Tobacco Humidor and Pipe Holder Once owned by Frank Sinatra, circa late 1940s
A chest-style table top tobacco humidor and pipe holder once belonging to Frank Sinatra. It is made of leather-covered wood, with gold-colored geometric design detailing, a hinged, lift-top lid, with a fold-out front panel that holds pipe-cleaners. The interior has a rack with space for six pipes, and contains five pipes. Also on the inside is a lidded, metal-lined compartment with a humidifying “sponge” holder attached to the lid.
The humidor and pipe rack was given to Louis Vitagliano while Sinatra was closing his office on Robertson Street in Beverly Hills, California, in 1951. It sat on Sinatra’s desk, alongside the cigarette dispenser listed in Lot 82. Louis Vitagliano was a friend of both Sinatra and his business manager, Hank Sanicola, and Sinatra knew that Vitagliano loved pipes. The consignor’s family got the humidor from Mr. Vitagliano, a family friend.
Frank Sinatra was the quintessential popular American singer of the mid-20th century, and more: he was a talented film and stage actor, a sought-after Las Vegas performer, a successful radio and television performer, a “Rat Pack” leader, a friend of the leading celebrities and power figures of the day, an early proponent of Civil Rights, and an early magnet for the kind of overwhelming media attention that today is standard celebrity fare.
Sinatra’s singing career started in the 1940s, and he spanned several genres: swing and big band, moving on to becoming a “crooner” popular with young girls in the 1940s, and then later as a gifted adult performer with a consistent line-up of hits. He even retired in the early 1970s, and then had a comeback a few years later, one that lasted another decade. Throughout his career, he won numerous awards, including 11 Grammy Awards, including several lifetime achievement awards.
Sinatra the actor won the Best Supporting Actor Academy Award for his role in the film “From Here to Eternity”, and was nominated for Best Actor for his starring role in “The Man with the Golden Arm”. He was also in “Ocean’s Eleven” and “The Manchurian Candidate”.
It was the movie “Ocean’s Eleven” that brought open public attention to the “Rat Pack”, that famous and infamous group of the 1960s of which Sinatra was a leading light. The Rat Pack had changing numbers of members, but primarily consisted of Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., Peter Lawford, and Joey Bishop. They were a cohort of friends, fellow actors, and performers, who worked together and played together. Their mystique came from their glamorous life-styles, their sense of fun and style, and the fact that the eyes of the media were on them and kept them in the news.
Frank Sinatra was given two of our nation’s highest awards: in 1985, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal in 1997. He died May 14, 1998 at age 82, in Los Angeles, California. He was mourned around the world.
Estimate: $10,000 - $15,000