On August 10, Heritage Auctions wrapped up their Entertainment and Music Memorabilia Auction. It contained 49 Elvis collectible items, including many with Letters of Authenticity (LOA) from his former Memphis Mafia buddies and his double cousin Patsy Presley Geranen. Five weeks ago, we previewed the six items at auction with LOAs by Patsy Presley. There was one spectacular result and some other surprises. Let’s take a look.
Army Jacket, Pants, and Hat:
This lot containing Elvis’ complete Army dress uniform had a projected winning bid of $20,000, but it actually went for $35,000 (including buyer’s fee charged by the auction house). There have been several sales of Elvis Army fatigues before, but they never brought in the kind of money these “summer dress greens” did. Elvis’ size in the Army: jacket (38S), pants (29″ x 32″), and hat (size 7). Wow, Elvis had a 29″ waist back then. In addition to the LOA, Patsy Presley also provided four photographs of Elvis wearing his dress uniform.
Here is another item that surpassed its projected selling price. This 14 carat gold ring with a 1 carat diamond solitaire and two side diamonds went for $9,375, which is still fairly cheap compared to the prices folks for Elvis rings before the economic collapse five years ago. Certainly no photograph of Elvis wearing the ring affected the bidding.
Gold Chai Pendant:
Another big success, this 14k gold Chai Pendant had an expected sell price of $2,500, but it pulled in $10,000.
The winning price was no doubt enhanced by the inclusion of a photo of Elvis wearing it, in addition to the LOA.
Graceland Gate Openers:
This is an interesting item. Remote openers were new in the late 60s and were owned mostly by the privileged. Elvis had them for the Graceland front gate and also the back gate. I didn’t know there was a back exit at Graceland, but it makes sense. I wonder if that was what Elvis mostly used. Projected to bring $800, it actually sold for $2,125.
This photograph was included to show Elvis holding the remote opener, but I’ve blown it up, and it sort-of looks like Elvis’ hand is empty. The remotes are supposedly still functional, but the Graceland gate controls have certainly been changed since then.
Graceland Office Wall Clock:
This was the only dog in the items Patsy Presley offered. This carved and polished, battery-powered wood clock, inlaid with seashells, was given to Elvis by a fan and hung in the offices of Graceland. I swear it looks more like a reject from the Jungle Room than the Office. Expected to sell for $1,000, it got no bidders. You can buy it online at the Heritage website for $500. The clock is missing its hands and the “12” is missing its “2”
In the earlier post, I ridiculed the idea that this racquetball would bring the expected price of $800. Guess what, it went for $775. According to Patsy Presley, on the eve of Elvis’ passing, he had played racquetball with guests at Graceland, and this was one of the balls used. I guess if you can get something that was in Elvis’ hand just before he died, it’s certainly worth $775.
So, the items originating from Patsy Presley did pretty good. Have fun with that cash, girl. Thanks for making it possible for us fans see pictures of the Elvis goodies.
Now, let’s see how the Elvis clothing gifts to his buddies did at the auction.
Leather Fur-Trimmed Jacket – from Charlie Hodge:
Charlie Hodge provided the LOA on this, and he really praised the jacket: “Now this just looks like Elvis! It should. The style of the jacket with the large fur…cuffs was typical of how Elvis liked to dress offstage.” Another plus for this jacket was the fact that it came from Lansky Brothers and has the iconic label. A minus is that it has some minor stains on the front. A big minus is that there was no photo of Elvis wearing it. Projected to go for just $4,000, somebody spent $10,000 on it.
Maroon Shirt and Black Pants – from Richard Davis:
Elvis must have given tons of clothing to Richard Davis. That’s natural, because Davis was his valet and wardrobe manager, and was there in the room every time Elvis decided to part with an article of clothing. The pants sport the Lansky Brothers label, and the shirt is from “Anton” in Beverly Hills. Davis says the shirt was custom made for Elvis. It appears neither was worn more than a few times, so they are in excellent condition. The winning bid of $5,625 came in more than double the projected price. Even at that, this is a steal. Congratulations to the smart bidder who picked up a custom made shirt from Beverly Hills and a pair of Lansky pants, both worn by Elvis.
Lace Shirt – from Sonny West:
Sonny West was the proud recipient of this white lace polyester pullover sports shirt with an open V-neck, a prominent collar, and three-button cuffs. The auction website says it appears to be from the late ’60s when the King was in superb physical condition. It’s a Jackman Original (Las Vegas), size large, and shows very little wear. The top bid was $4,375.
Corduroy Jacket – originally from Alan Fortas:
This coat was offered at auction by a collector who had purchased it previously from Alan Fortas. Fortas gave him a Letter of Provenance then, and it’s showed up again for this sale. It states in part that Elvis “had this coat for one of his movies but did not wear it in the movie. Elvis did wear this for the photo shoot (and) years later…gave me this coat.”
The tan-colored corduroy jacket has two side slit pockets, two pleats in back, and an extra fourth closure at the neck – a pull tab to close it up. It is shown in that style on the on the cover of his album Elvis Is Back. The projected winning bid was $5,000, but it had numerous bidders going after it, and the final price was $17,500.
Sweatsuit – from Sonny West:
Sonny West was the beneficiary of this two-piece nylon sweatsuit – dark blue with white stripes. In his LOA, West stated that Elvis wore it when he played racquetball, lounged about the house, or rode his motorcycle. This seems confirmed by some visible wear on the inside of the pants’ waistband. The jacket is in much better shape. A happy bidder took this one home for $4,687.
Tuxedo Shirt – from Joe Esposito:
Joe Esposito coauthored the COA on this tuxedo shirt. Elvis apparently wore it a number of times, as indicated by some discoloration and minor staining. The off-white shirt with French cuffs is an Arrow, size 15.5″ x 34.”
This photo was offered with the shirt, but it shows a shirt with all the frilly stuff down the button band, different than the auction item.
Silk Robe – from Sonny West:
Sonny West received this dark green silk robe with white silk lining as a gift from Elvis, who had also received it as a gift from a Japanese fan in Las Vegas in the early 1970s. The robe has a large dragon embroidered on the back, and two smaller ones on the front. The projected top bid of $1,000 seemed low, and indeed it was because bidding topped out at $4,375. I’d love to see a photo of Elvis wearing it.
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