The private treasures of Frank Sinatra and his wife, Barbara, were a multimillion-dollar hit at auction. Sotheby’s reported Friday that the couple’s entertainment memorabilia, art, jewelry, books and other personal items sold for $9.2 million — about twice their pre-sale estimates. The top lot was Barbara Sinatra’s 20-carat diamond engagement ring, given to her in the bottom of a champagne glass, which went for $1.7 million. “Frank tossed a bunch of diamonds on a bed and said ‘pick the one you want’,” Quig Bruning from Sotheby’s said last month. “Barbara picked the one she liked, she had it mounted in a ring. Frank gave it to her in a glass of champagne.”
Other popular items included, a Norman Rockwell portrait of Sinatra, which the singer commissioned, sold for $687,000 and a script for ‘From Here to Eternity,’ the movie for which he won an Oscar, went for $35,000. The USA Drinking Team jacket marked “Coach” that Sinatra wore for nights on the town with his friends sold for $35,000 — 70 times its $500 estimate. A police badge given to Sinatra by Essex County New Jersey and inscribed “chairman of the board, Frank Sinatra” went for a whopping $18,750 and a hand-crocheted yarmulke emblazoned with Frank’s name fetched $9,375. Some of the proceeds will benefit the Barbara Sinatra Children’s Center in Rancho Mirage, California, that counsels victims of physical, sexual and emotional abuse.
Frank and Barbara got married in 1976. They were married for 22 years, until Frank’s death in in 1998. Barbara passed away at the age of 90 in 2017.
Read more about Frank Sinatra’s life.