So, What’s an Elvis Autograph Worth? — Part 6

September 10, 1971 Elvis Presley Signed Performance Contract for John Wilkinson - Close Up

This series on Elvis autographs has been great for driving search engine traffic to ElvisBlog. There sure are a lot of folks out there who ended up with grandma’s prized Elvis autograph, and are curious what it is worth. I not qualified to give an estimate to them. Instead I direct them to my friend Jerry Osborne, famous Elvis collector, author and historian at www.jerryosborne.com. His service is very reasonably priced, but if someone wants to get a rough idea of their autograph’s value, they can scan the 54 autographs featured in this series so far. And now, thanks to the recent Auction at Graceland, here are 12 more.

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1955 Elvis Signed Promo Photo:

1955 Elvis Presley Signed Promo Photo

If you read the first ElvisBlog article on the new Elvis Stamp a few weeks ago, you will recognize this as one of the ten photographs taken by William Speer in 1955. This shot wasn’t the one chosen to be on the stamp, but it obviously was used for promotional purposes.

1955 Elvis Presley Signed Promo Photo - Back

Elvis autographed the back of the photo in pencil for Carl Denton, an aspiring singer on the bill with Elvis at a September 14, 1955 show.

It went for $2,000 ($1,600 plus 25% auction fee), which I think is pretty high for something in this poor condition. Plus, it can’t be displayed in a proper frame. Either you show the picture or the signature. If I collected Elvis autographs, the only signed photos I would buy would be signed on the front.

 

Signed and Inscribed Note to Sara “Little Bit” Cossman:

Elvis Signed and Inscribed Note to Sara Little Bit Cossman

This signed page from an autograph book is in much better shape. Elvis wrote the message and autograph in 1962 or 1963 while visiting an RCA office. Sara “Little Bit” Cossman sat at the reception desk when he arrived. He picked up her autograph book without being asked and signed it. Of course, “Little Bit” was an affectionate name Elvis used over the years for various girlfriends.

This item sold for $2,500 (including the 25% FEE).

 

Snapshot – Signed While Elvis was Stationed in Germany:

1959 Elvis Presley Signed Snapshot

This photo was taken in 1959 outside of Elvis’ house during his time in the Army. The auction website says the woman appeared in many other photographs with Elvis at this time.

Fourteen bids were made on this signed photo and it went for $2,750. This is a good example of the extra value the autograph on the front brings. But I wonder how many bidders read the fine print that this photo is tiny (2-3/4” by 2”)

 

Signed and Inscribed International Hotel Room Service Menu:

Elvis Signed and Inscribed International Hotel Room Service Menu

The picture above shows the back of the International Hotel room service menu from 1969 or 1970. The front cover is missing, so I wonder if Elvis had signed both, and then they were separated later to multiply the value.

The message says, “To Susie and Bill, Thank you for the beautiful bible, Elvis Presley,” but no explanation of the occasion is mentioned on the auction website. Final price: $3,000.

 

Signed Thunderbird Hotel Cocktail Napkin:

Elvis Signed Thunderbird Hotel Cocktail Napkin

Elvis autographed cocktail napkins show up in the auctions fairly often. The story is always the same: Somebody has a chance encounter with Elvis and wants to get his autograph, so they grab the first thing they can find. Elvis signed this napkin in the lounge of the Thunderbird Hotel in July 1963 while he was in Las Vegas filming Viva Las Vegas.

The top bid was $3,125, which seems high to me. Why would a signed napkin bring more than a signed photo? It may have to do with the charged atmosphere at the Auction at Graceland. If I had an Elvis autograph to sell, this is where I would offer it.

 

Signed Photograph From Jaycees Ten Outstanding Young Men of America Award Luncheon:

Elvis Signed Photograph From Jaycees Ten Outstanding Young Men of America Award Luncheon

This is a great picture taken at a very important event in Elvis’ life, and it is well worth the $3,625 it went for.

Elvis Signed Photograph From Jaycees Ten Outstanding Young Men of America Award Luncheon - Close-Up

The close-up shows Elvis’ message starts “To Andy.” Note what the word “To” looks like.

Elvis Signed Photograph From Jaycees Ten Outstanding Young Men of America Award Luncheon - Back

This is the back of the photo. According to the auction website, Elvis flipped it over and started to sign it. But Andy had the forethought to stop Elvis cold and have him sign the front. Good thinking, Andy. I wonder why more people didn’t figure that out.

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Early 1956 Signed “Mr. Rhythm” Souvenir Program:

1956 Elvis Presley Signed Mr. Rhythm Souvenir Picture Album - Front

In February 1956, Elvis hadn’t yet been branded “The King of Rock and Roll.” In fact, this tour program calls him “Country Music’s Mr. Rhythm.” If the photo of Elvis looks familiar, that’s because it was the one used for the new Elvis stamp 59 years later.

Early 1956 Elvis Presley Signed Mr. Rhythm Souvenir Program - Signature

Elvis signed the back of the program which features the same William Speer photograph that started this article. The program brings some intrinsic value to the final high bid of $4,250.

 

Souvenir Concert Scarf and Handwritten Thank You Note:

Souvenir Concert Scarf and Handwritten Thank You Note by Elvis

We all know how Elvis used to toss scarves to lucky fans at his concerts. Did you know that Col. Parker, always on the lookout for ways to make a buck, had them available at the lobby souvenir stands? They had a facsimile signature printed on them, like the one above.

Souvenir Concert Scarf and Handwritten Elvis Thank You Note

So, the real value of this lot is the hand-written note Elvis wrote when he gave the scarf to Leilani Parker, wife of Elvis’ bodyguard and karate instructor Ed Parker. Note that Elvis signed it “E.P. and Linda,” which of course is Linda Thompson. The scarf and note combo had 22 bids and sold for $4,750.

 

1971 Signed Martial Arts Card with Fingerprints:

1971 Elvis Presley Signed Martial Arts Card with Fingerprints

I am surprised only three bids were made on this Forth Dan Black Belt card, but it still topped out at $5,000. Certainly, Elvis’ fingerprints in red ink on the back make this a unique collectible.

1971 Elvis Presley Signed Martial Arts Card with Fingerprints - Back

The auction website relates an interesting Karate story by Elvis’ friend and security guard Lee Ricketts.

“On the evening of February 18, 1973, at Elvis’ midnight show, four men from Los Angeles rushed onto the stage to attack Elvis. They jumped onto the stage one at a time to attract the bodyguards and the last one was to take on Elvis ‘to show him up as a phony at Karate’ and as he approached Elvis, he (Elvis) with one Karate kick sent the man off the stage and into the audience. After the four men were subdued and turned over to the uniformed security guards the show was canceled and a very excited Elvis was escorted back to the suite.”

During the time that Lee Ricketts helped with security for Elvis’ shows, he received his 1st degree black belt in Kenpo Karate from Master Kang Rhee, who did not have a certificate with him at that time to present to Ricketts.  So Elvis gave him his Fourth Don Black Belt Karate Certificate.

 

Houston Astrodome Livestock Show and Rodeo Collection Including Elvis Presley Signed Check:

Elvis Check to Astroworld Hotel

It seems reasonable that even a blank check from Elvis’ account would have considerable collectible value, so it’s no surprise nineteen bids went after this signed check. Bidding topped at $5,500. Elvis stayed at the Astroworld Hotel while performing at the 38th Annual “America’s Wildest Rodeo” in February 1970.

1970 Houston Astrodome Livestock Show and Rodeo Collection Including Elvis Presley Signed Check

It was offered in this terrific framed display, which also included an Astroworld Hotel full-color brochure and an original two-page press release, and a photo from the event. Also included is Colonel Tom Parker’s personalized name badge from the show, which probably added zero value to the lot.

