Category Archives: AUCTIONS / MEMORABILIA

Elvis Merchandise – Circa 1956

ElvisBlog does an article or two after each Auction at Graceland and usually covers an interesting mix of items. However, the recently completed auction held during Elvis Week had one item that provided more than enough for this post.

Don’t worry if you can’t make out the pictures on here. I will cover each one with a large enough image for you to make out not only the pictures but most of the texts as well.

What we have here is a 1956 Elvis Presley Enterprises merchandising guide poster featuring thirty-five items.  It measures 16 inches by 26 inches and sold for $250 at the auction to Glenn Johnson, a big Elvis collector in Texas.  I talked to him by email, and he said he owns all but five of these items.

Here is a part of the website description of this merchandising guide poster:

In 1956 as Elvis’ career was hitting the fast track, Colonel Parker partnered with Hank Saperstein to create a merchandising machine that would bring the superstar into the home and hearts of every youngster around the nation. Elvis Presley Enterprises placed Elvis’ image on everything from clothing and jewelry to toys, shoes, lipstick and so much more. This was a stroke of marketing genius.

The poster was sent to distributors with the notation that each of the creators of the items would provide advertising help to the local retailers.

 

Let’s look at the 1956 Elvis merchandise on this poster, going from left to right starting at the top of the poster.

 

Crew Hat:

This hat must have been one of the best sellers, because I’ve seen them in lots of photos of the fans. Here’s a larger photo in color.

And here’s one of Elvis wearing the hat when he performed in Tupelo.

 

Head Scarf:

I was a teenager in 1956, and I just don’t remember the girls wearing scarfs, so this item may have not sold very well.

Here it is in color. Elvis was known to wear a bit of eye make-up, and the artist shows it here.

 

Elvis Presley Fashions:

The text says iridescent 50/50 felt. I believe this is one of them.

 

Teenage Lipstick:

So, what would have been your preference, ladies? Hound Dog Pink or Heartbreak Hotel Red?

 

Skimmer Pump Shoes:

I never heard of skimmer pump shoes, so I looked them up, and It appears that skimmer pump is another name for flats.  This is one of the items that collector Glenn Johnson does not have.  I guess most of them got worn to death and were finally discarded.

 

Elvis Presley’s Hound Dog:

I tried to look up a good color picture of this Elvis stuffed hound dog. I couldn’t find it, but there are dozens of other licensed and unlicensed ones on Google. It might be fun to post a Top 10 Review of the best ones.

 

Elvis Presley Statue:

I’m not sure 7-1/2 inches tall qualifies as a statue, but, hey, what do you want for a buck?

 

Talking Record:

I did some research on this, but it’s still a little hazy.  I think in the beginning it was just a small 78 RPM record.  Collector Glenn Johnson has not been able to find this item for his extensive collection.

However, there are many photos of the record attached to the cover of a 32-page magazine.  Here’s one that sold at the Auction at Graceland in January 2017.

It sold for $312.50. Years later, a CD version of this talking record was released.

 

Crew Neck Polo Shirt and Girl’s Knit Pajamas:

 

The left side of the poster combines three clothing items with the same Elvis design. In addition to the crew neck polo shirt above, there was also a boat-neck version.

Unlike most items on the poster these don’t list the retail price. However, there was a polo shirt and hat combo on the recent Auction at Graceland that sold for $343.75.

This one looks like it had a lot of wear. Plus, they may have called it a polo shirt, but it’s really a T-shirt.

 

Canvas Sneakers:

A pair of these sneakers and the original box, both in pristine condition, were sold at the August 13, 2015 Auction at Graceland for $3,750.

 

Elvis Presley Handkerchiefs:

One of these handkerchiefs and the scarf sold for $312.50 at the last auction.

 

 

 

Billfolds:

They didn’t use a very good quality photo for these. Here are three of the billfold designs in color.

.

Bookends:

I found a pair of these on eBay, but they were sold and the price didn’t appear.


The eBay text says they are very rare.

 

Mittens:

I could not find another picture of the Elvis mittens. And Glenn Johnson has never found them to add to his collection.

 

Belts and Bolo ties:

Here’s one of the belts I found on eBay for $1,450.

There’s a surprising variety of Elvis bolos out there on the internet, none of them seem to the 1956 models.

 

Socks:

I couldn’t find any better pictures of these.

 

Rock and Roll Photo Wallet:

 

Combo Bag:

 

Medallion Necklaces:

I found this one on ebth.com.

I can’t believe it sold for just $30.

 

Black Twill Jeans and Simtex Shirt:

I couldn’t find either of these on the internet.  Maybe all that sold got worn out and thrown away.  Or maybe they didn’t sell at all because there was no image of Elvis on them.  Glenn Johnson doesn’t have either, so I’m guessing they will never be in his collection.

 

Charm Bracelet:

These were easy find on the internet.

 

I hope you enjoyed this look at all the Elvis stuff from 1956.  The Auction at Graceland has been the source for many ElvisBlog posts, but I think this was one of the most interesting.

My thanks to Glenn Johnson for the information he provided for this post.  If you want to see his collection in a 15 minute on YouTube, click here:

 

 

© 2019 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

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

 

Elvis Pseudo-Stamps with Bonus Artwork

Not many Elvis stamps from foreign countries have featured a picture of Elvis this cool. This looks like it could be real with a country of origin (Republic of Central Africa) and a postage amount. But it’s not. It’s made of embossed 24kt gold making it impractical use in mailing an envelope. So, they are offered not as stamps but as “tributes” in a 1995 brochure promoting them.

 

 

I found this flyer in the Elvis stuff I’ve been saving for decades. Here’s the picture from the brochure containing the pseudo-stamp.

 

 

The combinations of the tributes and the Elvis artwork on the backing cardboard are referred to as “issues”. There are six of them in this set. Here is the art on this one blown up.

Elvis appears to be wearing his famous white suit from the ’68 Comeback Special. There’s a big jukebox behind him and a bunch of 45s floating around leaving trails of smoke behind. There’s a lot other stuff in there, but I can’t make out what any of it is. I guess it is all intended to look groovy, in late-60s lingo.

 

Here are the rest of the issues.

 

 

Let’s take a look at that “highly detailed, intricate embossing” close up.

Look close and you can see three Elvis images. There’s the big head shot in color, plus in the embossed part, there is Elvis’ body with the mike up to his mouth, and a larger frontal face. They weren’t kidding about that “highly detailed, intricate embossing.”

 

I love the big Elvis face dominating this one, but I’m unclear what the drag racer car or the Saturn rocket relate to.

 

The embossed image on this one is simpler and easy to make-out

 

 

The accompanying text says this issue features five images from three Elvis movies. Well, the two on the stamp are clearly identified as from “Easy Come, Easy Go.”

 

The artwork shows “G.I. Blues” Elvis wearing the helmet. “Spinout” is nicely represented by the other two. Overall, I like this image a lot..

 

I’ve shown these last two issues in the same sequence they appear in the brochure. I guess that both being from Mali makes them companion issues. Or maybe it’s the repetition of the five picture/three movie theme.

 

I’m glad the stamp identifies the two Elvis images are from “Girls, Girls, Girls,” because I might not have figured it out.

 

This is not one of my favorites in this set, mainly because of the blue Elvis on the right. I don’t know if that is supposed to be from “Viva Las Vegas” or “Tickle Me.” The other two are easy to place.

 

 

I can’t see the connection to “When My Blue Moon Turns to Gold.” The jalopy looks similar to the one in the movie “Loving You.”

 

This is the second stamp from the Republic of Central Africa. I never heard of this country, so I looked it up.

 

Well, the name certainly fits the location.

 

This would be my least favorite artwork in the set. It would be better with more Elvis and less hot rod.

 

 

They should have left off the chin cleft, because Elvis never had one.

 

Wow, could you cram any more American Pop Culture into one picture than they did here? Besides Elvis, there is popcorn, a hot dog, soft ice cream, big red tail fins, and stacks of 45s. I’m not sure I get the inclusion of a bottle of champagne or the bird on the right. What is that just below the popcorn? Looks like a mushroom. ?????

