Original glossy 4.75 x 3.75 candid photo from circa 1928, showing Norma Jeane as a toddler at the beach, with her cousin Ida Mae pictured sitting on her back; the reverse of the photo is annotated in pencil in Monroe's teenage hand: "'gidy up horsy,' at the beach, Donna & me, I'm the horse." The child who Monroe identifies as "Donna" has been attributed in various other photos as the daughter of Olive and Marion Monroe, the latter being the brother of Gladys Pearl Baker, Marilyn's birth mother; whether "Donna" is a nickname or middle name for Ida Mae remains unknown. In fine condition, with scattered light creasing.
This photograph may have originally come from the collection of Grace Goddard, Norma Jeane's legal guardian. Various other original childhood and teenage photographs with Norma Jeane's youthful handwriting were sold at Christie's Auctions in New York, in September 2001, with those early images deriving from the personal collection of Grace Goddard; those photographs were given to her by either Marilyn Monroe or by Monroe's mother, Gladys Baker. The handwriting on the reverse matches that of other examples from Monroe's teenage years, which was made anytime before she left home at the age of 16. A remarkably early portrait of Monroe as a nearly two-year-old.