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Signed 1970 Jaycees Ten Outstanding Young Men of America Award Booklet:

Elvis Signed Jaycee's Program

These autographed items are listed in order of ascending price. For the most part, the reason for the higher prices will be the item that Elvis signed. That is certainly the case here.

Being chosen as one of the Jaycees Ten Most Outstanding Young Men for 1970 was one of Elvis’ proudest moments. The awards ceremony took place on January 16, 1971, in Memphis. Future President George H. W. Bush was the featured speaker.

Jaycees Program with Elvis' Autotograph

This is the program for the event. Elvis’ picture and bio got two pages. The other nine recipients got one page each. The lot also included two ticket stubs. Although there were only three bids, the new owner spent $7,500 to get this collectible.  It is interesting to note that another signed copy of this program sold at auction for $4,687 in December 2013.  And another one sold in September 2012 for $2,375.  This confirms my impression that the Auction at Graceland is the place to get maximum return if you sell your Elvis collectibles.

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Signed 1955 Tax Return and Signed August 1956 All Star Shows Tour Settlement Statement:

Elvis Presley Signed 1955 Tax Return

This collection of early signed documents includes Elvis Presley’s 1040 tax return from 1955 for which Elvis’ total income was $25,214.15. The first page is signed in blue ink by Elvis Presley and dated “Aug 10/56.” Elvis has listed his address as 1034 Audubon Drive, his occupation as “Musical Entertainer” and his total exemptions as 4.

Elvis Presley Signed 1955 Tax Return - Close-up

Elvis’ quick rise to stardom is evidenced by the payment statement from the August 1956 tour, which is also included in this lot. The typed statement from the All Star Shows lists a sum total of $20,750 paid to Elvis for performances from August 3-12, 1956.

Signed August 1956 All Star Shows Tour Settlement Statement

I’m not sure why these documents were offered as a “twofer,” but together they brought in a top bid of $8,125. My question is how Elvis’ signed tax return ever got out of the IRS files.

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© 2015 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

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Elvis, Elvis Presley, and Graceland are registered trademarks of Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc.

 

The Movie Theater: One Building Elvis Will Never Leave — Part 6

 Beifuss on Movies

There are several things I look forward to every Elvis Week – watching lots of Elvis movies, having the number of visitors to ElvisBlog spike, and reading a special column written by John Beifuss, Memphis Commercial Appeal Movie Critic.  It is his annual survey of Elvis references in movies.

Here is how Beifuss explains it:

“Every year, as I watch movies in my capacity as film reviewer for the Commercial Appeal, I take note of each reference I see or hear to Memphis’ favorite son, Elvis Presley.  In most cases, the Elvis allusion was brief: a photo of the famous face, a snippet of a song. But in some cases, the King made an impact — especially in “The Identical,” a film entirely inspired by the Elvis story.”

Let’s take a look at what Beifuss discovered.

The Identical:

The Identical Movie Poster

The inspiration for this movie’s plot was actually Elvis’ stillborn twin brother, Jesse Garon.  However, in the movie, both twins live but are separated.  One grows up to be a superstar singer known as “Drexel the Dream.” The other brother succumbs to his adopted father’s pressure to enter the ministry.  As the years pass, he is pulled by the urge entertain, and he begins to tour as a professional impersonator of “The Dream” (who he doesn’t know is his brother).  So, in the movie we have “The Dream” and “The Identical,” certainly an allusion to ”The King” and the Elvis Tribute Artists.

 

Big Eyes:

Big Eyes Movie Poster

The central characters of this film are Margaret Keane, the artist who created the popular portraits of strange big-eyed waifs, and her husband Walter, who took credit for them.  When Margaret walks into a Honolulu radio station, we see a copy of Elvis album “Blue Hawaii.”

 

Good Ol’ Freda:

Good Ol Freda Movie Poster

This is a biographical documentary that made the rounds of the independent movie festivals.  The title character is Freda Kelly, a teenager who in 1963became the Beatles’ first fan-club secretary in in Liverpool.  The office where she worked had pictures of Elvis on the walls, but she stressed that she “didn’t like” Elvis. Only the Beatles for her.

 

Wild:

Wild Movie Poster

If you’ve seen this Reese Witherspoon movie, perhaps you noticed the soundtrack included “Don’t Be Cruel.”  Did you notice that the vocal wasn’t Elvis’?  In fact, it was Billy Swan’s cover version from his album Like Elvis Used to Do.  I have the CD, and Billy does a great job on all 14 Elvis songs.

 

Selma:

Selma Movie Poster

In this film about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s voting rights campaign in Alabama, the Elvis reference is a strange one.  Army troops had been sent in to keep order, and one officer commented on the extremely mean local sheriff:  “If the Lord Jesus himself and Elvis Presley both came to him together and told him to go easy on the Negroes, he would beat the (crap) out of the two of them and throw them in jail.”

 

The Book of Life:

The Book Of Life Movie Poster

You can see the Elvis-inspired character right next to the big guitar in the poster above.  It is a Mexican matador-turned-mariachi named Manolo with Elvis hair and sideburns.  His love interest is there, too, holding a pig.  He serenades her with a version of “Can’t Help Falling in Love with You.”

 

Horrible Bosses 2:Horrible Bosses 2 Movie Poster

Christoph Waltz plays a crooked, double-dealing entrepreneur who offers to bankroll production of the invention by the three guys in the photo.  Of course, he tries to squeeze them out.  We get a glimpse of his trophy room full of souvenirs, probably obtained illegally.  In addition to a Jimi Hendricks guitar, a Picasso painting, and a dinosaur skull, he was an Elvis jumpsuit.

 

Gone Girl:

Gone Girl Movie Poster 

In spite of its serious theme, this movie injects some perverse comedy, including a couple of flippant Elvis references in the dialogue. A good example is when the high-powered lawyer departs on an out-of-state mission, and Ben Affleck’s sister cracks, “Elvis has left Missouri.”

 

Strange Magic:

Strange Magic Movie Poster

A mysterious potion prompts a group of elves, goblins, imps, and fairies on an incredible adventure in this fantasy.  Believe it or not, the story was inspired by William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.  From the picture above, it’s hard to believe the movie is filled with several renditions of love-themed pop songs, including a duet on “Can’t Help Falling in Love.”  The Elvis ballad was a popular choice for movies in the past year.

 

Love and Mercy:

Love and Mercy Movie Poster 

This story about the Beachboys’ Brian Wilson has a brief mention about Elvis.  Hal Blaine, a famous Southern California session drummer, is outside the studio in one scene talking to Wilson.  He says, “We’ve played with everyone, Sinatra, Dean Martin, Elvis, Phil Spector … Sam Cooke … everyone.  But you — you gotta know that you’re touched, kid, and it’s blowing our minds.”

 

I look forward to Elvis Week 2016 when John Beifuss will again report on all the Elvis allusions he found in the year’s movies.

 

To read all of the articles in this series, click here.

 

 

©  2015    Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister    All Rights Reserved    www.ElvisBlog.net

 

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Elvis, Elvis Presley, and Graceland are registered trademarks of Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc.

 

Elvis’ Fabulous Rings — Part 5

Five Elvis Rings

The previous four articles in this series required a lot of legwork. I would find one or two rings at different auctions or websites, and over time would have enough to fill a post. This time, I’m lucky. The recently completed Auction at Graceland had eight fabulous Elvis rings, and six beat the estimates.

Let’s take a look at them, in ascending order of winning bid prices.

 

Diamond and Gold Ring Elvis Presley gave to Leilani Parker, Wife of Ed Parker:

Elvis Ring 1

The auction website calls this a beautiful lady’s ring, but I received an email from Paul Bennion, the successful bidder. He says it was actually a pinky ring that Elvis wore. The website says Elvis gave numerous gifts to Ed Parker and his wife Leilani over the years, and Elvis probably gave this ring to her in 1974. The new owner says it is definitely one of Elvis’ personal rings because, “I purchased one of his pinky rings from Juliens Auction with only one small diamond but exactly same design.” He is now actively looking for photos of Elvis wearing it.

