At auction, Lena Horne's belongings were snapped up for much more than expected. A reversible mink coat was sold for $8,125; a small Louis Vuitton trunk with the name "Lena Horne Hayton" inscribed was sold for $20,000.
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My Mom went to Grade school and was friends with Lena Horne's daughter Gail in NYC. She was the only black girl in the school (as far as my mother knew the only one up to that point in Spence's history). Most of the parents wouldn't let their kids play at Lena Horne's house (the combo of being black and a sexy starlett was a lethal combo among the Park Avenue crowd) but my grandfather, being the progressive he was who had great disdain for his fellow wealthy Upper East siders, had absolutely no problem and encouraged it. When she went to visit her for a playdate she got to see Lena's bedroom. She said it was the most ridiculously opulent bedroom she has ever seen and they spent hours upon hours playing in it pretending they were just like Lena, something she loved as a ten year old girl. But what she remembers most was Lena's bed, which was apparently enormous and was something that would have put Cleopatra to shame.