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Monroe photo auction fails

HOLLYWOOD, California -- Five nude photographs of Marilyn Monroe have failed to meet the reserve price at a Hollywood auction.

Photographer Tom Kelley, whose father took the pictures in 1949, says he may put them up for auction again.

The photos were taken at the same session as the famous Playboy glamour shot featuring Monroe lounging against a red curtain.

Bidding was held simultaneously at Butterfields auctioneers in Hollywood and online by its parent company, Ebay.

Five bidders offered to pay a total of $840,000 (589,000) for the five images, but that did not meet an undisclosed minimum price set for the photos, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Gary Saal, Kelley's agent, says they had hoped the images would fetch at least $1 million (700,000), as they include copyrights, trademarks and Monroe's signed release for the pictures.

Both Kelly and Butterfields believe potential buyers didn't fully understand what they would be gaining by buying all rights to the photographs.

Saal said: "Tom is obviously disappointed that they didn't sell at what we thought was a right price, but on the other hand they are still his."

Marilyn Monroe

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