If he does find that proof, it will be, as he says, “the steal of the auction.” I will agree, because the ring contains 21 clustered diamonds, weighing approximately 4.0 carats. It sold for $9,000 plus 25% fee = $11,250.

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Large Black Sapphire Ring Elvis gave to Sam Thompson:

Elvis Ring 2

Here’s another example of Elvis’ legendary generosity. Sam Thompson, the brother of Elvis’ girlfriend Linda Thompson, was Elvis’ bodyguard for several years in the 70s. Here’s the interesting story about how Elvis gave this ring to him.

“He was with Elvis on the way to a show in the car, and Elvis decided he didn’t like the feel of this ring on his finger. He asked Sam to hold onto it for him and said something to the effect of, “And don’t lose it, coz it’s pure gold!” Sam put it safely in his pocket but felt uneasy all during the show. Afterwards, Sam tried to hand the ring back to Elvis, expressing his concerns about losing it since it was made of pure gold. Elvis said something like, “And you really believed what I said about that stupid ol’ ring? Keep it, it’s yours.” Only later did Sam notice that, while not “pure” gold, the ring was stamped “90%!”

So, Sam ended up with a 22 karat gold ring weighing approximately 16.5 grams, with a large black sapphire and an ornate shank design reminiscent of a fleur-de-lis. It sold above the estimate at $16,000 plus 25% fee = $20,000.

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Ring Gifted by Elvis Presley to Ken Hicks of the Stamps:

Elvis Ring 3

This ring was never worn by Elvis, so I had doubts that it would make the pre-auction estimate, and it didn’t. The nugget-style Stamps ring was one of six made by Lowell Hays for Elvis, who gave the them to each of the members of the Stamps vocal group, which sang backup for Elvis during the 1970s. This ring was given to Ken Hicks, who sang bass for the Stamps and later became Elvis’ personal valet in January 1972.

It is a large gaudy ring in the shape of a grand piano with the “S” of word Stamps in the form of a treble clef. The “S” is composed of approximately 29 single-cut diamonds along with 2 larger diamonds to the left and 5 diamonds to the right with a total weight of approximately 0.75 carat. So, although Elvis never wore it, the ring sold for $18,000 plus 25% fee = $22,500.

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Ornate Diamond and Gold Ring Gifted by Elvis Presley to Ed Parker, His Karate Instructor and Bodyguard:

Elvis Ring 5

Here’s another ring with a very brief history of being on his finger. The auction website said Ed Parker and Elvis knew each other nearly 20 years, and that a gift of this magnitude was one of the many ways Elvis tried to show how much he treasured their friendship. In Ed’s book Inside Elvis, he recounts receiving the ring:

“In March of 1974, we were in Beverly Hills visiting his doctor when Elvis decided to visit a jewelry store as well. He examined a few rings, necklaces, and pins and asked my opinion about some of them. He tried a few more rings on and then asked for a special ring he had ordered for himself. It was astounding. It featured 20 diamonds set in white platinum with the remaining portion of the ring in yellow gold. Holding the ring you were struck by its bulk and weight and magnificence. He asked my opinion about his taste in jewelry. He said it was to be a present for himself. I commented that it was ruggedly masculine, a magnificent piece. He then asked me to try it on, and as I looked at him I immediately recognized that unmistakable look in his eyes. Sure enough when he discovered that the ring fit my left pinkie finger, he announced that it was my birthday present from him. As we got into his limousine, I kept examining and admiring the ring. His features then broadened into another of his familiar facial expressions—one of contentment and happiness.”

Nice story. And nice ring. It weighs 34 grams and the 20 diamonds are approximately four carats. It sold for $20,000 plus 25% fee = $25,000.

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Elvis Presley-Worn Pinky Ring Gifted to Sam Thompson:

Elvis Ring 6

This is the second Auction at Graceland ring Elvis gave to Sam Thompson, and it went well beyond the estimate. For one thing, it is a ring Elvis bought for himself and wore it. Here’s what Sam Thompson said in his Letter of Authenticity.

“In June of 1977, just before we left for the CBS TV Special, Elvis gave me a ring after I admired it. The ring is 14K yellow gold, nugget style, about size 10 (he had it on his pinkie finger with lots of band aids around it), with one large clear stone and 3 smaller clear stones.”

Another example of how Elvis would often spontaneously give his personal items away if someone simply admired them. How could you not admire a nugget-style, 14-karat gold ring set with three small diamonds and one larger diamond? It sold for well over the estimate at $20,000 plus 25% = $25,000

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Gold and Diamond Ring Flanked With Initials E and P:

Elvis Ring 7

The pre-auction estimate on this beautiful ring was way off at $10-15,000. The size 7 gold pinky ring contains 15 round diamonds. But the big appeal is the engraved E and P on the sides. Additional proof that the ring belonged to Elvis is a Letter of Authenticity from Richard Davis, his friend, wardrobe manager and movie stand in. Davis seems to have been the recipient of the most clothing and jewelry of any member of Elvis’ inner circle. Items Elvis gifted to him have been showing up at auctions for years.

There were no photos of Elvis wearing the ring offered along with it. In fact, none of the eight Elvis rings had supporting photos. This one sold for $22,000 plus 25% fee = $27,500.

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Gold Owl-Shaped Ring Gifted to a Fan:

Elvis Ring 4

This ring is 14-karat yellow gold has black sapphire eyes, five tiny diamonds, and a total weight of 21 grams. The best thing about it is the story of how Elvis gave it away to Connie Murray after a concert at Lake Tahoe in May 1973.

“…On the particular night I received this ring, I was sitting stage side and Elvis’ girlfriend at the time, Linda Thompson, was sitting near me. During the show Elvis threw out a red scarf. My friend had it in her hands when another girl grabbed a hold to take claim of it. Neither one of them were going to give it to the other, so I took the scarf and ripped it in half and gave each of them a half. I believe that Elvis saw this gesture and at the end of the show he went along the stage shaking hands. He then came over and motioned for me to stand up so I did. He leaned over and gave me a kiss as he took my hand and put the ring in it. I said you dropped this in my hand. He smiled and bowed with his cape wide open and said, ‘No I gave it to you.’”

The torn scarf and a newspaper clipping about Elvis’ fabled generosity at this encounter were included with the ring. It sold for well above the estimate at $26,000 plus 25% fee = $32,500.

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Gold Ring With Diamonds and Tourmaline Worn by Elvis Presley and Gifted to Linda Thompson:

Elvis Ring 8

Here is the big winner among the eight rings offered at the August 13, 2015 Auction at Graceland. According to the auction website, the18-karat yellow gold, diamond and tourmaline ring was worn by Elvis and then given to his girlfriend Linda Thompson. After that, the history of this ring gets weird. Linda said she donated it to the Elvis Presley Museum in Memphis. Then, the tabloid National Enquirer somehow gained possession of the ring. On the tenth anniversary of Elvis’ passing, the paper featured the ring as a prize in a contest for one lucky reader to win.

Elvis Ring Contest in National Enquirer

The winner of the wildly popular contest was a woman from Texas. Next, a Texas oilman purchased the ring directly from her. Then, Brown Humphries, who owned a construction company that was doing work in Texas won the ring from the oilman in a poker game. Then the current owner obtained the ring and put it in the auction.

The ring weighs approximately 21.5 grams, has 20 round diamonds weighing approximately 1.75 carats, 22 marquise-cut green tourmalines, and one large, dark-colored, radiant-cut center tourmaline. It sold for 38,000 plus 25% fee = $47,500.