 

The price on the full set was $68 back in 1995. I never bought it, but now I kind of wish I had. These stamps with bonus artwork just might be worth something today. It seems to me that this original Elvis art could have been utilized in other ways for us fans to enjoy.

 

 

© 2019 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

 

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

 

Elvis Goodies from the Fuzzy Room – Part 6

It’s been almost three months since I last posted a group of Elvis collectibles for sale on here.  I need to get back to it, because the time to move and down-size is steadily approaching. Thanks for helping me find new homes for the Elvis stuff I’ve collected for decades and displayed in my Fuzzy Room.

 

Please Note:  The prices are for delivery to USA destinations only.  Postal rates to other countries are just prohibitive and mailing to them is way more hassle.  Sorry.

 

A 3-Pack of Elvis-Related Movie DVDs:

Three Elvis-Related Movie DVDs

All three of these are definitely worthy of watching.  Here’s what they’re about.

Elvis Has Left the Building.  Kim Basinger looks terrific as a travelling cosmetic sales woman who inadvertently kills an Elvis impersonator and goes on the run.  Lots of strange stuff ensues, including a cameo by Tom Hanks.  The finale with all those Elvis impersonators up on the roof of the casino is classic.

Finding Graceland.  This one is more surreal but very satisfying.  If you can’t imagine Harvey Keitel in a jumpsuit performing Elvis songs, you are in for a pleasant surprise.  Within the context of this story, he is achievement of this goal is very believable.

ELVIS – The Mini-Series:  This was an eight-episode TV series back in 2005 that’s been packed into 173 minute video. Johnathan Rhys Meyers won a Golden Globe Award for his portrayal of Elvis in it. He had the Elvis voice down well, but fortunately he just apes it to the real Elvis on the songs. Be sure to check out his outstanding moves wearing the famous gold coat. Trivia:  Robert Patrick plays Vernon.  That’s quite a transformation going from T-1000 in Terminator 2 to Vernon Presley fourteen years later. This is a duplicate of the original DVD, but it plays great.

The price for this combo is $15 delivered to US destinations.

 

Elvis Forever TV Guide Issue:

TV Guide - 25th Anniversary Elvis Issue

TV Guide did a big-time celebration of the 25th anniversary of Elvis’ death in this issue.  They glued a hologram picture on the cover, and devoted 14 pages to Elvis.  There’s an interesting article written by William F. Buckley with a few facts you might not already know.  Then, there’s a story about how the movie Loving You “mirrored the dramatic rise of the legendary performer.”  Finally, there were remembrances by some people who you might not expect to have connections with Elvis: Danny Glover, Mimi Rodgers, Melonie Griffin, Wynona, and others.

This special TV Guide issue is just $8 delivered.

 

Elvis Trading Cards Encased in Protective Plastic:

 

Editor’s Note:  This item has been sold.

Elvis Trading Cards

This is not the complete set of 66 Elvis trading cards issued in 1978.  However, these 32 cards are in perfect shape inside heavy plastic sleeves.  You can slide the cards out if you want to examine closely.

Elvis Trading Cards - Back

As you can see, there are fun facts on the reverse sides.

Just $9 delivered for this collection of laminated trading cards.

 

Copies of Elvis International Magazine with Autographs by Elvis’ Musicians and Contemporaries:

 

50th Anniversary of Rock and Roll Issue:

Editor’s Note:  This item has been sold.

 

Elvis International Magazine

This is a great collectible just for its 10 rare full-page photos and dozens of smaller ones. Plus, the magazine is crammed full of good articles like:

The Beginning: Scotty Moore

Genuine American Music Legends: (written by me)

Still Taking Care of Business: (about the TCB Band also written by me)

Collecting the King

The Legends: (also written by me)

Meeting Elvis: (first impressions by Ike Turner, Johnny Cash, B.B. King, Waylon Jennings, Skeeter Davis, Etta James, and Jerry Lee Lewis)

Roots of Rock and Roll

D.J. and Bill, Unjustly Excluded from Hall of Fame: (written by Max Weinburg, drummer in Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band)

Elvis on Cover of Rolling Stone: (written by Bono of U2, but somehow proofreading failed to catch it spelled Bobo one time)

Elvis and Rock ‘n Roll

Recognition for Elvis at the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial: (an intriguing story about the prominent proclamation recognizing Elvis’ roll in making the memorial a reality – but was removed 28 years later)

 

In my opinion, this is the biggest and best issue of Elvis International magazine ever.  But the copy I am selling has autographs by these special people.

Scotty Moore, D.J. Fontana, Gordon Stoker, Ray Walker Autographs

Elvis’ Original Bandmates

Scotty Moore

D.J. Fontana

Jordanaires who recorded and toured with Elvis

Gorgon Stoker

Ray  Walker

Elvis' TCB Band Autographs

TCB Band

James Burton

Ronnie Tutt

Jerry Scheff

Glen D. Hardin

Boots Randolph, Millie Kirkham Autographs

Recorded with Elvis in the 60s

Boots Randolph

Millie Kirkham

Bob Moore

Plus

Ronnie McDowell

Red Robinson

Eddie Miles

Billy Swan

Stan Perkins (Carl’s son)

Lee Rocker

Nancy Black (Bill’s daughter)

I was backstage for two concerts presented by Darwin Lamm, the publisher of Elvis International.  I took this copy of the magazine around to everybody and got them to sign on the pages where there were articles about them and photos of them.

Someone else took around an acoustical guitar and got all the same signatures.  It sold at auction for several hundred dollars.  My magazine is going for just $50.

 

70th Birthday Tribute Issue:

Editor’s Note:  This item has been sold.

Elvis International Magazine 70th Birthday Tribute

This issue has a large lineup of great articles:

Elvis’ Influence on Music Has Been Profound

Global Moment in Time – July 5, 1954, Sun Records… 50 Years Later

Backstage with 21 Music Legends (I wrote this.  It’s when I got all those autographs)

Collecting the King

Christmas to Remember (written by Joe Esposito)

Meeting Elvis (first impressions by Tony Curtis, Liberache, Mamie Van Doren, Glen Campbell, and Tammy Wynette

Elvis – The Mini-Series

Elvis Art – Elvis Week Art Contest

Al Dvorin Remembered (The man who coined the phrase, “Elvis has left the building)

Memories of Elvis

At the Hayride

Richard Davis Remembered

Elvis on Film – Mr. Rock ‘n Roll

 

Joe Esposito Autograph

As you can see, I got Joe Esposito to autograph the article he wrote.  That should make this very good issue worth $12.

 

ELVIS 24th Anniversary Collector’s Edition:

Elvis International Magazine 24th Anniversary Collectors Edition

Sorry, my camera made some light distortions in this picture.

 

When I first started writing for Elvis International magazine, I didn’t realize that I could have some say in what photos accompanied my articles.  So, I was very surprised when two Al Wertheimer pictures showed up in an article titled, “Does VH1 Hate Elvis – Or Are They Just Stupid?” The photos had absolutely no connection to my story, but I was fine with that.  I’ll take two Al Wertheimer pictures any time.

Al Wertheimer Autographs

So, when Al commissioned me to write the forward to his book, ELVIS, The Early Years, I sent him a copy of the issue and asked him to autograph it.   He actually autographed both pictures, and as a bonus, he noted the date when each was taken.  And on the one on the right, he wrote, “No More Paper Towels,” the title he used when he first published the photo.

So, this is a great Al Wertheimer collectible.

 

In addition, this issue of the magazine contains the only Elvis fiction ever published in Elvis International.  It is, “The Bootleg Album,” written by me (and containing a picture of the wrong album)

 

All in all, this double autographed Al Wertheimer issue is easy worth $20.

 

ELVIS – The Ed Sullivan Shows 3-DVD Set

Editor’s note: This item has been sold.

