Gotta Have It concluded their “Rock and Roll Pop Culture Auction” on September 27. It contained 41 Elvis items, and the offerings were much like those covered here in previous posts. Of course, there was clothing Elvis had given to his buddies, plus jewelry, autographs, and rare photographs. However, the expectations listed on the auction website for the winning bids on some items were questionable, and several results were curious. For example, look at what has to be the most inflated minimum bid I have ever seen.
1957 Concert Poster:
This 11″ x 14″ cardboard poster for concert in Portland, Oregon on September 2nd, 1957, shows Elvis in his western outfit from the movie Loving You. And it truly is very rare. According to the auction house, there is only one other known surviving copy of this poster. They say there are few remaining posters from any of Elvis’ 50s concerts, and most of them don’t have Elvis’ picture on it. Elvis wore his famous gold lame jacket for this show and at stops in Vancouver, BC, and Tacoma, and Seattle. Elvis mania was in full swing, and a near-riot occurred. This poster comes from a radio DJ’s wife who actually attended the concert and saved it for over 50 years!
Okay, it was a historic concert, the poster was one of the few with Elvis’ photo on it, and it is extremely rare. But, where did they get the idea to set the minimum bid at $35,000? When I saw that, I knew it would go unsold. For that kind of money you could get several articles of Elvis’ clothing, accompanied by photos of him wearing them and/or letters of authenticity from the folks Elvis gave the clothes to. If you had $35,000 to spend on Elvis collectibles, wouldn’t you much rather have some cool shirts, pants and coats? I’m curious to see how much lower the minimum bid will be on this poster when it shows up at auction again.
Brown Suede Jacket and Pants:
There is nothing surprising about the results on this set of Elvis clothing. The minimum bid was $8,000, and the winning bid was $14,174 included the buyer’s premium charged by the auction house. Like three other lots in this auction, it was a gift from Elvis to Alan Fortas, who provides Letters of Authenticity on all. Elvis bought this brown suede jacket and flared slacks combo in 1968. No history is offered for the scarf that accompanies them. This is an example of a good investment in Elvis collectibles – three article of his personal clothing for just over $14,000.
Beaded Fringe Suede Vest:
This was a very good deal if your budget can’t handle the bigger ticket items. Elvis’ beaded, fringed suede vest had a projected sell price of $4-6,000, but it went for just the minimum bid of $2,000 plus buyer’s fee.
Not only does it come with a photo of Elvis wearing it, it also comes with a LOA from Elvis’ cousin and Graceland gate guard, Harold Loyd, whom Elvis gave it to one day while cleaning out his closet. I can’t believe only one person bid on this vest, but that person must certainly be thrilled with their bargain-priced Elvis collectible.
Mint Green Munsingwear Pajamas:
Now let’s look at a really bad deal. These pajamas were one of several items in the auction originally given to Charlie Hodge by Elvis. The minimum bid was $2,000, and just one person bid on them. For some inexplicable reason, this person bid $8,000, four times more than necessary to get on the board. Why? Pretty stupid.
North Beach Leather Pants with Whip Stitching:
These custom made cream leather pants with red whip stitching came with a LOA from Charlie Hodge, but no photo of Elvis wearing them. Perhaps that is why the minimum bid was only $1,000, low enough to bring in the most spirited bidding of all offerings. The winning bid came in at $2,600.
Diamond & Gold Nugget Ring:
This14k gold ring was by far the most valuable item of the auction, but also a big loser for the seller. It is set with 16 round brilliant cut diamonds and three emerald cut diamonds totaling 8.05ct. The minimum bid was $20,000, which seems kind of low, and the projected sell price was $110-120,000. It brought in $57,000, but unfortunately it had been purchased at Affiliated Auctions in December 2009 for $107,500. Somebody took a huge loss.
A very interesting story behind this ring is told on the auction website: “At this 1975 concert in North Carolina, Elvis threw his black Gibson guitar into the audience and two men in the front row grabbed for the guitar and wrestled for it briefly. One man ended up with the guitar, and Elvis called the other man over to the front of the stage where he met him, took this ring off his finger and gave it to him. Elvis walked back across the stage saying into the microphone, “Ah, what’s $16,000.” The man’s name was Lloyd Perry, and the ring comes with a letter of provenance from him as well as newspaper articles and photographs.”
Long Sleeve Shirt, Pants and Belt:
Here is another lot containing three Elvis clothing items. It went for $12,865, double the minimum bid and above the projected winning price. Elvis gave Charlie Hodge this flowery print shirt, black flared bottom slacks, and gold metal stretch belt with a lion buckle in 1970, when he was cleaning out his Palm Springs house.
Although no mention is made on the auction website listing, the shirt sure looks like the one Elvis wore during the rehearsal filming for the movie Elvis – That’s the Way It Is.
Custom Made Pink Gabardine Shirt:
Considering that this shirt was custom-made for Elvis, it has to be one of the most conservative shirts he ever wore. It has a LOA from Alan Fortas, but for some unknown reason, it is accompanied by a photo of Elvis wearing a “very similar shirt.” Other than being pink, it looks substantially different, so what value does the picture add?
In addition to the LOA, one other thing should have made this shirt desirable to bidders. It is the Lansky Bros. “Styled for Elvis Presley” label inside the collar. Still, the shirt topped out at only $2,929, a bargain in my mind.
“Aloha From Hawaii” Transparency Slides:
This set of 11 original slides from 1973 show Elvis arriving in Hawaii for his “Aloha From Hawaii” TV special. It brought in $1,952, just about what was expected.
Two Sets of Four Original 8 x 10 black and white photographs of Elvisley, each signed by photographer Alfred Wertheimer:
In addition to Alfred Wertheimer’s signature of the back of each photo, he also hand-wrote his photo titles, a description of the shot, and the location and date.
What’s curious is why the first set had 10 bids and went for $1,433, while the second had only 3 bids and topped out at $803. I can’t figure it out.
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