 

 

To real all of the ElvisBlog articles on Elvis’ Fabulous Rings, click here.

 

 

© 2015 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

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Elvis, Elvis Presley, and Graceland are registered trademarks of Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc.

The 3rd Auction at Graceland – How ElvisBlog did Handicapping the Pricey Items Estimates

Five days before the recent Auction at Graceland, ElvisBlog looked at the pre-auction estimates for the fourteen most pricey items. Predictions were made on whether they would miss the estimated range, make it, or exceed it.  Scroll down to the items and see how smart the calls were.

Items on Display in Car Museum

This is just a few of the 174 items in the third Auction at Graceland on August 13. EPE wisely put them on advance display at the Elvis Car Museum, giving the fans another incentive to visit Elvis Week. While most people will be just lookers, there is a small core of dedicated Elvis memorabilia collectors with deep pockets that must be drooling over the chance to buy some of the top-drawer items.

The auction websites always list an estimated price range for each item. I typically study these and make my guess whether items will miss, make it, or surpass these estimates. It’s fun to do, but frustrating because I am so often wrong. In other areas, too.

Viva Elvis Logo

I predicted that the Cirque du Soleil show in Las Vegas would be named TCB.

 

Elvis - 68 Comeback Elvis

I predicted the second Elvis Stamp would feature a ’68 Comeback Special image.

 

Elvis MarchMovieMadness

And I picked King Creole as the winner of the fan voting for Elvis’ best movie. (That’s the Way It Is won)

 

So, I will boldly push ahead with my auction predictions and will probably be embarrassed again. Here are the ten most expensive items at the Auction at Graceland (not counting rings, which will be covered separately at a later date).

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Elvis Presley’s Personal Walther Model PPK/S 9mm Kurz Handgun:

Elvis Presley's Personal Walther Model PPK-S 9mm Kurz Handgun

This model handgun makes a pretty special collectible for a number of technical reasons. But its value is greatly enhanced by what Elvis had done to personalize it. Take a close look at the nickel barrel, trigger guard and the medallion in the center of the grip. You can see the intricately engraved “Elvis” on the barrel. It may be difficult to see, but the grip medallion sports Elvis’ emblem “TCB” and the lightning bolt. There is a ton of other information about this pistol on the auction website.

Estimate: $100,000 – $125,000

ElvisBlog Prediction – It will make the estimate.

What happened:  Didn’t make the estimate.  Sold for $50,000.

 

Jacket from the Viva Las Vegas Dance Scene with Ann-Margret:

Elvid' Jacket from the Viva Las Vegas Dance Scene with Ann-Margret

I have often commented on how people could sell their Elvis collectible for more money if it were offered in a proper presentation. Well, this item takes presentation to a new level. The auction website says:

“The jacket is presented in an elaborate framed display which features three stills from the dance scene, a reproduced portion of a Viva Las Vegas movie poster, and a small plaque that reads, “ELVIS PRESLEY Personally Owned & Worn Sports Coat Featured in the Movie ‘Viva Las Vegas.'” The large title “Viva Las Vegas” carved in the matting anchors the presentation, and the multi-colored circles along the border provide a stylized “Vegas Lights” framing.”

Coat Label - Elvis' World's Fair Suit

As you can see, the owner removed the coat’s Sy Devore label and displayed it on the front for more impact.

Seldom does an item description on an auction website go into prose like this:

“It’s a scene that captured Elvis at the peak of his powers, with all of his talents on display for the big screen audience, where he’s finally paired with a star who everyone on set considered to be his almost-perfect match in intensity and larger-than-life persona: Ann-Margret. They move across the stage with wild abandon as Elvis sings “C’mon Everybody.” The two work themselves up, over and around to the point where they finish in a heap on the stage floor.”

Elvis wearing the Jacket from the Viva Las Vegas Dance Scene with Ann-Margret

Estimate: $30,000 – $50,000

ElvisBlog Prediction: It will make the estimate.

What happened?  Bidding went up to $28,000, then auctioneer stopped and said they would pass on the item.  Strange, because the minimum bid was only $15,000 and they got within $2,000 if the estimate.

 

Signed Hollow Body Electric Guitar:

Hollow Body Electric Guitar Signed by Elvis and Col. Parker

Elvis guitars always bring big bucks at auctions, but I’m skeptical on this one. It is a six-string Conrad hollow body double-cutaway electric guitar, model 40185. Elvis never owned it. A fan brought it backstage on New Year’s Eve 1976 in Pittsburgh, and Elvis obliged him by signing it.

Signatures by Elvis and Col. Parker onHollow Body Electric Guitar

The signature below Elvis’ is Col. Tom Parker. The auction website says. “The addition of Colonel Parker’s signature to this example has left us with a truly superior artifact.” For my money, it would be worth more without it.

Estimate: $25,000 – $35,000

ElvisBlog Prediction: Won’t make the estimate.

What happened:  Withdrawn a few days before the auction.  No reason given.

 

“TCB” Smith & Wesson .38 Caliber Pistol – Gifted to a TWA Pilot:

TCB Smith & Wesson .38 Caliber Pistol - Gifted to a TWA Pilot

This 1969 Smith & Wesson Model 36 .38 caliber pistol has an interesting backstory about Elvis giving it to a TWA captain. Here what the auction website says:

“In late December 1970 he was working a flight from Baltimore to Kansas City when he was informed that a VIP passenger was on board with a firearm. Elvis was brought to the cockpit to meet the captain at which time he explained that he had just been in Washington, D.C. to meet with President Nixon. He related that as a result of that meeting he was now cleared to carry a concealed weapon on the flight. Elvis had just acquired his Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs (forerunner to the DEA) badge during his now famous meeting with the President, and this is most likely what he showed the captain. The captain acquiesced to Elvis’ request, and even went so far as to smooth it over with the captain of Elvis’ connecting flight in Kansas City. As a gesture of thanks, Elvis presented the captain with the weapon here offered. One interesting point to consider is that since Elvis was returning from his meeting with President Nixon when he met the TWA captain, it is certainly possible that he was wearing this very weapon when he entered the White House that fateful day.”

Close Up of TCB on Elvis' Smith & Wesson .38 Caliber Pistol

Elvis had the .38 caliber nickel-plated gun’s custom black pearl grip emblazoned with his personal “TCB” logo and lightning bolt.

Estimate: $25,000 – $30,000

ElvisBlog Prediction: It will exceed the estimate by a lot.

What happened:  Did not make the estimate.  Sold for $17,000.

 

“TCB” Diamond and Gold Necklace Gifted To Sammy Davis Jr.:

TCB Diamond and Gold Necklace Elvis Gifted To Sammy Davis Jr

This is the first of two TCB necklaces offered at this auction. Elvis must have given away a bunch of them over the years, and they have been prominent features at many auctions. This one is a little different in that the 14-karat yellow gold of the T-C-B pendant is black enameled. (Why would you cover up gold?). The lightning bolt has fifteen diamond with a total weight of 0.60 carats, and the necklace chain measures approximately 36 inches.

Elvis and Sammy Davis Jr.

Elvis gave this pendant to Sammy Davis Jr. in 1973. The website goes on at some length about their friendship. Copies of five photogaphs of Davis and Elvis together are included in the lot, but none of them show him wearing the pendant.

Estimate: $20,000 – $30,000

ElvisBlog Prediction: It will beat the estimate.

What happened:  Beat the estimate.  Sold for $32,000.

 

Million Dollar Quartet Signed Guitar with Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis Signatures:

Million Dollar Quartet Signed Guitar with Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis Signatures

Why would you want a guitar signed by Elvis and Col. Parker, when for less money you could get one signed by all four members of the Million Dollar Quartet? Especially when this guitar comes in such an outstanding presentation.

