Sinatra's Piano, Jaguar And Other Items On Auction Block; Queen's Mother On The Mend

Posted: November 26, 1995

A metal mailbox labeled "F. Sinatra," a Bosendorfer grand piano, a 1976 Jaguar coupe and a John Wayne statue are among the possessions that Frank Sinatra and his wife, Barbara, are putting on the block Friday at Christie's in New York. Other items from their former estate in Rancho Mirage, Calif., include 1930s-era radios, jade figurines, a collection of American Impressionist paintings highlighted by William Merritt Chase's "A Memory: In an Italian Villa," valued at $450,000, and a golf cart complete with stereo system and the inscription "Ol' Blue Eyes," estimated to bring $4,000 to $6,000. "We have always loved beautiful things - it's as simple as that," the couple says in a letter included in the sale catalog. "We admire people who paint and sculpt, just as we appreciate the talented composers, lyricists, musicians and performers we've known."


* The Queen Mother is recovering well from her recent hip-replacement operation, Buckingham Palace said Friday, and is expected to be released from King Edward VII's Hospital for Officers in London this week. The 95-year-old mother of Queen Elizabeth II is "looking forward to a hard winter, so she can go skating in Sandringham," a royal residence in Norfolk, eastern England, said Princess Anne, her granddaughter.


* Johnny Depp, who lives in California, has bought his mother, Betty Sue Palmer, a horse farm in Lexington, Ky. It's on 43 acres, has an eight-stall horse barn, and set him back $950,000. Palmer, who has a horse, is expected to move in by Christmas.


* Who is that man with Angela Bassett in Waiting to Exhale? Fans will recognize Wesley Snipes, in an uncredited appearance. The movie is about four women in search of a good man - a man like Snipes, perhaps, who's in two scenes but wanted no billing because, "I didn't want them to use my status as a tool to sell the movie without giving credit to the women."


* You give these Hollywood types a yard, they want to take a mile. Consider Pierce Brosnan. Now that the former television thespian has delivered his first James Bond flick, Goldeneye, safely to the big screen, he's already talking creative control. "I will have more of a voice in the next movies," he declares in Entertainment Weekly. His brain is working overtime on how to shake up and stir the genre. "I'd love Quentin Tarantino to direct. He would have the courage to (take) Bond where he hasn't gone before." He sees Silence of the Lambs star Anthony Hopkins as a Bond villain and Sharon Stone shimmying on screen as a Bond girl.


* Author Salman Rushdie, in Buenos Aires to promote The Moor's Last Sigh, said last week that "there's been a big change in language from Iran" concerning the death threat that has hung over his head since 1989, when the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini declared The Satanic Verses blasphemous and ordered Rushdie killed. Rushdie said he is encouraged by dialogue between the European Union and Iran on the death threat, and confident that it will eventually be lifted. Meanwhile, he continues to live under tight security.


* Exulting in her election to the Philippine Congress, Imelda Marcos has announced that through the kindness of friends, she has been able to replenish the thousands of shoes confiscated when she and her husband, former President Ferdinand E. Marcos, fled the palace after raiding the country's coffers. ''You'd be surprised," she said slyly. "I have more shoes now than before."


* Is Queen Elizabeth II doing anything differently since taking a call last month from a Canadian prankster who claimed to be Prime Minister Jean Chretien and chatted up Her Majesty for 17 minutes? "Put it this way," said the queen, answering a dignitary's question: "The phone rang twice tonight, and I did not answer it."

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