Recently discovered from an estate auction an incredible collection of vintage Frank Sinatra memorabilia including several Authentic autographed items like rare books, concert programs and menus. What made this find so extraordinary is that the autographs were Genuine. Now that may not sound unusual. However, genuine signatures of Frank Sinatra are quite rare as the majority of his autographs on the market were signed by a secretary or are outright forgeries. It is estimated as much as 90-95% of Mr. Sinatra's autographs for sale are Not genuine.. So when I came across this collection, it was quite amazing.
Meanwhile, curious minds began to wonder how one person could have
acquired so many genuine Sinatra items? So many items that were acquired in person, many documented with the exact
time and place the signatures were rendered. It had to be someone with special access to Frank Sinatra in the early
days of his career as most of the items were signed in the early-mid 50s. And, most of the items were inscribed to “Phyllis”. So
WHO was Phyllis?
Well, turns out Phyllis was the President of the Frank Sinatra Fan club beginning in the late 40s. Here is a copy of a photo of Frank Sinatra and Phyllis in the early 60s, autographed to Phyllis. Also below is an image of a 1948 Frank Sinatra Fan Club membership card in which Phyllis signs as the club's President. Phyllis amassed an extraordinary collection and we were able to acquire some choice pieces. Including three rare books signed by Mr. Sinatra (the first we have ever seen). A historical collection truly worth preserving. See some of these historical treasures below.
Note: Like many major
celebrities, most of Mr Sinatra’s genuine autographs were personalized to someone. Some collectors don’ t like inscriptions,
while other collectors do. I personally don’t
mind inscriptions because not only is it additional handwriting from that celebrity
but it also adds to the authenticity. Not
many autograph forgers will risk providing additional evidence of their forgery
handiwork by adding an inscription. For example, for such notables as Judy
Garland, Frank Sinatra, Bela Lugosi , JFK and others their handwriting was exclusively unique. Hence, even if a forger’s signature is a close match the other
elements, like inscriptions will be the dead giveaway.
Meanwhile what some people do is mat out the inscription during the framing process. For example, I will mat a photo of Mr Sinatra and at the bottom of the mat have a separate opening for the signature. If my client does not want the inscription showing, only the signature will appear in the autograph window. On the other hand, others will actually cut out the signature only from the autograph paper. Many dealers do this and sell it as an un-inscribed autograph. We would rather let the new owner decide if he/she wants to alter the autographed piece to accommodate the final presentation.