Elvis Signature on Million Dollar Quartet Guitar

Here’s the short story on this guitar. A woman got Elvis to sign it in the mid-70s, and her son got the other three autographs roughly two decades later. Click here for the full story.

Estimate: $20,000 – $30,000

ElvisBlog Prediction: It will beat the estimate by a lot.

What happened:  Withdrawn before the auction.  Looks to me like some big collector of Elvis guitars made a couple of private deals.

 

1956 Double-Signed Transfer Agreement Moving 15 Songs to Gladys Music:

1956 Elvis Presley Double-Signed Transfer Agreement Moving 15 Songs to Gladys Music

This legal agreement has Elvis’ signature twice, which is rare. The auction website certainly thinks it will bring twice as much as another document with just one autograph. The agreement spelled out the transfer of songs from Elvis Presley Music to Gladys Music. Click here to try and understand what that was all about.

1956 Elvis Presley Double-Signed Transfer Agreement Moving 15 Songs to Gladys Music - P.2

You will note that there are seven songs we have never heard Elvis sing. Are there lost recordings of them somewhere?

Estimate: $20,000-30,000.

ElvisBlog Prediction: It will not make the estimate.

What happened:  Did not make the estimate.  Sold for $10,000.

 

Suit Worn by Elvis Presley in It Happened at the World’s Fair:

Suit Worn by Elvis Presley in It Happened at the World's Fair

Most of the clothing Elvis owned was flashy, colorful, and eye-catching. This dark charcoal-colored suit is not. The difference is that this suit was movie, not personal, wardrobe.

Coat Label - Elvis' World's Fair Suit

It does have the Sy Devore label that says Elvis Presley on it, and there are certainly plenty of photos of Elvis wearing it, both of which add value.

Elvis Wearing Suit from World's Fair

Still, if I had this kind of money to buy Elvis clothing, I’d spend it on the flashy stuff that he actually owned and wore in real life.

Estimate: $20,000 – $30,000

ElvisBlog Prediction: It will make the estimate.

What happened:  Made the estimate.  Sold for $20,000.

 

Purple Velour Shirt from the 1966 RCA Pocket Calendar:

Elvis' Purple Velour Shirt from the 1966 RCA Pocket Calendar

According to the auction website, this purple velour shirt with Sy Devore labels was worn by Elvis in photo shoots in the mid 1960’s. Perhaps other photos of him wearing it don’t exist anymore, because all that accompanies it in the display is a picture on the 1966 RCA pocket calendar.

Pocket Calendar Picture of Elvis

You know I am big on properly displaying Elvis collectibles, and this is a good one. I like the way the waistband on the bottom front of the shirt is lifted up to show the label with Elvis’ name on it. However, it does seem strange to have two color photos in the display of him not wearing the shirt.

Estimate: $10,000 – 15,000

ElvisBlog Prediction: It will beat the estimate.

What happened:  Made the estimate.  Sold for $10,000.

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“TCB” Gold Necklace Gifted to Richard Davis by Elvis Presley:

TCB Gold Necklace Gifted to Richard Davis by Elvis Presley

Elvis first thought up the design for his TCB/lightning bolt pendant in 1970, and that October he bought 22 of them from jeweler Sol Schwartz of Beverly Hills. They were entirely 14k yellow gold, no diamonds.

LOA from Richard Davis on TCB Pendant

Elvis gave this particular one to Richard Davis, who has his friend, valet, bodyguard, wardrobe manager, and movie stand-in/stunt man. Several photos of Elvis and Richard together are provided, too, but they do not show him wearing the pendant.

Estimate: $12,000 – $18,000

ElvisBlog Prediction: It will beat the estimate.

What happened:  Beat the estimate.  Sold for $28,000.

 

1969 Handwritten Signed Letter to Gary Pepper Discussing the Inaugural Show at the International Hotel:1969 Elvis Presley Handwritten Signed Letter to Gary Pepper Discussing the Inaugural Show at the International Hotel

This handwritten letter from Elvis Presley to Gary Pepper on International Hotel stationery discusses the inaugural show at the hotel. Gary was the president of an early fan club called the “Elvis Presley Tankers,” and the content of the letter shows the high esteem in which Elvis held Gary.

Elvis' Signature on Letter to Gary Pepper

Also included is the original International Hotel mailing envelope postmarked Aug 4, 1969, hand written by Elvis.

Estimate: $10,000 – $15,000

ElvisBlog Prediction: It will make the estimate.

What happened:  Didn’t make the estimate.  Sold for $5,000.

 

Luggage, Personal Effects and Signed Purchase Documents:

Elvis' Luggage, Personal Effects and Signed Purchase Documents

Prior to 1970’s “Second Season” of shows at the International Hotel in Las Vegas, Elvis spent two weeks in Los Angeles rehearsing with his band at the RCA studios on Sunset Boulevard. During this stay, he purchased several pieces of luggage at the Beverly Hills Luggage & Gift Shoppe.

This lot includes a brown overnight bag with one large side pocket and two smaller pockets. Also offered is a brown zipper toiletry case, made in Germany, that contains a cuticle tool, mirror (still in original paper wrapping), nail file, plastic comb, metal lidded toothbrush bolder, cologne bottle, brush and two silver metal lidded containers; a pair of gold toed black dress socks (non-matching); and a white scarf.

Receipt for Elvis' Luggage, Personal Effects and Signed Purchase Documents

Look in the middle of this receipt and you will see Elvis’ signature.

Check Paying for Luggage, Personal Effects and Signed Purchase Documents

The check for this $596.93 purchase was not signed by Elvis, however, but by one of his accountants.

Estimate: $9,000 – $12,000

ElvisBlog Prediction: It will make the estimate.

What happened:  Didn’t make the estimate.  Sold for $7,500.

 

Signed RCA Nipper Statue:

Elvis Signed and Inscribed RCA Nipper Statue - Front

Elvis autographed some strange items, and this 20 inch-high resin statue of RCA’s mascot Nipper is a prime example.

Elvis Signed and Inscribed RCA Nipper Statue

Elvis inscribed it to Howard Strickland, who was the head of MGM’s public relations department during Elvis’ time with the studio (1957 – 1970). I can’t think of another autograph where Elvis signed it Gratefully, Elvis Presley.

Estimate: $8,000 – $10,000

ElvisBlog Prediction: It will make the estimate.

What happened:  Made the estimate.  Sold for $10,000.

 

Elvis Presley Doll in Rare Original Box:

1957 Elvis Presley Enterprises Elvis Presley Doll in Rare Original Box

Would you think this was supposed to be Elvis if you weren’t told? I’ve seen little three-inch figurines that look more like Elvis than this eighteen-inch doll. However, that didn’t matter in the auction description: incredibly rare, in unbelievably excellent condition, still in its original box, and the pinnacle of any collection.

Box for 1957 Elvis Presley Doll in Rare Original Box

The included newspaper ad is just as glowing: “Only doll of its kind approved by Elvis Presley. The thrill of your lifetime! Now you can have ‘Elvis Presley’ for YOURSELF!”

The doll was marketed in 1957, and apparently very few remain, especially  in condition this good. Click here to read more about the doll.

Estimate: $7,000 – $10,000

ElvisBlog Prediction: It will surpass the estimate.

What happened:  Didn’t make the estimate.  Sold for $5,000.  Apparently, the bidders didn’t like this ugly doll any more than I did.

 

So, there it is. ElvisBlog predictions: five right, six wrong.  Handicapping this stuff is hard.

 

 

© 2015 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

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Elvis, Elvis Presley, and Graceland are registered trademarks of Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc.

 

Elvis Week’s Best Kept Secret — 2015

Elvis '56

Last year, ElvisBlog shined a little light on a wonderful Elvis Week event that didn’t seem to be getting much promotional push. It was the Fan Reception at the Elvis Presley Memorial Trauma Center. Click here to read about that event and here to see what they have going on this year.