Elvis Presley - Ed Sullivan Shows

Elvis appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show three times .  This set has the complete shows including the ads.  Here’s the Elvis Songs you get on each one.

DISC ONE: Sept 9, 1956

Don’t Be Cruel

Love Me Tender

Ready Teddy

Hound Dog

Three hits and a Little Richard cover.  When Scotty goes into his guitar riff in Ready Teddy, Elvis does some serious shaking.  I wish Scotty had jammed on even more, and we could have seen what other moves Elvis had to give us.

Elvis Doing Ready Teddy on Ed Sullivan 09-09-56

DISC TWO: October 28, 1956

Don’t Be Cruel

Love Me Tender

Love Me

Hound Dog

Seven weeks later, Elvis does three of the same songs again.  His hit songs not only went high on the charts, they stayed there for really long times.  Love Me is a great song anyway, but seeing Elvis sing it is a special treat.  My favorite of this show.

DISC THREE: January 6, 1957

Medley: Hound Dog / Love Me Tender / Heartbreak Hotel

Don’t Be Cruel

Too Much

When My Blue Moon Turns To Gold Again

Peace in the Valley

This show had a variety of songs.  The big three, Don’t Be Cruel, Love Me Tender, and Hound Dog were back again; four months after Elvis did them on his first Sullivan show appearance. There was his latest hit, Too Much. There were two songs never released as singles – When My Blue Moon Turns to Gold Again and Peace in the Valley. They were on four-song EPs, and both made it to the charts.  Elvis did his first TV medley, but the songs were too short to really enjoy..

The highlight of this DVD for me was Don’t Be Cruel. Ed Sullivan had Elvis filmed from the waist up on this show, but Elvis still found ways to generate excitement. On Don’t Be Cruel, Elvis toyed with the young girls in the audience by doing hand motions, mouth movements and exotic looks with his eyes. I had fun using pause and single-frame advance to capture his intensity.

Elvis Doing Don't Be Cruel on Ed Sullivan Show 2

Elvis Doing Don't Be Cruel on Ed Sullivan Show

Elvis had some powerful eyes.

Buy this three-DVD set for $15 delivered and you will be glad you did.

 

OK, to summarize, these are the Elvis goodies I am parting with:

A 3-Pack of Elvis-Related Movie DVDs — $15

Elvis Forever TV Guide Issue — $8

32 Elvis Trading Cards Incased in Protective Plastic — $9

50th Anniversary of Rock and Roll Issue loaded with Autographs — $50

70th Birthday Tribute Issue – Joe Esposito — $12

ELVIS 24th Anniversary Collector’s Edition – Al Wertheimer — $20

ELVIS – The Ed Sullivan Shows 3-DVD Set — $15

 

Pay Now with PayPal Button.

If you want an item, send me an email at philarnold@charter.net.  (Do not notify me of your interest on Comments.)   As usual, first come, first served. I would prefer payment using PayPal, but checks will work, too. When I get your email, I will initiate billing on PayPal.  You approve it and I send the item right out to you.  With a check, it’ll take a little longer.

 

Thanks for your support.

Phil Arnold, Original ElvisBlogmeister (2005-2019)

 

 

 

 

Red Velvet Shirt is Top Prize at Elvis Auction – Even with Part of it Missing

Elvis' Red Velvet Shirt from '56 Tupelo Concert

Back on January 8, Elvis’ 84th birthday was celebrated in many ways. One was the 12th Graceland Auction. There’s lots of cool stuff I want to report on, starting with his famous red velvet shirt. The shirt topped the field of 233 entries with the highest winning bid. Ten bids ran the price up to $37,500 (including 25% buyer’s premium).

The most interesting thing to me is that it was so bid so high in spite of a large section of the fabric being cut off.

Didn’t matter. It was still Graceland Auction’s big star. I try to predict how things will be bid compared to the estimate. I have a fairly good average. On this one, I was pretty sure bidders wouldn’t care about the flaws that much. I thought it would hit its estimate of $30-50,000, and it did.

We are talking about the custom-made red velvet shirt that Elvis wore during the evening show at the September 26, 1956 Mississippi-Alabama Fair & Dairy Show in Tupelo.

Elvis '56 Tupelo Concert Poster

 

According to the auction website:

“This shirt is perhaps one of the most significant artifacts of clothing from a key period in Elvis’ life. Any Elvis-worn clothing from the 1950s is rare enough–we have seen few examples. But a shirt possibly worn by Elvis at one of the most important 1950’s concerts in his career is unprecedented.”

 

Elvis '56 Tupelo Concert Red Velvet Shirt - piece cut out of back

This shot from the back shows the irregular cut removing the bottom part of the shirt. Here’s a look at the full length.

Elvis '56 Tupelo Concert Backshot

Actually, this is the same shirt, but blue, worn at the daytime concert

The auction website does a superb job with background on this iconic red velvet shirt. Here is the text as written by Jeff Marren and Laura Pickett.

“1956 was one of the most pivotal years for Elvis because it was during the course of these 12 months that Elvis rose to superstardom and international acclaim. With his Sun contract being purchased by RCA, Elvis produced not one, but two million-dollar-selling albums this year with several huge hits including “Heartbreak Hotel,” “Don’t Be Cruel” and “Hound Dog”; he appeared on national television more than ten times; performed over 140 concerts in more than 75 cities; starred in his first Hollywood feature film, Love Me Tender; and signed a seven-year contract with Paramount Pictures.

“This momentous year catapults Elvis from the edge of fame into the stratosphere, and as his popularity gains momentum, it’s evident that he is destined for greatness and success like no other entertainer before him.

“In August of 1956, Elvis began filming for his first movie role in The Reno Brothers, later renamed Love Me Tender to capitalize on the success of his smash hit. After shooting wrapped for Love Me Tender in mid-September, Elvis returned to his hometown of Tupelo, Mississippi on September 26, 1956 to perform a pair of shows on the stage of the Mississippi-Alabama Fair & Dairy Show.”

 

Tupelo Daily Journal - Elvis '56 Tupelo Concert

“The international phenomenon returned to great fanfare and pride among his hometown folk who welcomed him with a giant banner that read Tupelo Welcomes Elvis Presley Home.”

Elvis '56 Tupelo Concert Homecoming Poster

“Tupelo mayor James Ballard presented Elvis with a guitar-shaped Key to the City, and Mississippi governor J.P. Coleman read a proclamation during the fair honoring Elvis.”

Getting Key to City at Elvis '56 Tupelo Concert.

“It was during these two concerts that Elvis famously wore two different velvet shirts, he sported the blue velvet shirt in the afternoon performance and the red velvet during the evening show.”

Elvis '56 Tupelo Concert Afternoon Show - In Color

“The shirts are rumored to have either been gifted to him by Natalie Wood or made for him by his mother. While the facts surrounding the origins of the shirts vary, the fact that he wore these special shirts on several occasions, including his Tupelo homecoming performance, is undisputed. And despite advance planning, it was not without a bit of drama that he was able to wear these special shirts during this famous homecoming.

“Alanna Nash recalls in her book entitled Baby Let’s Play House: Elvis Presley and the Women Who Loved Him that the “heartbreak blue” shirt:

…almost didn’t make it to Tupelo. Barbara Hearn was Elvis’s date, and early that morning on Audubon Drive, where the Presleys were having remodeling work done, “Elvis handed me something on a clothes hanger with a laundry cover on it. He said, ‘Hold this.’ There was a bit of confusion, and lots of people around, and I stood there holding it until I thought, ‘Gosh, I’m not a closet rod here,’ and I laid it on the sofa.”

They rode down together in Elvis’s new white Lincoln Mark II, and when they arrived at the dressing tent, Elvis suddenly turned to Barbara. “Where’s my shirt? Do you have my shirt?” “What shirt?” “The shirt I gave you to hold this morning.” Oh, gosh! She didn’t know he meant to bring that shirt! Barbara felt really bad, but Elvis was very sweet about it. They just quickly called somebody in Memphis who hadn’t left yet, and they brought it on down.

