Frank Sinatra was a lifelong Catholic whose Christmas songs continue to play on the radio year after year, so it may come as a surprise that he owned a yarmulke. And not just any yarmulke, but a hand-crocheted one with his first name and musical notes stitched around the border. However mysterious its origins may be, that black kippah now has a new owner, having been sold for $9375 at a recent Sotheby’s auction, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reports.
Sotheby’s doesn’t say where or from whom Sinatra got the yarmulke, but it could have been any number of sources. The singer was a longtime supporter of Jewish causes and was awarded the Hollzer Memorial Award by the Los Angeles Jewish Community in 1949. He later received the Medallion of Valor from Israel in 1972 for raising $6.5 million in bond pledges for the country.
The yarmulke, which was originally expected to sell for an affordable $200 to $400, was one of the 301 lots sold as part of the "Lady Blue Eyes: Property of Barbara and Frank Sinatra" auction. The items came from the estate of Barbara Sinatra, who passed away in July 2017 at the age of 90—19 years after her husband died of a heart attack at the age of 82.
The auction raised a grand total of $9.2 million, with part of the proceeds going to the Barbara Sinatra Children's Center in Rancho Mirage, California. The Sinatras founded the nonprofit organization in 1986, and it has been providing counseling to victims of child abuse ever since.
Other highlights of the auction include an untitled painting Sinatra made in 1990, which sold for $137,500, as well as his revised final script for From Here to Eternity ($35,000) and a pair of AKG microphones he owned ($13,750).