If you are going to Elvis Week 2015, there’s a good chance you’ll be there on the 14th. It’s a Friday night – party time. So, what are you going to do?

Elvis Week Main Stage

Well, you could take in the Elvis in Vegas Tribute Concert at the Graceland Main Stage Pavilion. It stars Terry Mike Jeffrey. I’ve seen him at three Elvis Week shows over the years, and he is great. But, if you’re interested, you better hurry up. All the VIP seating is sold out, but as of now there are still $45 seats available.

 

Beale St. Memphis

But perhaps you would like to head down to Beale Street. Lots of bars, shops, and restaurants.

And right in the middle of everything on Beale Street is the New Daisy Theater.

New Daisy Theater at Night

I took in the Midnight Blues Concert at the Daisy back at Elvis Week 2002. When I walked in, I said, “This place is a dive,” but when I walked out, I said, “I love this place.” Old, funky, intimate, it was such a fun venue for a concert. Well, this 1941 theater is still alive and well today, a down-and-dirty honky tonk of the first order.

 

Inside the New Daisy Theater

The New Daisy Theater has been under new ownership since last year, and they have sunk some money into the place. Here you can see that theater seats have been replaced by platforms to accommodate table seating.

 

Lighting System at the New Daisy Theater

Even more important, they put in new sound and light systems. Of course, there is an open bar. Are you starting to get the idea the Daisy might be a terrific place for an Elvis Week concert? Especially on Friday night. May I suggest:

World Premier -- Elvis'56

If your interest in Elvis is primarily the 70s jumpsuit period, this show isn’t for you. But if you like the young, raw and wild performer of the early years, Elvis ’56 is perfect for you. And ElvisFestival.com has picked the right tribute artist to headline the show.

Cody Slaughter Rocking Out

Cody Ray Slaughter has an impressive resumé. Although he is one of the youngest top-drawer Elvis Tribute Artists, he has been perfecting his act since he was thirteen. When Cody was just seventeen, he was the featured entertainer for a year at The Tennessee Shindig in Pigeon Forge, TN. In 2008, Cody won the People’s Choice Award at Elvis Week.

Three years later at Elvis Week, EPE named him the winner of the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist competition.

Cody Slaughter Winning 2011 Ultimate Elvis Competition

In October 2011, Cody took on the roll of Elvis Presley in the road tour of the hit theatrical production The Million Dollar Quartet. It was here that Cody developed his acting chops to go with his uncanny ability to sing like Elvis. All of these talents will be on display in Elvis ’56. It’s a show, not just a concert, that tells the story of Elvis’ rise in 1956 from Hillbilly Cat to the King of Rock and Roll.

Million Dollar Quartet

As the poster above states, Cody will be backed by a period appropriate three-piece band called the Hillbilly Katz. You get a little bonus here, because the drummer is David Fontana, DJ’s son. I checked DJ’s touring schedule to see if he would be in town and might drop by to sit in and drum with David. Unfortunately, DJ won’t be at Elvis Week this year. What a shame.

 

Samantha Arrowood Chamblis

If you remember Elvis’ concerts in the 50s, they all opened with a comedian. So, Elvis ’56 will feature Samantha Arrowood Chambliss. She does a comedic song and dance routine reminiscent of the Louisiana Hayride days. She and David Fontana will share the MC duties.
If you are thinking this all sounds like a show you’d like to take in, here’s the seating arrangement and prices.

Daisy Seating and Ticket Prices for Elvis 56

These six-people tables come at three different price levels depending on location. I can assure you that you will feel close to the action even in the $49 gold area (including the rows of chairs in front of the bar). I never sat in the balcony, but I bet it’s a very satisfactory experience up there, too. Click here to go to the website for availability and purchasing of tickets.

Cody Slaughter

If I were going to Elvis Week this year, I would definitely get down to the New Daisy Theater and take in Cody Slaughter’s performance in Elvis ’56. His website say his fans have crowned him the new “Prince of Rock and Roll”. What a fine way to highlight your trip to Memphis to honor the “King of Rock and Roll.”

 

 

© 2015 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

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Elvis, Elvis Presley, and Graceland are registered trademarks of Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc.

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ElvisFestival.com also has a whole week of interesting shows lined up at the New Daisy Theater. For five hours each afternoon, Monday the 10th and Wednesday the 12th, you can see the Images of the King competitions. For six hours on Friday, you can watch the finals plus a showcase of past champions. Other afternoon shows are Ben Portsmouth: Acoustic Elvis on Tuesday, and Jukebox LIVE: A tribute to Rock and Roll History on Thursday. If you remember how blistering hot it has been at past Elvis Weeks, a nice long show in air-conditioned comfort might be a good idea.

Sunday and Monday nights have concerts featuring outstanding ETAs Shawn Klush, Cody Slaughter, Dean Z, Ben Portsmouth, and Jay Dupuis. And Wednesday night, Elvis Meets the Beatles sounds like a really fun show. For ticket information, click here.

ElvisFestivals

Some Interesting Results at the Latest Elvis Auction

Gotta Have Rock and Roll Website

Except for the two Auctions at Graceland, there haven’t been any sizeable selections of Elvis goodies at auction this past year. Finally, some good stuff showed up at the Gotta Have Rock and Roll auction that closed late last week. There were no rings or other jewelry, but three items of clothing fetched significant bids.

 

1970’s Custom Made Bell Bottom Pants and Corduroy Jacket:

Elvis' 1970’s Custom Made Bell Bottom Pants and Corduroy Jacket

This is a nice combo – black bell bottom pants with red kick pleats (not visible in this picture) and a black corduroy jacket. Both were custom made by IC Costume Co, and the jacket bears their label.

Bell Bottom Pants and Corduroy Jacket

In addition to the photo of Elvis wearing the outfit, both items came with letters of provenance. The projected bid price was $6-8,000, and it went for a little more at $8,860. Please note that all buyers had to pay an additional 20% service charge to all sell levels mentioned in this article.

 

Lansky’s Custom Made Black Wool Jacket:

Elvis' Lansky Custom Made Black Wool Jacket

The next two items came from Elvis’ favorite clothier in Memphis, Lansky Bros, and the coat above sported both the Lansky label and the “Styled for Elvis Presley” custom-made label.

Elvis' Lansky Bros Custom Made Black Wool Jacket - Label

But what makes this black fleck woolen jacket especially desirable is the accompanying photo of Elvis wearing it.

Lansky's Custom Made Black Wool Jacket - Elvis Wearing

The estimated selling price was $5-7,000, and this turned out to be accurate. The most spirited bidding on any Elvis clothing item brought in $7088 (plus that extra 20% for the auction house)

 

1950’s Lansky Custom Made Stage Suit:

Elvis' 1950's Custom Made Stage Suit

Unlike the first two items, Elvis wore this outfit when he performed on stage (according the auction website description). If so, I’m surprised none of the previous owners has been able to find a photo of Elvis wearing it. Still, there is the Styled for Elvis Presley custom Lansky label on both the royal dark blue jacket with black velvet lapel trim and the blue-grey pants. The winning bid came in at $8860, just over the high estimate.

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Porcelain Monkey From Graceland:

Elvis' Porcelain Monkey From Graceland

This is the first of several items that have interesting stories. When I saw the pre-auction estimate of $2-3,000, I said, “No way.” For that kind of money, I’ve seen dozens of other Elvis collectibles I’d rather own.

Elvis' Porcelain Monkey From Graceland in TV Room

However, this photo showing the monkey in the TV room at Graceland and a letter of provenance from Charlie Hodge persuaded somebody to part with $1,612 to own it.

 

15 Priscilla Presley Original 2 x 2 Color Transparency Slides:

Priscilla Presley Original Transparency Slides

I guess there weren’t any Priscilla Presley fans following this auction, because nobody even bid the $25 minimum. I’ve never seen any of these pictures before (and I’ve downloaded many dozens of Priscilla photos over the years).