Colorized Photo of Elvis and Barbara Hearn

Elvis and Barbara Hearn. This is a colorized photo.

“Elvis so treasured these fabulous shirts that the performances in Tupelo were not the only occasion on which he would wear them. Elvis can also be seen wearing both the red velvet shirt and the blue velvet shirt in the earlier promotional photos taken for Love Me Tender shot at the beginning of September 1956.”

“Furthermore, the red velvet shirt is donned by Elvis on the cover of his album For LP Fans Only which featured recordings from 1956 but was not released until February 1959. He wore these shirts again in mid-October at home on Audubon Drive as seen in photos of him playing with the dog, Sweet Pea, that he gave to his mother.”

Elvis Presley and Sweet Pea - October 18, 1956

Notice Barbara Hearn’s photograph in the background

‘…and on January 1957 after rehearsals for his last appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show with a vest over the shirt.”

Elvis in Red Velvet Shirt Backstage at Ed Sullivan Show

“He also appears wearing one of the velvet shirts in an image used in Baby Let’s Play House by Alanna Nash in which Elvis is sitting in a theater next to Natalie Wood and Nick Adams.”

Elvis, Natalie Wood & Nick Adams

 

“Offered is very likely the red velvet shirt which Elvis cherished, as evidenced by the many times he lovingly wore it for significant events. This iconic shirt from so early in Elvis’ career and the start of the cultural revolution that his music and style would spark is a quintessential relic from a pivotal time in entertainment history.”

“Unequivocal photomatching is nearly impossible with a shirt of this construction and fabric, and this is further complicated by the very small number of photographs from the period, especially from the evening concert on September 26, 1956.”

Elvis '56 Tupelo Concert Evening Show Wearing Red Velvet Shirt

(Here are two photos of the red shirt at the evening show)

Elvis '56 Tupelo Concert Evening Show1

“And this is further complicated by the very small number of photographs from the period, especially from the evening concert on September 26, 1956. That being said, photos that do exist from the concert, and the early September Love Me Tender publicity photo shoot, do show strong similarities to the offered shirt.”

Elvis - Love Me Tender Promotional Photo

Love Me Tender movie publicity photo

“The placement and shape of the buttons, the style and shape of the ruffled seams and the position of the seams at the chest all show at least a passing correlation to the same areas on the offered garment. The shirt has most likely shrunk somewhat, either from improper cleaning or a poor storage environment, and a portion has been removed from the bottom. This may have been done to remove a damaged area of the fabric, though we cannot be sure.

“The strongest evidence that this is the shirt worn by Elvis in Tupelo and elsewhere in 1956 and early 1957 is our consignor herself. The shirt originates from Marilyn Pritchett Pruit, who was married to Elvis’ cousin for a period starting in the late 1960s and was given the shirt at Graceland in 1969. Her letter of provenance, which accompanies the shirt, states:

On Dec. 21, 1968 I married Jesse Earl Pritchett, son of Nashville Lorene Presley Pritchett. Nash was the baby sister of Vernon Presley, Elvis’ father. At Elvis’ New Years Eve party in 1968, I met Elvis. I was not a diehard fan, so I wasn’t going to faint when I met him!! Well I almost did. JE, as I called my husband, called Elvis over to meet me. Elvis said “Hi Marilyn” and I could not speak, nothing would come out of my mouth. He was the most gorgeous man I had ever laid eyes on. Elvis found that very amusing.

Sometime around the middle of 1969 I was at Graceland and Elvis had Aunt Delta Biggs going thru his closet. It was packed and he wanted to send some clothes to Goodwill. This red shirt, one of the ones that Natalie Wood had made for him in the 50’s was in the clothes Aunt Delta had taken to send. I picked up the shirt and was admiring it. Seeing I liked it, Elvis gave me the shirt. It has been my pleasure to own it for almost 50 years. I hope you will cherish it as much as I have.

(Graceland Auctions has confirmed that when Mrs. Pritchett received the shirt, the portion had already been trimmed from the bottom. So, we don’t know how it happened and probably never will).

“This shirt is perhaps one of the most significant artifacts of clothing from a key period in Elvis’ life. Any Elvis-worn clothing from the 1950s is rare enough–we have seen few examples. But a shirt possibly worn by Elvis at one of the most important 1950’s concerts in his career is unprecedented. This extraordinary shirt is accompanied by a letter of authenticity from Graceland Authenticated.”

“The shirt’s fabric remains amazingly supple to the touch, and all but one button on the left cuff is completely intact. The interior tagging is missing and a portion of the shirt has been trimmed from the bottom of the shirt.”

Close Up of Elvis' Red Velvet Shirt

 

In spite of these things, the auction graded the shirt as “Very Good to Excellent condition.” And I’m sure the new owner is delighted to own it. I know I would.

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Photographs and text by permission, copyright 2019
GracelandAuctions.com

 

 

 

© 2018 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net
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.

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

 

Graceland Auction Creates New Fan Experiences (and Funds Charity)

Jan 2019 Graceland Auction

I’ve written seventeen articles covering the Graceland Auctions since they began during Elvis Week 2014. I like to pick out items that catch my interest or have an unusual back story and report on them.

However, this post on the January 8, 2019 auction will cover the first thirteen lots. These are all brand new fan events they’ve created for folks to bid on. And these are some really desirable packages. Here’s the list:

Annual Pass for Unlimited Visits to Graceland

Private Graceland Evening Tour and Dinner With Up To 24 Guests

Graceland Romantic Weekend Getaway

Be a Graceland Archivist for a Day

1-Hour Outdoor Photo Shoot at Graceland Mansion

Photo Shoot of Your Classic Car or Motorcycle in Front of Graceland Mansion

Private Tour of the Graceland Stables

2-Hour Private Tour of Graceland Archives

Tour of Graceland with Elvis’ Cousin

Private Movie Screening In The Guest House Theater

Hidden Graceland Private Tour

Co-Host a “Gates of Graceland” Episode

Graceland’s Chapel in the Woods Wedding or Vow Renewal

 

That is a very impressive list. Some fun stuff. Let’s look at a few in detail.

 

Graceland Romantic Weekend Getaway:

Graceland Romantic Weekend Getaway

Here is the text from the Graceland Auction website as written by Jeff Marren and Laura Pickett.

Bring your favorite Elvis fan on a very special romantic getaway to Graceland and the Guest House at Graceland.

The winning bidder and one guest will spend two nights in one of our unique, luxurious two-bedroom king suites that feature a living room, dining room, kitchen and bar area.

Champagne, chocolates and flowers will be waiting in your room upon arrival.

While at Graceland, be treated to two Ultimate Graceland VIP Tours, plus dinner for two at Delta’s Kitchen and a private movie screening of your favorite Elvis movie at The Guest House Theater.

Delta’s Kitchen in the Graceland Guest House

Delta’s Kitchen in the Graceland Guest House

This terrific package went for $2,750, which seems like a pretty good deal. I can’t help thinking it would be better if the winning bidder could bring three guests, because it’s a two-bedroom suite. It looks like Party Central, so it would be great fun for two couples to share together.

It might also feel weird to be just two people in the theater watching an Elvis movie.

Movie Theater In the Graceland Guest House

 

If I had bid and won this package, I think I’d I open the theater doors and let in anybody that wanted. Of course, I don’t have $2,750, so that’s just a dream.

 

Private Tour of the Graceland Stables:

Graceland Stables

Again, from the auction website:

Throughout the years, Elvis could often be seen riding his horses around the Graceland property and would ride down to the front gate to sign autographs for fans.

The winning bidder and a guest will receive the opportunity to tour the Graceland Stables and meet the current Graceland horses. The 90-minute tour will also include an up-close look at saddles used by Elvis and his entourage, personal western wear including chaps, hats and boots all worn by Elvis, and even Elvis’ handwriting on the wall where he wanted the tack and harnesses of each horse.

This would certainly be a good way to add a unique treat to your Graceland visit. It went for $1,500, significantly above the estimate.

