude in the bed, both photos show this camera as the one used by Stern.

This camera is culturally significant for a number of reasons. One reason being in addition to Stern using the camera for these session, the camera was also used by Marilyn and was she photographed posing with this camera during the "Nikon Sitting" which was one of the last sessions of the shoot. The photos taken during the “Last Sitting” were the first nude photos of Monroe since 1949. Many of the nudes show the star posing with diaphanous scarves, paper flowers and pearls in bright but diffuse natural light that gives the photos a dreamlike quality. Also, Marilyn and Stern can also be seen posing for a selfie together with this camera. Over 50 years before selfies became a thing, Monroe has always been a trendsetter!

The camera was Stern's camera which he used throughout the shoot Stern’s images of Monroe have cemented themselves in pop culture history. Some of the photos taken during her "Last Sitting" reflect some of the most famous photos images of Marilyn Monroe and the camera was used to take some of the last photos of Marilyn. Stern took countless photos of Marilyn with this camera, some of which can be seen by copying and pasting these link into your browser: https://youtu.be/DpXixgkR3II and well as this: https://www.google.com/search?q=Bert+Stern+Last+Sitting+Camera&rlz=1C1SQJL_enUS874US874&sxsrf=ALeKk01QaU1RpKLYhnT9J27U41Ex00tjnw:1594998124354&tbm=isch&source=iu&ictx=1&fir=6Dx5uocyBxIQpM%252CAc-cPhHq_P1x5M%252C_&vet=1&usg=AI4_-kRS6OGxf_HWnwAehUUiKY3k3BIvlA&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwji8vmEx9TqAhVEYTUKHffdBL4Q9QEwAHoECAoQEg&biw=1600&bih=708#imgrc=6Dx5uocyBxIQpM.

Provenance: Originally from the estate of Bert Stern. This is the first time this camera has been available for public auction after being in the personal collection of Stern for over 50 years.

In very good condition, this extraordinarily historic camera comes with a copy of the original signed letter referring to it from Bert Stern and a Gotta Have Rock & Roll™ Certificate of Authenticity. Although photos of Marilyn and Stern with the camera during these historic photos shoots are not shown here, they can be found online, many of them, by copying and pasting the links listed above.
Marilyn Monroe Historic "Last Sitting" Nikon Camera Used by Bert Stern and Marilyn
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