Personally Owned and Worn Fedora Hat !
Possibly the most extraordinary Frank Sinatra piece we have ever acquired. We rarely acquire personal items of celebrities, however once in a while only when solid provenance is available do we make an exception. This is one of those rare cases. This museum worthy item comes with detailed written letter of provenance from an extraordinary person and friend of Frank Sinatra, ALONG with a photo of the legendary Joe Franklin himself holding the hat.
One of the single most image-defining items associated with Sinatra (aside from the blue eyes, of course), offered here is a vintage black Bloomingdales fedora hat personally owned and worn by the legendary crooner himself! Personally gifted by Sinatra to famed talk show host Joe Franklin and his "Memory Lane" collection of memorabilia, Franklin states in the letter of provenance, "This wonderful and long-cherished item of Frank Sinatra and Entertainment history...has been a very important part of my Memory Lane Collection of Memorabilia...Frank retired this particular fedora hat to my care in 1979-80...when he was peforming a "spring cleaning" of his New York City residence. Frank was a guest of mine on numerous occasions both on Radio and Television, and I was grateful to him for his friendship." * See the enlarged image of the original Joe Franklin COA and Letter of Provenance that is included with this historical museum quality piece.
Although the hat shows wear and Frank's sweat stains can be seen into the inner silk lining, it is well preserved and in excellent condition. Accompanied by a detailed Letter of Authenticity from Joe Franklin as well as an image of Franklin holding up the hat.
About Joe Franklin:
You can find countless references of information on Joe Franklin online (just type his name in Google). Also, an extensive Wikipedia page is written on him. Also, there are several videos on YouTube (see below) including an interview in which he states his two best friends were Rudy Vallee and Frank Sinatra. Also, you can read a great NY Times article about Joe Franklin here. We cannot overstate the historical and collectible value of this item.
*UPDATE: On January 6, 2009, I contacted and spoke to Joe Franklin about this hat. Mr Franklin well remembers the hat (and regrets sending it to an auction house and said he would love to have the hat back, he made me a surprising offer). He recalls the time Frank Sinatra, while in Mr. SInatra's Waldorf apartment, offered him the hat. He said he clearly recalls when this took place because Mr. Sinatra also gave him two bibles. Joe then went on to tell me he had a couple other extraordinary items such as Boris Karloff's makeup kit which was given to Joe while Karloff was doing a play in NYC (I think Joe said play was Peter Pan). He then told me (and then sent me photos) that the kit originally had Karloff’s dentures. The dentures were later confirmed authentic by Los Angeles forensic dental surgeon, Dr. Jay Grossman – an expert government witness, and John Travolta’s Personal dentist.
This is a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Here are just a couple of several YouTube videos on Joe Franklin (aka "The King of Nostalgia"):