 

Photo Shoot of Your Classic Car or Motorcycle in Front of Graceland Mansion:

Photo Shoot of Your Classic Car or Motorcycle in Front of Graceland

Elvis had a passion for everything with wheels, including cars and motorcycles, and now those who share his passion will get a unique opportunity to drive their car or motorcycle through the famous musical gates at Graceland just like Elvis did.

The winning bidder will receive a 15-minute photo shoot of their car or motorcycle in front of Graceland Mansion by our Graceland photographer. Winning bidder will receive digital file of all photos following photo session for private use.

This cool deal had 23 bids, the most of any item in the group. It went for $2,825, approximately three times the estimate.

I have an idea for this one, too, if I was the winning bidder. I’d rent a ’59 Caddie convertible to use in the photo. That way I’d have a picture taken were you can actually see the faces of me and my friends in the car.

 

Private Graceland Evening Tour and Dinner With Up To 24 Guests:

24 People Outside Graceland

Invite up to 24 guests for the ultimate Graceland experience as they enjoy an after-hours tour of Graceland Mansion led by a member of the Graceland Archives team.

Followed by a private dinner and a screening of your favorite Elvis movie at Presley Motors Automobile Museum, surrounded by some of Elvis’ most iconic cars, including his Pink Cadillac, 1975 Dino Ferrari and 1973 Stutz Blackhawk. Dinner will be catered by Vernon’s Smokehouse.

Graceland Car Museum - Dinner Tables

 

I like this one – a package for 25 people. It went for $2,500, so for $100 per person, you get the special tour of the mansion, followed by a party at the automobile museum where you see the cars, watch a movie, and eat some good food. A fine value for somebody with a lot of money and a lot of Elvis fan buddies.

 

Annual Pass for Unlimited Visits to Graceland:

Graceland VIP Tour Pass

Experience Elvis Presley’s Graceland all year long with an exclusive Graceland Annual Pass for two.

The Graceland Annual Pass will offer unlimited Elvis Experience Tours + Planes for 12 months for the winning bidder and one guest. The Experience Tour + Planes includes a tour of Graceland Mansion, access to all Elvis Presley’s Memphis attractions and exhibits plus tours of Elvis’ two personal airplanes.

I’m surprised that nobody put in the minimum bid of $1,000 on this. Maybe it’s a logistics thing — getting back to Memphis multiple times in one year could be hard to pull off. Maybe seeing the mansion and airplanes over and over makes it get boring.

 

 

Now, I want to report on something that has been underplayed in the media reports about this Graceland Auction. It is the amount of money these newly created packages are bringing to The Elvis Presley Charitable Foundation.

Elvis Presley Charitable Foundation Logo

100% of the auction hammer price on them will be donated to the Foundation. The hammer price is the winning bid when the hammer comes down on the high bid. It is before the 25% buyer’s fee is added.

The total funding generated by these thirteen fan experiences came to $25,700. Not bad, but EPE does so much more. The company underwrites all the Elvis Presley Charitable Foundation’s administrative expenses, so all the Foundation’s funds are used for donations to charitable causes.

If you are not familiar with the Elvis Presley Charitable Foundation, it was formed by Graceland/Elvis Presley Enterprises in 1984 to continue Elvis’ own tradition of generosity and community service and to honor his memory.

The Elvis Presley Charitable Foundation receives a portion of the overall business income of Graceland/EPE, with additional funding from the company’s royalties on specially licensed products and from special benefit events the company stages.

A meaningful amount of the funding also comes from donations made by Elvis fans from around the world. Some Elvis fan clubs hold drives to raise money for the foundation.

It has created the Elvis Presley Endowed Scholarship Fund at the College of Communication & Fine Arts at the University of Memphis to assist students majoring in areas that relate to Elvis’ own career: music, film, television, theater, etc.

Also, the Foundation has a long-standing relationship with one of Elvis’ favorite charities, Goodwill Homes, a Memphis facility that provides counseling and services for abused children and their families.

 

Elvis fans have grumbled about some of the things EPE has done, but let’s give credit where it’s due. Their support of the Elvis Presley Charitable Foundation is commendable.

 

Let’s finish up with one more of the fan experiences won at the auction.

 

2-Hour Private Tour of Graceland Archives:

2-Hour Private Tour of Graceland Archives

The Graceland Archives collection consists of over 50,000 photographs, 3,000 textiles, thousands of documents and a large collection of furniture, musical instruments, awards, automobiles, and other artifacts associated with the personal life and career of Elvis Presley and has been visited by a very few select guests, including Oprah and Paul McCartney.

The winning bidder of this experience and one guest will go beyond the ropes into the coveted Graceland Archives at an undisclosed location for an exclusive two-hour private tour with Graceland’s Vice President of Archives & Exhibits, Angie Marchese.

The private tour will feature exclusive white glove experiences, including holding artifacts, looking in archival boxes of special collections, seeing many never-before-displayed items, and a photo opportunity with an artifact taken by the Graceland photographer.

This sounds interesting, but I never thought anyone would bid the $5,000 minimum (which means a total payout of $6,125). I was almost right. One person thought it was worth it. For that kind of money, the tour ought to go on all day, with a break for lunch at Vernon’s Steakhouse, and a private movie screening afterward.

 

Photographs and text by permission, copyright 2019, GracelandAuctions.com

 

© 2018 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

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

 

Deeper Look at a Recent Elvis Auction Item

I started out to do my usual Elvis auction review on the November 3 Heritage Entertainment & Music Memorabilia Auction. However, I got stuck on the very first Elvis item – a handbill for his’ March 25, 1961, Pearl Harbor concert.

Pearl Harbor Concert Handbill - Front

 

[Just real quick for you newer Elvis fans that might know about the concert, it was to raise money toward the proposed memorial for the USS Arizona that was sunk by the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. 1102 American seamen perished that day.]

 

I’ve looked at this handbill picture several times before, and one time I wished I knew how to Photoshop, so I could do an upgrade on it. Elvis did not wear those baggy gold pants at the Pearl Harbor concert. Just the gold coat.

Elvis at Pearl Harbor Concert

I wanted to take the handbill picture and Photoshop some black pants on Elvis – get him to look like he did when he performed. Then, I realized that the black pants wouldn’t show against the handbill’s black background. So, I gave up on the idea.

 

There were other things about this playbill I found interesting. It was obvious that Bill Black was no longer part of the Elvis band. DJ Fontana and Scotty Moore are listed in the marquee sign along with the Jordanaires.

All Star Cast on Pearl Harbor Concert Handbill -

 

By March 1961, Bill Black was into the third year of his career with Bill Black’s Combo. They were touring around the country playing hits like “Smokie – Part 2” and “White Silver Sands.”

Bill Black Combo 1962
Note that Bill Black has traded his stand-up bass for an electric one.

 

The man who replaced Bill Black in Elvis’ band for the Pearl Harbor show was Nashville session musician Bob Moore. The rest of the All-Star Cast referred to above was Floyd Cramer on piano, Hank Garland on rhythm guitar, and Boots Randolph on sax. All Stars indeed.

 

The back of the playbill featured three photos and lots of text.

Pearl Harbor Concert Handbill - Back

 

Here’s a better look at the three pictures.

USS Arizona War Memorial Rendering

This is the architect’s rendering of what the planned USS Arizona Memorial would look like.

 

USS Arizona Memorial Construction Sign

And here we have a picture of the sign on the site where the memorial would be built.

 

Col. Parker and Bigwigs Before Pearl Harbor concert

Col. Parker with the chairman of the memorial commission and the head Navy guy.

 

Another thing that struck me was the very brief narrative Heritage Auction’s website gave to this handbill, a significant collectible.

Elvis Presley Bloch Arena, Pearl Harbor Concert Handbill (The Pacific War Memorial Commission Proudly Presents, 1961). Very Rare. Double-sided, for a benefit show in Hawaii on Saturday March 25th. One side is printed in gold and black, showing a full-length image of Elvis wearing a gold suit, listing the support act as Minnie Pearl. Measures 9.25″ x 12.25″. In Very Good condition.

