A magnificent assortment of Frank Sinatra items dating to the mid-and-late 1960s, a significant period for Sinatra that included his whirlwind marriage and divorce from actress Mia Farrow, as well as a prolific stretch of movies and albums that include September of My Years, A Man and His Music, and the recording of his iconic single ‘My Way.’ The collection is highlighted by a stage-worn tuxedo shirt and bow tie, a signed photograph gifted to “romantic-interest” Aileen Mehle, a well-known NYC high society columnist who wrote under the pseudonym “Suzy Knickerbocker,” and a postcard laced with sarcasm from Farrow written just two months after their wedding, all of which are backed by rock solid provenance and accompaniments from those closest to ‘Ole Blue Eyes.’ The collection is as follows:
Sensational stage-worn combo of a tuxedo shirt and butterfly bow tie personally-owned and -worn by entertainment icon Frank Sinatra, both of which are attractively displayed in a shadowbox frame measuring 24 x 27.25 x 2.75. The off-white tuxedo shirt, custom-made by Nat Wise of Sunset Strip, California, features a pleated front with oyster pearl buttons, with the inner collar featuring the original Nat Wise tag and two lower tags marked “Frank Sinatra” and “June 1966.” The black silk barathea single-end bow tie, made by Washington Tremlett Limited, is secured neatly to the neck area.
An archivally framed display containing a terrific semi-glossy 10.5 x 13.5 silver gelatin photo of Sinatra as Col. Joseph L. Ryan from the 1965 World War II adventure film Von Ryan's Express, signed and inscribed in black felt tip to gossip columnist and inamorata Aileen Mehle, “For Aileen—Whom I adore. Francis, 1969.” The framed display, which measures 33 x 18.75, also contains a glamorous glossy photo of Mehle, a Western Union telegram from Sinatra to Mehle dated February 11, 1964 (“I love you too, Francis Albert Sinatra”), and an intimate yet secretarially signed typed letter from Sinatra to Mehle, dated December 11, 1968, which reads: “To remind you that I expect you in Palm Springs from December 20 on. I would love you to stay with me forever, but I shall leave the length of your visit to your discretion.” The fact that this letter was undoubtedly dictated by Sinatra, but typed and signed by his secretary, makes it all the more amusing. Who else but the “Chairman of the Board” would dictate a love letter and allow his secretary to sign it? The original mailing envelope is included, as is a original vintage photo of Sinatra at the bar with Mehle and friends, which was featured in a lengthy 2017 Vanity Fair article that detailed Mehle’s relationship with Sinatra. You won’t likely find three pieces of such unique correspondence containing sweet content from Ol’ Blue Eyes to a single love interest.
A sharp-tongued ALS from Mia Farrow signed “Mrs. Sinatra,” penned in red ink on the reverse of a 5.75 x 4 Royal Hotel Copenhagen postcard, postmarked on August 31, 1966, addressed to her dear friend, the playwright Leonard Gershe (“Butterflies Are Free”), in full: “We are in one of the ugliest hotels in the world—look how it ruins this beautiful city. I’m hoping the managers read this card. I will leave it on the desk face up. We are very famous & they are very nosy. I love & miss you, xxx.” The postcard is matted with photos of the Royal Hotel Copenhagen and of Gershe standing with the newly wedded Mr. and Mrs. Sinatra; archivally framed to an overall size of 19.25 x 16
A lovely original semi-glossy 8 x 12.25 silver gelatin portrait of Sinatra and Farrow that was photographed by friend and actor Roddy McDowall. Includes the original mount backing, which bears McDowall’s photography credit stamp. Archivally matted and framed to an overall size of 13.25 x 17.5. The collection is in overall fine condition, with expected wear from use to shirt and bow tie.
An issue of Vanity Fair magazine from February 2017, which features a 13-page article on Mehle entitled ‘Suzy Had the Scoop!,’ which offers terrific insight into her two-year relationship with Sinatra following his divorce from Farrow in August 1968; a vintage color satin-finish 7 x 5 candid photo of Barbara Sinatra cutting a cake with the guiding hand of groom Sinatra taken by Mehle at the latter’s wedding reception in 1976; a glossy 8 x 10 wire photo of Sinatra posing with his daughter Nancy; and a TLS from Nancy Sinatra to Mehle, dated February 13, 1986, which thanks the latter for her help with the book ‘Frank Sinatra, My Father,’ in part: “I didn’t want this special time to go by without thanking you for your help. No book about Dad would have been the same without the personal recollections of his friends...You helped to make this possible. It is truly a dream come true. For your time, for your energy, for all it took for you to translate your memories into words, once again, I thank you.” \
The shirt is accompanied by a framed photo of Sinatra wearing an identical shirt, as well as by a signed letter of authenticity from Sinatra’s former co-manager, Tony Oppedisano, which reads, in part: “I served as Frank Sinatra’s co-manager for many years, which resulted in my close friendship with him during the last eight years of his life. Frank had many shirts custom-made by Nat Wise on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood, including the shirt shown in the photo below. This shirt was made in June 1966…and has his name and date sewn into the inner collar as was typically done for Frank by Nat Wise. I confirm that Frank gifted this shirt to a woman he became friends with who moved to Los Angeles from NYC and worked as a novelist / screenwriter. She had requested a piece of his stage memorabilia while visiting his home in Beverly Hills and he graciously provided this shirt.”
The bow tie is accompanied by an original Baltimore Sun archive photograph that depicts Sinatra likely wearing the bow tie, as well as by a letter of authenticity from The Golden Closet, which is signed by Sinatra’s personal aide and costumer, Michael Castellano, and reads, in part: “This butterfly bow tie was worn by legendary entertainer Frank Sinatra in numerous live performances and public appearances…I began working with Sinatra in 1976 after replacing his previous personal aid, Eddie Fitzsimmons. I quickly became Sinatra’s ‘right hand man’ and performed numerous duties for Mr. Sinatra while maintaining his stage and personal wardrobe collection. I received this tie as a personal gift from Sinatra prior to leaving his service in 1981.”
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.