The photo inscribed “I love you Joe, Marilyn”, sold for $240,000 (£196,080) at Heritage.

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The photo inscribed “I love you Joe, Marilyn” and initially valued at $40,000-60,000, it went on to sell at $240,000 (£196,080) at a sale that ended on December 1.

When they first met the baseball player Joe DiMaggio was the greater celebrity, but by the end of 1953 Marilyn had become a hugely popular public figure while DiMaggio, by then retired from professional baseball, craved privacy and hated publicity.

The couple nevertheless wed in 1954, but the first cracks in their marriage began to appear while on honeymoon.

DiMaggio became instantly jealous if she was admired by strange men or if she wore revealing dresses that he felt embarrassed him in public. The most notable instance came when she was filming the famous subway scene in The Seven Year Itch.

Director Billy Wilder had invited members of the press and public to watch but DiMaggio was incensed by what he saw and two weeks later, Marilyn announced that she was seeking a divorce.