When I first read it, my thought was, “I wonder what Jeff Marren and Laura at Graceland Auctions would have to say, because they do such a great job on the narratives.” I inquired them, and found out they did have two tickets for the Pearl Harbor concert at auction last year. This is what they said then.

“Perhaps what endears Elvis Presley to his fans so much is the fact that it seemed like there was no end to his willingness to give. In December 1960 an editorial ran in an L.A. paper about the stalled efforts to complete the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial. This article was spotted by the Colonel, and Elvis answered the call to duty.

“A benefit concert was organized to raise $50,000 towards the completion of the memorial. On January 11, 1961, a press conference was held and it was announced that Elvis would perform this benefit concert on the condition that every penny from the concert must go to the fund.

“Having honorably served his country in the Armed Forces, Elvis held this memorial and the soldiers that perished near to his heart.

“Ticket prices ranged from $3 to $10 for reserved section seats, and $100 for the 100 reserved “ringside” seats—and Elvis was the first to buy a ticket.

“The concert was set for March 25, 1961, and 4,000 screaming fans, 15 songs and $54,000 later, Elvis left the building. As a result of the concert and the huge amount of media attention it garnered, public and private donations flooded in from all over the country. On May 30, 1962 (Memorial Day) the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial was dedicated.”

Perhaps it doesn’t matter, but I’d like to think wonderful background text like this might bring some higher bidding.  In fairness, the concert playbill went for $1,125 as presented, which is pretty impressive.

And I love this line about Elvis, “it seemed like there was no end to his willingness to give.” Elvis’ generosity is well documented, but this is the best description of it I have ever read.

 

$100 Ticket for Elvis Presley Pearl Harbor Concert

Here’s one of those $100 tickets. That’s almost $900 in today’s money. Note there were no assigned seats. It must have been like a special private party area where you just socialized until it was time to find a seat and settle down for the show.

 

There are three interesting things in the text on the back of the handbill.

Under the heading Symbol of Freedom, it said, “The benefit performance by Presley… is symbolic of a new generation of Americans who have not forgotten the price of freedom or how dearly it has been maintained.” That sounds like Elvis to me.

Congress had authorized construction of the memorial three years earlier, but fund raising had slowed down to a crawl. Prior to the concert, only $300,000 of the needed $500,000 had been raised. One of the commissioners worried that “today the Arizona is but a rusting tomb.” The Colonel and Elvis jumped in to turn that situation around.

Two days after the concert, Elvis started the filming for Blue Hawaii.

 

The USS Arizona's anchor

My wife went to Hawaii twenty years ago with girlfriends, and of course, they went to the USS Arizona Memorial.

 

USS Arizona War Memorial Finished

So she’s seen it, and I haven’t

 

People Entering the USS Arizona War Memorial.

My wife said it was a moving experience. I’m happy for her, but I’m a little jealous.

 

Photos and text used by permission, copyright 2018 GracelandAuctions.com

 

© 2018 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

 

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

 

Elvis Goodies from the Fuzzy Room – Part 5

It’s been two months since I last posted a group of Elvis collectibles for sale on here. I need to be more regular with this, because the time to move and down-size is steadily approaching. Thanks for helping me find new homes for the Elvis stuff I’ve collected for decades and displayed in my Fuzzy Room.

Jungle Tree Fuzzy Room

       Please Note: The prices are for delivery to USA destinations only.
Postal rates to other countries are just prohibitive and mailing to
them is way more hassle. Sorry.

 

Graceland Book:

 

Graceland Coffee Table Book

This is a terrific book. It has 253 pages containing hundreds of photographs, most in color, and many are full-page or larger. Nearly all were taken just for this book by the Director of Photography at Memphis State University. They are sharp, clear, and beautiful. And many show you details in the various rooms of Graceland that we have not seen elsewhere.

The text accompanying the photographs was written by Chet Flippo, Senior Editor at Rolling Stone magazine. You will learn plenty of new stuff here, too. In addition to chapters on every room at Graceland (except Elvis’ bedroom), it covers his automobiles and planes, the ’68 Comeback Special, the Army days, Gold Lamé Suit, Aloha from Hawaii, Tupelo home, Elvis memorabilia, and much more.

Please disregard the shadow across the cover in my photograph. This book will look great on your coffee table. When it was originally published in 1993, the price was $60. I am willing to let it go for $18 delivered. It is in very good shape. Move fast to snap up this deal.

 

’68 Comeback Special Salt & Pepper Shakers:

 

(Editor’s Note: This has been sold.  The first set of Elvis salt and pepper shakers offered on here also went very fast.  I wish I had more.)

 

Elvis Presley Salt and Pepper Shaker Set in Box

Considering all the stuff Graceland is offering in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the TV special, I’m surprised they didn’t bring back this one.

Elvis Presley Salt and Pepper Shakers

The round shaker with The Elvis picture on it is the salt shaker. The Elvis in Red Lights is the pepper shaker.

Elvis Presley Salt and Pepper Shaker Set

And this is how they go together on your dining room table. The set can be yours for $12 delivered.

 

James Burton Autographed CD:

 

(Editor’s Note:  This item has been sold.)

 

James Burton - Corn Pickin' and Slick Slidin'

We all know about James Burton playing guitar for Ricky Nelson before joining Elvis in 1969. In between he recorded this album. Here is what one Amazon reviewer said about it:

“The jaw-dropping Telecaster work of James Burton and the ethereal pedal-steel sound of Ralph Mooney led Elvis Presley, Merle Haggard and countless others to recruit them for their sessions. They also cut a bunch of tunes together in the late ’60s; here are those killer cuts: Columbus Stockade Blues; The Texas Waltz; Moonshine; Your Cheatin’ Heart; Spanish Eyes , and more.”

James Burton autographed CD

I am offering the CD autographed by James Burton for $6 delivered.

 

Readers Digests with Elvis Articles:

 

(Editor’s Note: This item has been sold.)

 

Two Elvis stories in Readers Digest

The one on the left has this tease: The Plot Against the King. The title inside is: The Colonel and the King.

The Colonel and the King

This is an excerpt from the book The Colonel: The Extraordinary Story of Colonel Tom Parker and Elvis Presley by noted Elvis biographer Alana Nash. At 17 pages with 14 photographs, it is very interesting reading.

Where Elvis Lived

The other Reader’s Digest has the cover tease: Where Elvis Lives, but the six-page story covers much more than Graceland.

This is a two-fer deal, both for $5 delivered.

 

Elvis T-Shirts:

 

Elvis Jailhouse Rock T-shirt

 

(Editor’s Note: This item has been sold.  The other two T-shirts are still available.)

 

This is a spectacular T-Shirt. Most Elvis shirts just have a picture on the chest area of the front. This one has the background image from the Jailhouse Rock dance scene on every inch of the front and back. And centered on both sides is a large, very sharp photo of Elvis. It is simply the best two-sided Elvis T-shirt you will ever find. Size XL. $15 delivered. If you email me to say you want this, refer to it as the Jailhouse Rock T-shirt.

 

Nobody Knows I'm Elvis

This shirt will get you comments whenever you wear it. Size XL. Just $5 delivered.

 

Elvis Face T-shirt

Like the first shirt, this design is no longer available from the usual sources. The photo reproduction of Elvis’ face is so well done, and it really grabs people’s attention. A perfect T-shirt to wear at Elvis Week (or anywhere). Size XL. $10 delivered. Refer to this as the Elvis face shirt if you email to claim it.

 

Elvis Flipbook:

 

(Editor’s Note:  This item has been sold.)

 

Elvis Flipbook

In this age of digital images and videos, we can still enjoy a throw-back to much earlier times when flipbooks were a popular form of entertainment.

Elvis Flipbook OpenSorry for this pathetic photo. It was tough to take a picture showing the inside when you flip through it, but I can say it does a great job of showing Elvis’ stage moves while wearing the gold coat. The flipbook is in perfect shape. How about just $4 for it?

