Many auctions and sales of Rat Pack memorabilia have come and gone, but the authenticity of these items are sometimes suspect. Finding items that strictly relate to the Rat Pack and not a specific member himself is difficult, as each member was a star in his own right. Furthermore, having an item or a set of items with the marks of all 5 members adds to the difficulty.
Pricey Private Collections
Recently Debbie Reynolds sold off her set of collectible Hollywood memorabilia for a total of $28 million. Of course, she sold many items at the auctions, including clothing from the films Gone with the Wind and Citizen Kane. The Rate Pack item was a tuxedo ensemble, although the specific singer who donned the suit wasn’t specified to the public. It seems much of the physical sets and outfits used during that time have either disappeared or are being closely held in private collections.
A Signature worth its Weight in Gold
There are stories floating around the internet claiming that cheques signed by the famous artist Salvador Dali were more valuable as a signature than it was an instrument cashable by the bank. A piece of paper was recently sold for nearly $6,000 at an auction:
- Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford, Joey Bishop, Richard Conte, Dan Daily, Dean Martin, and Frank Sinatra have all signed a piece of paper
- The paper is simply Sand Hotel stationary, which is where the singers were housed during the filming of the Original Ocean’s 11.
- Dean Martin signs the sheet twice
An average piece of paper weighs less than 6 grams, which means the buyer of the memorabilia paid over $1,000 per gram, comparable to the price of precious metals or gems by weight.
Christie’s has also sold a business contract regarding the use of Sinatra’s photograph and likeness, signed by the smooth crooner himself. The final bid was set at $1,184, which is not as impressive as a note written on a hotel notepad but still valuable nonetheless. Forgeries of Sinatra’s signature is particularly high as the singer rarely gave out his autograph, and when he did, they were often accompanied by an inscription. In the world of autographs, personalized messages lowers the value of the signature itself, although the rule isn’t always accurate.