A Pinup P&L

Photo: Courtesy of Movie Star News

The thousands of photos that Irving Klaw commissioned of Bettie Page from 1952 to 1957 created an American icon, but the cheesecake business could be fickle. Last month the Chelsea shop Klaw founded, Movie Star News, sold its entire inventory to a memorabilia dealer who plans on putting the archive up for auction. Here, the wages of titillation.

Per-photo-shoot fee paid to Page by Klaw, as of 1952

Klaw’s production cost, per photo

Typical price of individual pinup shots during the fifties

Price for a 100-pack of pinups

$1.5 million
Klaw’s estimated gross earnings in 1955

Average licensing fee Klaw charged for Page images in the sixties

Bail posted by Klaw after he was indicted in 1963 for conspiracy to use the mail to distribute obscene material

Number of years Page spent in Patton State Hospital after being diagnosed with schizophrenia in 1983

$4.125 million
Estimated present value of Movie Star News’ Page negatives, according to new owner Stuart Scheinman

$6 million
Amount earned by Page’s estate in 2011, ranking her thirteenth on Forbes’ list of highest-paid dead celebrities

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A Pinup P&L