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Over the course of 11 days and three auctions, Sotheby’s saw a total of $9.2 million during their Lady Blue Eyes: Property of Barbara and Frank Sinatra sale. The sale attracted collectors and Sinatra fans with the chance to purchase film, entertainment and political memorabilia, fine art, jewellery, personal items, books, and glassware. 301 of the 304 lots offered exclusively online were sold to make for a 99% sale through rate smashing pre-sale online auction estimates. On December 4th, a sale featuring the jewellery belonging to the Sinatras realized $4.7 million, the December 6th auction brought in $3.1 million. Meanwhile the online sale ran from the 27th of November through December 7th bringing in totals of $1.5 million with 74% of the lots achieved higher than estimated prices. ‘It was a fight to the very end’ read the Sotheby’s auction summary for the online portion of the sale referring to the 3,000 bids placed during it by 300 bidders from over 30 countries.
For Sotheby’s Chairman of the Fiduciary Client Group & Valuations in the Americas Mari-Claude Jiménez, Sinatra ‘is a legendary figure whose appeal continues to resonate for fans across generations and the robust bidding we saw from nearly 1,000 bidders from over 30 countries speaks to his enduring status as an American icon. The success of our online-only sale alone is a testament to the fact that collectors and Sinatra enthusiasts alike embraced the opportunity to purchase a piece of this glamourous couple’s legacy – at all price points.’
The sale did more than just benefit Sinatra enthusiasts and the auction house, though. Portions of the proceeds from the week-long sale will go to the Barbara Sinatra Children’s Center in Rancho Mirage, California – a non-profit organization set up by the couple in 1986 providing counselling for children who have been physically, sexually, and emotionally abused.
Of the Sinatra’s collection, their art collected by American artists was among the highest selling pieces. A portrait titled Sinatra: An American Classic (Portrait of Frank Sinatra) by renowned American painter Norman Rockwell painted in 1973 sold for $687,000 (estimated $80,000-$120,000) after a tense four-minute bidding war between six interested parties. A final revised copy of the screenplay ‘From Here to Eternity’ went for $35,000 (estimated for $7,000-$9,000).
More sale highlights included an untitled 1990 painting of Sinatra that sold for $137,500, more than seven times it’s presale estimate. A second untitled painting by the singer sold for $93,750 after 44 bids crushing its presale estimate of $2,000-$3,000. After 32 bids, a pair of Sinatra’s AKG microphones sold for $13,750 (estimated to sale for $500-$800).