Priscilla Presley and Bull

This seems like a missed bargain – picking up fourteen rare pics of Priscilla for $25

 

Three Photographs of Elvis:

3 B&W Elvis Photos

Now, here’s some photos that really appealed to the bidders. The pre-auction estimate was $50-100, but I knew that was way low. I have never seen the two pictures on the left, and I’ve seen literally thousands of Elvis photos. Sure enough, these three 8 x 10 black and white original photographs had more bids than any other item in the auction (18) and brought in $541.

 

10th Anniversary Half-Ounce Fine Silver Coins:

Elvis Presley 10th Anniversary half ounce fine silver coins

These ten coins brought in $80, which is not that much of a premium over the price for their weight in pure silver. Maybe if the owner had bothered to polish them up before offering them….

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1957 Civic Center Concert Poster Reproduction:

1957 Elvis Concert Poster Reproduction

It is a mystery to me why the pre-auction estimate on this was $2-300. The auction website clearly says REPRODUCTION. Nobody thought this fake was worth the $100 minimum bid. No surprise.

 

Elvis Presley Special Edition Graceland Gift Set:

Elvis Presley's Graceland Special Edition

Elvis Presley special edition Graceland gift set Box

The auction website has one short sentence describing this item: “Recreate your own personal Graceland with this Elvis Presley special edition Graceland gift set.” Plus the two pictures above – and this:

Elvis Presley special edition Graceland gift set Inside

What is all that stuff? I couldn’t figure out what they were offering, and apparently the bidders couldn’t either. Nobody would cover the $200 minimum bid.

Box Elvis Presley's Graceland

So, I looked it up on eBay and the photos and description there made it very clear. This box contains a miniature Graceland at Christmas set — lighted ceramic Graceland building, 1955 Pink Cadillac Fleetwood, wrought iron gate, the original Christmas lawn decorations, and six mylar twinkling trees. Look at the first photo again to see it all put together.

Inside Box - Elvis Presley's Graceland

With this picture you can see some of the listed items. This set was introduced as a limited edition in 2000 and retired on January 8, 2001. A few are currently available on eBay for $2-300. I’m sure it would have sold at this auction if the owner had bothered to describe what he was selling.

 

 

 

© 2015 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

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Elvis, Elvis Presley, and Graceland are registered trademarks of Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc.

The New Elvis Stamp — Let the Merchandising Begin

Elvis Presley Forever CD

At first glance, you might think that’s a picture of the new Elvis stamp above. Nope. It’s the front cover of a CD the US Postal Service is selling online.  New stamps don’t have a price on them anymore, so the word FOREVER appears instead. Because they used the stamp picture on the cover, the Postal Service has cleverly named this CD “Elvis Presley Forever.”

Song List for Elvis Presley Forever CD

This track listing may appeal to new fans, but everybody who owns other Elvis CDs probably has the songs already, except for the last two. These previously unreleased versions may spark some interest, and the $10 price is not prohibitive.

Forever Elvis Collection Inside

The Postal Service used a similar name on another collectible they call the “Forever Elvis Collection.” For $24.95 you get:

-One mint 1993 Elvis Presley stamp pulled from the U.S. Postal Service vault.

-A sheet of 16 new 2015 Elvis Presley stamps.

-A bold 8 x 8-inch cachet [whatever that is] with an affixed 2015 Elvis Presley stamp and exclusive postmark printed in metallic gold and black inks. (I guess this is in the center behind the sheet of stamps))

-The collectibles are housed in a handsome [USPS lingo] six-panel folio with a die-cut slipcase. The folio panels contain photographs of Elvis shot by Alfred Wertheimer during 1956, as well as a narrative on the 1993 stamp, the 2015 stamp, and the life and music of The King himself.

The Forever Elvis Collection - $24.95

This is the front cover of the “Forever Elvis Collection.” In my opinion, a less washed out photo would make it more handsome.

 

One other note. The Forever Elvis Collection can be purchased at USPSstamps.com, same as all the stamp options covered last week. The CD is not listed there, just at store.usps.com.

 

1993 Elvis Stamp Commemorative Album

The idea of a commemorative folio containing Elvis stamp memorabilia was also used in 1993. The folio above was designed to look like a gatefold 33rpm album. Same exact size.

1993 Elvis Stamp Commemorative Album Contents

When you opened it up, you could see part of a wonderful color booklet through the die-cut hole.

1993 Elvis Stamp Commemorative Album Contents

Here’s the cover of the 16 –page booklet.

Inside 1993 E;vis Stamp Booklet

And this is an example of the content. It is very well done. In addition to the booklet, this collection contains:

10 Elvis stamp sheets in original sealed sleeves

Elvis stamp limited edition print

“First Day” ceremony program

I have seen the whole set listed several places on eBay. Used ones go for $25 and still sealed ones are asking $100-125.

 

Elvis Stamp T-Shirt

Back in 1993, to tied in with the 1993 Elvis stamp release, a new ShopElvis.com catalog showed up containing 28 items featuring the image of the stamp. I bought the above T-shirt, which I still have (in pretty good shape, because I seldom wear white T-shirts). Here are the other items I purchased.

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Elvis Stamp Beach Towell

Beach Towel

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Elvis Stamp Baseball Cap

Baseball Cap

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Elvis stamp Refrigerator Magnet

Refrigerator Magnet

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Elvis Stamp Key Chain

Key Chain

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Elvis Stamp Watch.

I didn’t buy the Elvis stamp watch. My wife gave it to me the following Christmas.

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Here are a couple of other items with the stamp picture on it that I did not buy. Not my kind of Elvis collectible.

Elvis Stamp Bear

Gold Lamé Bear

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Elvis Stamp Collectible Plate

Elvis Stamp Plate

1993  Elvis Stamp Mug

And what would a Graceland merchandising theme be without a coffee mug?  They have put out so many different ones over the years.  If I had pictures of them all, I could do a whole blog post on them.

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I’m sure EPE has worked out some kind of deal with the Postal Service to market all kinds of stuff with the new Elvis stamp on it. There will be another Graceland catalog out before Elvis Week, so we will see pretty soon.

Unfortunately, I’m not as enthused about purchasing anything with the new stamp picture on it. It’s a black-and-white photo, dull compared to the 1993 drawing in brilliant color. But I’ll bet lots of folks will still buy them.

 

 

© 2015 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

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Elvis, Elvis Presley, and Graceland are registered trademarks of Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc.

The New Elvis Stamp – Part 2

Sheet of 16 Elvis Stamps- $7.84

If demand for the new Elvis stamp is anywhere close to the Postal Service’s expectations, they are going to sell a lot of them.

And, if you are thinking you would like to have some for your collection of Elvis goodies, they offer many options for you on their website USPSstamps.com. Like the sheet of 16 above.  It sells for $7.84.  The stamps don’t have a price on them anymore, just the word Forever.  We’ve gone from a 1993 Elvis stamp that cost 29¢ to one that costs 49¢ in 2015. (16 x 49¢ = $7.84)

 

Back of the New Elvis Stamp Sheet

To make the sheet of 16 Elvis stamps even more attractive, the postal Service puts this Al Wertheimer photograph on the flip side of the slick backing paper.  A very nice touch.

Elvis In Concert July 4, 1956

Here’s the original uncropped photo taken on July 4, 1956 while Elvis performed at Russwood stadium in Memphis.  As long as they were messing around with the picture anyway, I wish they had put the color back into Elvis’ right pants leg.  Looks a little weird on the flip-side picture.

 

Elvis Stamp First Day Cover - 93 cents

Of course, you can’t buy a single stamp, but you can buy one on an envelope that has a First Day of Issue postmark.  These are called First Day Covers and the price is just 94¢.  Seems like a pretty good deal, but it sure isn’t as flashy as the 1993 stamp First Day Covers.