 

Small Stuff:

 

Elvis Magnet, Patch, and Matches

So, here we have a 3” long Greetings from Graceland refrigerator magnet done in the familiar postcard style. Also an 2-1/2 x 2-1/2” Elvis 60th Birthday patch. And a book of Elvis matches, with none of them removed. $5 for all three.

 

Pay Now with PayPal Button.

If you want an item, send me an email at philarnold@charter.net.  (Do not notify me of your interest on Comments.) As usual, first come, first served. I would prefer payment using PayPal, but checks will work, too. When I get your email, I will initiate billing on PayPal. You approve it and I send the item right out to you. With a check, it’ll take a little longer.

Thanks for your support.

Phil Arnold

 

© 2018 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

ElvisBlog Logo

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

.

Speculating on Elvis’ Rings Can Be Risky

 

Elvis Presley Unsold Blach Sapphire Ring at Julien's

The collector who purchased this ring for $7,500 in August 2017 thought he could sell it for a sizeable profit just eight months later in May 2018. He was wrong.

We’ll take a look at several Elvis rings in this post — ones that exemplify the risks of short-term speculating on them. First, here is the description of the above ring on the website for the August 12, 2017, Graceland Auction.

 

Diamond and Black Star Sapphire Ring:

The shimmering rays of the star effect in the star sapphire is called asterism, from the Latin word astrum, or “star.” Black star sapphires owe their stars to the included crystals of the shiny, dark mineral hematite. The unusual design of this 14-karat yellow gold, diamond and black star sapphire ring has a “Star Trek” flair.

Star sapphires were a favorite of Elvis’ and he was as known for wearing them as often as he gifted them to friends and family. This ring has an oval black star sapphire being held by two rays of diamonds atop a textured gold high-set band. The interior of the band is marked “14k”. The black sapphire measures 7.5 by 5.9 mm; the ring weighs 8 grams and contains 6 small diamonds.

This ring, size 6 1/4, emanates from Charlie Hodge and was purchased by the consignor in the early 1980s along with 11 additional rings. Elvis gave Charlie all 12 rings simultaneously in the same box in which Elvis had kept them. There are several photos of Elvis from the filming of Elvis: That’s The Way It Is that show him wearing a small ring on his pinky finger that strongly resembles the offered ring.

Elvis Presley - Close-up of Black Sapphire Ring

 

The ring had a minimum bid of $5,000, and the winning bid was $6,000. However, the winning bidder actually had to pay $7,500 because the standard 25% buyer’s premium was added.

Graceland Auction's Final Prices Include Buyers Premium

 

The last thing on the Graceland Auction website was this:

The ring, gifted by Elvis to Charlie Hodge, is accompanied by a letter of authenticity from Graceland Authenticated.

 

So, if I had owned this ring and needed to sell it, I too would have placed it on Graceland Auctions. They always do such a nice job with their detailed and interesting descriptions, plus a nice assortment of high-quality photos.

Elvis Presley's Black Sapphire Ring Pictures

 

And I would also have made the investment required to get the Letter of Authenticity (with pictures) from Graceland Authenticated. While that would have cost me 10% of the fair market value of the ring, I believe that will be more than covered by the increase in value it produces.

Graceland Authenticated Letter of Authenticity

 

To summarize, I’ve been following auctions of Elvis items for years, and I truly believe the Graceland Auctions gets the best results for people wanting to sell their Elvis memorabilia.

I also believe that folks who buy top-tier items through the Graceland Auctions have acquired something that will appreciate over the years. Here is a quote from Glenn Johnson who owns about 1,000 Elvis items at an estimated value of $4.5 million.

“A lot of people say the value of Elvis items will go down once his older fans are gone. I look at other historical figures and cultural icons from 100+ years ago. Their original fans are gone obviously, but yet their collectibles are fetching outrageous prices (ie Billy the Kid, Wyatt Earp, any early presidents). I say Elvis is here to stay.”

Glenn is certainly not the only Elvis collector who expects their collection to become more valuable as time goes by. However, would they think of trying to “flip” a new purchase in just eight months? I doubt it.

However, somebody did just that, as we saw above.

 

Julien's Auctions

Same ring. But, just the one photo that’s shown at the top of this post. Just a five-line item description.

That’s not going to juice up bidders much. And I’m not sure what kind of bidder base is attracted to an auction with more Britney Spears and Kiss stuff than Elvis.

But the best predictor of a bust when trying to flip an Elvis ring is simply the math of the whole thing. Bear with me please. Say the guy that bought the black star sapphire ring at Graceland for $7,500 wanted to make $1,000 profit. The hammer price (when the auctioneer slams the gavel down and says “Sold.”) would have to be $8,500 or more. Let’s go with that.

When that winning bidder pays up, he would have to cover that 25% buyer’s premium, bringing it up to $10, 625. But, wait, there’s more. Julien’s has another charge – 3% for on-line bids. That brings it up to $10,880. Nearly $11,000 for a ring that sold for $7,500 just eight months earlier. No, thanks.

 

Here are three more Elvis rings that sold on Graceland Auctions and did manage to sell on Julien’s – but at a loss.

 

Tiger’s Eye Ring:

Elvis Presley - Gold and Tiger’s Eye Ring

(From the Graceland Auction website):  Elvis loved jewelry and often his spirituality affected the gems he chose. Tiger’s eye was one stone that Elvis favored, perhaps because it is believed to bring harmony, balance and protection as well as enhance good luck. This simple and classic 10-karat yellow gold men’s ring, weighing 9 grams, has a single central oval-shaped tiger’s eye stone measuring 17 by 12 mm. The ring, size 10, was gifted by Elvis to Pat West, wife of Red and secretary to Elvis. The ring comes with a letter from Jimmy Velvet and Bobby (Red) West on Elvis Presley Museum certificate stock and states in part, “This large cat’s eye ring was worn by Elvis Presley. It was given to Pat West by Elvis while Pat was his secretary.” As further provenance, additional documents include a copy of a letter, dated December 15, 1983 on Elvis Presley Museum letterhead. This charming ring with impeccable provenance documentation is accompanied by a letter of authenticity from Graceland Authenticated.

Elvis Presley's Tiger's Eye Ring - Upright

The ring sold at Graceland Auction for $10,000 including the 25% buyer’s fee. It sold at Julien’s for a hammer price of $8,000. This attempt to flip an Elvis ring resulted in a $2,000 loss.

 

Diamond and Garnet “Swami” Ring;

(From Graceland Auction website): This noble ring, in the form of a maharaja with diamond eyes and a large garnet centered on the front of his turban, is fit for a King—so what better person to own such a bauble than the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll himself, especially since the term “maharaja” means great ruler or king. The ring is marked 14k yellow gold and has stylized shoulders that accentuate the bearded and bejeweled turbaned head. The diamond eyes each weight 0.01 carat and measure 1.2 mm and the ring measures size 9 1/4. The ring, with a total weight of 27.3 grams, is offered with a detailed letter from the consignor that states in part:

“One of the items I picked up from Tom Hulett at this time was Elvis’ Turban Ring or Swami Ring. He told me at one point after wearing it amongst some other rings, Elvis took it off his hand and told Tom to try it on. Tom mentioned something about it being a kind of unusual ring while he put it on one of his fingers, and Elvis told him to just keep it. Much later on I found out that this might be one of the rings Elvis is wearing in the photos where he is wearing a turban, the long red coat with black accents, and the Ram Head necklace.”

The ring is also accompanied by a letter from Graceland Authenticated.

Elvis Presley's Swami Ring - Profile

The ring sold at Graceland Auction for $12,500 including the 25% buyer’s fee. It sold at Julien’s for a hammer price of $10,000. This attempt to flip an Elvis ring resulted in a $2,500 loss.

.

