London: Rare snaps of legendary Hollywood actress, Marilyn Monroe are to go under the hammer at a Florida auction later this year.

The collection, which contains an image of Monroe posing on the beach in a striped bikini, will be sold off in December to settle the debts of the photographer, Joseph Jasgur, according to reports.

Darren Julien, chief of Julien's Auctions, said the photos have not been widely distributed and the collection has been locked up in court battles for more than two decades.

"It's really hard to put a value on something like this, because it's rare and not just for the collector. These are probably the most significant images of Marilyn that are available because they're so early, from the first part of her career, and it's rare to have images like these where you're selling the rights, too," Julien said.

He declined to estimate how much the images and copyrights will sell for at the company's 'Icons & Idols' auction, to be held December 2 to 4 in Beverly Hills.

The photos include a black-and-white head shot of the future Monroe wearing a jaunty beret, another of her in a halter top, and a color picture of her smiling in a striped bikini on the sand. Julien said that Jasgur was hired by the Blue Book modeling agency to shoot the then-unknown Norma Jeane.

(Agencies)