1993 Elvis Stamp First Day Cover 2

1993 Elvis Stamp First Day Cover 1

These are beautiful in full color and the postmark is the gates of Graceland.  I believe there were five different choices available.

 

However, if you want something a little flashier in 2015, there is only a slight variation available for $1.64.

Digital Color Postmark Fibearing an affixed Elvis Presley stamp cancelled with an official First Day of Issue pictorial postmark - $1.64

For the extra 50¢ you get the big gold crown on the First Day of Issue DCP (Digital Color Postmark – Postal Service lingo).

 

First Day Cancelled Full Sheet of Elvis Stamps

Here’s an upgrade from the first stamp sheet at the beginning of this article.  You will note there are three bulls-eye postmarks (that’s what they call them).  Each is centered over a block of four stamps.  The remaining four are postmarked with portions of Elvis’ signature.  Also visible are the words MUSIC ICONS and a small black crown.  I like this one and think it’s worth the $10.34 they are asking.

 

There’s some text at the bottom of these stamp sheets, but it is too small to read here.  It says,

Elvis Presley (1935-1977) was one of the first true stars of rock and roll.  The singer, guitarist, musician, and actor combined country, gospel, and rhythm and blues to create a unique sound that lives on today.  Through his music, the King of Rock and Roll helped break down social barriers in the 1950s and in the process helped change American pop culture forever.

Well written I think, but come on – “One of the first true stars of rock and roll.”  It should say, The first true star.

 

There is one other thing worth noting on both these stamp sheets.  The square shape is the same size as an old 45 rpm record sleeve.  See that black sliver of a circle at the top?  That is to simulate the top of a record sticking out of the sleeve a bit.  The design people at the Postal Service got pretty creative on this.

 

DCP Keepsake - Sheet of 16 Elvis Stamp & Digital Color Postmark First Day Cover - 9.95

Here’s a little combo package they call the DCP Keepsake (remember what DCP stands for?)  It combines the $7.84 sheet of 16 stamps and the $1.64 First Day Cover.  They are asking $9.95, but it’s actually cheaper to buy each item separately.

 

21.25 x 21.25-inch press sheet without die-cuts, containing nine panes of 16  stamps positioned three across by three - $70

If you want to get a lot of Elvis stamps, this one might appeal to you.  Disregard the single stamp image superimposed over the so-called “press” sheet.  There are nine of the 16-stamp sheets together measuring 21.25” x 21.25”.  The cost is $70.56.

 

 

According to the Washington Post, the Postal Service sold over 500,000,000 of the 1993 Elvis stamps, and reported later that 124,000,000 of them were never used for postage.  Fans held on to them as collectibles.

1993 Elvis Stamp

 

It’s my guess that not many of the 2015 Elvis stamps will ever be stuck on an envelope.

2015 Elvis Forever Stamp

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ElvisBlog has covered the Elvis Stamps for years.  To read more, click on:

The New Elvis Stamp – Posted July 3, 2015

The Elvis Stamp Has Not Left the Building – Posted March 1, 2014

Gladys and Elvis — A Mothers’ Day Commemorative Stamp?Posted October 1, 2011

Voting for the Elvis Stamp – Posted January 15, 2008

The Elvis Stamp Revisited – (From the January  2003 issue of Elvis International Magazine)

 

©  2015    Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister    All Rights Reserved    www.ElvisBlog.net

 

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Elvis, Elvis Presley, and Graceland are registered trademarks of Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc.

 

The New Elvis Stamp

Elvis Forever Stamp

Graceland.com announced yesterday that the US Postal Service has revealed the new Elvis stamp that will be issued in August. Unlike the 1993 Elvis stamp, the image is a photograph, not a drawing, and it is in black and white not color.

Stamp Picture

The shot they chose for the new stamp was taken by professional Memphis photographer William Speer, and there is an interesting story about the photo session. I pieced it together from two old website posts. Much of it is quotations made by Speer or his wife Vacil, but there were no acknowledgements of where these originated. There is also some confusion whether the photos were shot on November, 1954 or March 1955.

During that period, local DJ and concert promoter Bob Neal acted as Elvis’ manager.

Elvis and Bob Neal

Neal decided Elvis needed some publicity stills to help launch his budding career, so he sent him over to William Speer’s studio. Elvis wore a maroon shirt and a white sport coat, but he did not bring any other change of clothes.

The first two shots were taken with Elvis wearing the coat, one a close-up of his face, and the other incorporating part of his chest.

William Speer - Elvis Photo for Stamp

This appears to be the photo chosen for the new stamp. However, you will notice there is a shadow from Elvis’ hair on his forehead. This is because Speer used what he called “Rembrandt lighting” with an overhead spotlight casting shadows downward.

Now go back and look at the stamp again. The shadows have been Photoshopped out. They should have left them in.

Speer felt the bright white color of the coat gave Elvis’ face a washed-out look. What do you think? I can’t see it, and it certainly didn’t deter the stamp selection committee.

Next, Speer tried three shots with the white coat off, just Elvis in his maroon shirt.

William Speer - Three Photos of Elvis in Maroon Shirt
At this point, Speer figured he had taken all the photos he could and the session was finished. However, his wife was mesmerized by Elvis and disagreed. She boldly urged Elvis to try “something different” – a few shots with his shirt off. She has been quoted, “We went this far, might as well take the shirt off too. He didn’t look real happy about it, but he obliged.”

Three William Speer Photos Of Bare-chested Elvis

When Elvis saw the shirtless proofs a few days later, he laughed and said, “These have got to go.”

Two William Speers Photos of Bare-Chested Elvis

 

In a 1987 column in the New York Daily News, columnist Liz Smith called one of the brooding shirtless poses “the most beautiful photo ever taken of Elvis.” I’m guessing she referred to the last one above.

Here are a few quotes by William Speer and his wife Vacil about the memorable photo session with Elvis.

William: “I just happened to be in the right place at the right time, but what a place and what a time! I’d never heard of him to tell you the truth, but as soon as I sat him in front of the camera I knew he had it.”

Vacil: “It felt like an electrical charge in the room, an animal magnetism. You can tell the famous ones or the ones who are going to be famous. They stand out in a room without you even knowing who they are.”

William: “When he first stepped in front of the camera, I told him, ‘You sure would make a wonderful actor.’ [Elvis] looked like Burt Lancaster. He could have played his brother in the movies. He came off that dead film like dynamite. Either you’ve got it or you haven’t.”

Vacil: “There he stood in the doorway, long, lean, with big blue eyes and soft full lips. “I opened the doors and it was magic. I checked him head-to-toe and said ‘Wow.’”

William: “Even though he was shy, it was obvious Presley liked being photographed.”

Vacil: “Somebody said, ‘Why didn’t you take his pants off while you were at it?’ I could have been worth a fortune by now.”

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Congratulations to the folks who chose William Speer’s photo for the new Elvis stamp. ElvisBlog will present Part 2 of the stamp story next week.

 

 

© 2015 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

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Elvis, Elvis Presley, and Graceland are registered trademarks of Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc.

 

This Post Will Self-Destruct in One Week

Elvis and Confederate Flag 1

A last look before these images disappear.

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Elvis and the Confederate Flag 2

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Elvis and the Confederate Flag 3

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Elvis and the Confederate Flag 4

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Elvis and the Confederate Flag 5

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Elvis and the Confederate Flag 6

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Elvis and the Confederate Flag 7

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Elvis and the Confederate Flag 8

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Elvis and the Confererate Flag 9

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©  2015    Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister    All Rights Reserved    www.ElvisBlog.net

 

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Elvis, Elvis Presley, and Graceland are registered trademarks of Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc.