Cashing In On Those Old Gifts From Elvis

I’ve been following auctions of Elvis memorabilia for so long that certain trends have become obvious.  One is that prices for Elvis’ rings really dropped after the recession hit in 2008, but they are coming back pretty strong now.  Another is that Elvis gave away a phenomenal amount of his wardrobe and jewelry to his Memphis Mafia buddies and other friends.

 

Heritage

My favorite auction house, Heritage Auctions, has a good one coming up on August 10.  Their Entertainment and Music Memorabilia Auction contains 49 Elvis items.  Some of the offerings do not need a Letter of Authenticity – stuff like rare records, movie posters, signage from Las Vegas performances.  But clothing and jewelry do.  And these LOAs tell us who Elvis gave the articles to, and who is converting their old Elvis treasures into cash.

Sonny West and Elvis -- 1970

Sonny West and Elvis — 1970

Sonny West must have decided to clean out the closet, because he offers seven items of Elvis clothing at the upcoming auction.  There are also one item each from Alan Fortas, Richard Davis, Marty Lacker, and Joe Esposito.  A nice leather jacket has a LOA from Charlie Hodge, but this must be the second (or third?) time through the auction cycle for it, because Charlie died some years ago.

 

Patsy Presley -- 1976

Patsy Presley — 1976

A new name showed up this time on six Letters of Authenticity – Patsy Presley.  The item descriptions identify her as Elvis’ double cousin, and this peaked my curiosity.  She gets this interesting distinction because her father was Vernon Presley’s brother Vester, and her mother was Gladys Smith Presley’s sister Clette.  Seems like those Presley boys were both courting two of the Smith sisters back in Tupelo.  They married and had kids, making Elvis and Patsy double cousins.

 

Patsy Presley (center) at Graceland --1960

Patsy Presley (center) at Graceland –1960

 

Most Elvis fans will know that Elvis’ Uncle Vester presided as Graceland gatekeeper and good will ambassador for many years.

See the resemblance to Vernon and Gladys?

See the resemblance to Vernon and Gladys?

 

Some fans may also know Patsy Presley from her appearances at different Elvis festivals.

Patsy Presley -- 2013

Patsy Presley — 2013

 

An interesting piece of trivia about Patsy Presley is that she married Gee Gee Gambill in 1967, after which he became one of the Memphis Mafia, overseeing Elvis’ wardrobe.  He was also one of just five in the group invited to Elvis and Priscilla’s wedding.  While guys closer to Elvis, like Jerry Shilling, Red West and Charlie Hodge, were snubbed, Gee Gee got to be there because he was “family.”

At some point, Patsy Presley and Gee Gee Gambill divorced, and she later married Clayton Geranen.  Both Gambill and Geranen died in 2005.  According to internet search results, Patsy Presley worked as a secretary at Graceland for many years, and was devoted to Elvis.  She and Priscilla became close friends, often going shopping or to the movies together.  It was reported a few years ago that Patsy remains friendly with both Priscilla and Lisa Marie, the one Elvis relative that both have chosen to keep in touch with.

Finally, one website made reference some years ago to the existence of the Patsy Presley Collection on eBay.  I have been unable to find it there now, so perhaps she decided to move a group of Elvis items quickly by auction.  Here’s what she is offering on August 10.

Army Jacket, Pants, and Hat:

ARMY Jacket, Pants, and Hat (1960) MB 10,000

 

Diamond Ring:

Diamond Ring  14 carat gold MB 3,000

 

Gold Chai Pendant:

Gold Chai Pendant

 

Graceland Gate Openers:

Graceland Gate Openers

 

Graceland Office Wall Clock:

Graceland Wall Clock

 

Racquetball:

 Racquetball

 

Check out what the auction website says about this green racquetball:

“Elvis’ affinity for racquetball is well-documented.  On the eve of the King’s passing he had played with guests at Graceland – this was one of the balls used. LOA from Patsy Presley Geranen.  Estimate: $800 – up.”

Now I’ve seen it all.  A racquetball gets a Letter of Authenticity, and the auction house thinks it will bring $800.  If this represents a new trend, it’s pretty weird.  Oh, well.  That’s what makes Elvis World so interesting.

 

©  2013    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.

 

8 responses to “Cashing In On Those Old Gifts From Elvis

  1. Hello…I just wanted to clarify your comment about Elvis and Priscilla’s wedding. Jerry Schilling and Charlie Hodge WERE there in attendance at their wedding. Just wanted to set the record straight.

    • Hi Regan: I found more than one reference that stated the guests to the actual wedding ceremony were just as I listed them in this article. However, based on your last name, it is possible you have special knowledge that these writers didn’t uncover. Of course, Jerry Schilling and Charlie Hodge were at the wedding reception.

      Phil Arnold, original ElvisBlogmeister

  2. I have a ring that was to have belonged to Elvis. It is 6 sided and has a large emerald in the center with 8 rubies around it. There are also 21 diamonds around the outside. This would date back to the 70,s Think I may have seen it in pictures around the time of his marriage.

    Any idea of this being correct?

    • Hi Larry: I get a lot of requests like this, so I have created a standard reply. Please contact Jerry Osborne, famous Elvis collector, author and historian. His website is jerryosborne.com, his phone number is 360-385-1200, and his e-mail address is JPO@olympus.net.

      Thanks for reading ElvisBlog. Hope you enjoy it.

      Phil Arnold, ElvisBlogmeister

  3. Pingback: Elvis Gifts Do Well At Auction | ElvisBlog

  4. Hello Phil,
    I won an auction from Nate B. Sanders last night and I can’t find a THING on it on the web. You may have heard of this auction house, it is actually a reputable one… I am wondering if you have any insight or can turn me to someone who might have some insight regarding this piece. Here is the description:
    Elvis Presley personally owned shotgun, customized by Elvis. High Standard Flite King riot model K-10 firearm has the following customization: Initials ”EP” and a lightning bolt design, both in gilt, appear on each side of the receiver. Both sides of the stock have also been personalized with a lightning bolt and his motto, ”TCB” for ”Taking Care of Business”. TCB was also the name of his band from 1969 to 1977. Shotgun comes in a leather and canvas carrying case. Scratching to stock and some chipping to gilt appliques, else near fine. With a COA from the famed Jimmy Velvet Collection of the Elvis Presley Museum.

    • Hi Tom: I get a lot of requests like this, so I have created a standard reply. Please contact Jerry Osborne, famous Elvis collector, author and historian. His website is jerryosborne.com, his phone number is 360-385-1200, and his e-mail address is JPO@olympus.net.

      Thanks for reading ElvisBlog. Hope you enjoy it.

      Phil Arnold, ElvisBlogmeister

  5. Thanks for putting a link to this from Facebook! Keep doing that so I get reminders to come back and read your posts. Always fun and informative.

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