Gold and Gray Star Sapphire Ring:

Elvis Presley - Gold and Gray Star Sapphire Ring

(From Graceland Auction website):  Elvis was fond of jewelry featuring the star sapphire, which emanates rays from the center as light is shone on the stone. Elvis would often wear star sapphire rings and would as frequently gift them to family and friends. Perhaps his fascination stemmed from the special significance of sapphires in numerology, of which Elvis was an enthusiast. The offered gray star sapphire is set in a 14-karat gold “birds nest” setting, adding to its allure. The men’s ring, measuring size 10 1/2, is marked 14k and comes with a letter from Sam Thompson which states in part,

“During this time, in December of 1976, and while talking with Elvis upstairs at Graceland, Elvis called me into his dressing area of his bedroom and asked what size ring I wore. I told him I didn’t know and he told me to hold out my hand and he handed me a ring he removed from his own hand for me to try on. It fit on my pinky finger and he smiled and said it was his gift to me. The ring is nugget style, 14K yellow gold, with a gray star sapphire, and about a size 10 1/2. It has been in my possession since that day in 1976.”

This stunning gift from Elvis to Sam is accompanied by a letter of authenticity from Graceland Authenticated.

Elvis Presley's Gray Sapphire Ring Profile

The ring sold at Graceland Auction for $8,750 including the 25% buyer’s fee. It sold at Julien’s for a hammer price of $8,000. This attempt to flip an Elvis ring resulted in a $750 loss.

 

So, we have a total loss on the three Elvis rings of $5,250!!   Ouch.

 

Julien’s Auction in May 2018 did have a few spectacular results, including this ring.

Fifty-Diamond Star Ring:

Elvis' $100,000 Diamond Star Ring

A hundred grand for an Elvis ring!! In spite of the fact that the picture used obviously is not the best one to show off this stunning ring. The item detail does a better job.

“A diamond star-shaped ring given by Elvis Presley to a concert-goer Donna Lewis on July 24, 1975, during a performance at the Civic Center in Asheville, North Carolina.

“The ring is designed in 14K white gold, topped with 50 full-cut round diamonds totaling approximately 6.00 cts. and graded H-I color and VS-SI clarity, size 7 1/2. 25.4 grams.

“Accompanying the ring is a photograph of Lewis and Presley at the moment he gave her the ring; an image of Presley wearing the ring; an affidavit from Lewis; and two images of Presley with a thank-you card given to him at a concert on March 18, 1976, in Johnson City, Tennessee.”

 

I wonder what kind of price this fabulous ring would have brought at a Graceland Auctions with lots of great pictures, extensive description, and an all-Elvis bidder base.

 

Photos and text used by permission, copyright 2018 GracelandAuctions.com

 

 

 

© 2018 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.

 

ElvisBlog Mini-Nuggets # 23

Jailhouse Rock Minifigure Box

 

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Jailhouse Rock MiniFigure:

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Jailhouse Rock MINIFIGURE

An email from ShopElvis.com came in earlier this week offering yet another Elvis figurine. The price of $9.95 sounded pretty reasonable until I read that it is just 1-1/2 inches tall.

MiniFigure Box and Figure

This is the picture that’s on the ShopElvis.com order page, so it looks like the box is way bigger than it needs to be. The ad says the Minifigure is sold in stores, so you can’t blame them for using packaging that makes shoppers assume it’s much larger. Better for that impulse buying, of course. If the Jailhouse Rock Minifigure was packed in a box just big enough to hold it, I doubt many people would buy.

Another interesting thing on the order page was the statement: “Two facial expressions.” How do they do that?

Jailhouse Rock Minifigure 9.95

Here’s the little guy blown up to see better. Compare its face to the one on the box above. They are definitely different. If anybody buys one of these Minifigures, please go on Comments and let me know how the two facial expressions are accomplished.

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If I’m Going to be Attacked, I Would Rather It be by Females:

I really like this fun quote from Elvis. Surprisingly, I could not find it in ELVIS -Word for Word by Jerry Osborne, the excellent book of Elvis quotes. But Elvis did say it to Las Vegas reporter Nancy Anderson. The story is so typically Elvis, as you will read below.

Newspaper Article about Elvis Being Attacked on Stage

Makes you kind of wish Vernon had let Elvis go – and he decked another of the jerks.

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What Do You Read ElvisBlog On?:

I use a service called Google Analytics that provides all types of information about ElvisBlog – like stats that show only 64% of the readers are in the U.S. But here is one that really surprised me.

Devices Used to Read ElvisBlog

I had no idea that almost half of you read ElvisBlog on your phone.

 

Owning Elvis DNA:

There is no picture to show here, just a Comment that was posted by a reader named Buck.

“I have two band aids taken off his fingers during a concert in the 70’s.”

It’s reasonable to assume if Elvis wore the Band-Aids there would be some of his blood in them. If Buck ever wants to sell them, he should have a winner, because he can advertise he’s got two samples of Elvis’ DNA.

 

More Elvis DNA;

Michelle Kimpel #1

Another reader named Michele wrote in to tell me about her unexpected find of three Elvis items. Here is her message:

“I have a garage sale find that you might find interesting. I would like to send you photos. I don’t know if it’s real or not, but I went to a garage sale and they were selling a sealed container of early 70s vintage mailman uniforms. My husband is a mailman, so I thought it be fun for $20 to get it.

“When I got home I found a bag in one of the sleeves of the jacket. I open the bag and it contained a wisdom tooth, hair sample, and a container of liquid. Everything on it was typed with the name Elvis, Arron, Presley. There is a date on the bottle that says 3/21/60. If you’re interested I’ll gladly email you the photos so you can get a look.”

Of course, I was very interested, and Michele kindly sent me the photos.

Michelle Kimpel #3

The label on the vial  says “Sample for Testing.” How intriguing is that?

 

Michelle Kimpel #4

Elvis’ hair has always brought high bids at auctions. According to Wikipedia, a single strand of Elvis’ hair sold for $1,700 at a Henry Aldridge & Son auction in 2009. A jar full of Elvis hair sold for $115,000 at an on-line auction by MastroNet in 2002.

Michelle Kimpel #2

One of his crowns sold for $8,150 at Omega Auctions in March 2012. I can’t imagine what a real Elvis tooth would go for.

Of course, REAL is the important question about Michele’s find. She emailed me, “I have contacted Graceland, and they put me in touch with their DNA archives office to start a process of finding out if they are real. I will keep in touch with you if you’d like to let you know how it turns out.”

If it turns out to be real, Michele has a goldmine. And who knew Graceland had a DNA archives office.

 

Speaking of Big Bucks for Elvis Collectibles:

Elvis' Belt Sold at Julien's Auction, May 2018

A week ago I got an email from a reader named John who sent me a link to Julien’s Music Icons Auction back in May.

Here’s what the auction website had to say about the above belt:

“A heavily embellished white leather belt worn by Elvis Presley during a performance in November 1972 in Hawaii and gifted to actor and friend Jack Lord. The belt is adorned with faux turquoise, lapis lazuli, and coral, all set in gold-toned metal pieces. The buckle has a dragon-like resemblance, and three dangling brass chains are affixed to the bottom. Presley wore the belt with at least two different ensembles, including his well-known heavily jeweled “Thunderbird.”

Close up of Elvis' Jumpsuit belt

I wonder how much this belt weighs. So, we would assume this outstanding concert belt would go for a high bid, but look at this:

Winning Bid on Elvis Belt.

WOW!!!

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Let’s Deconstruct One More Photoshopped Elvis Picture:

Elvis and Marilyn - Do Not disturb

Pairing up Elvis and Marilyn Monroe seems to be a favorite thing for Photoshop jockeys. I have almost 50 Elvis/Marilyn pictures in my files. I like the pairing of the world’s two biggest pop culture icons because the photos are fun. I felt there was no intent to trick people into believing they are real. Then I saw this one.

Young Elvis Photoshopped with a young Norma Jean

Somebody felt it was a smart idea to pair up eleven-year-old Elvis with a young Norma Jeane Mortenson, who later became known as Marilyn Monroe. Why? What’s the point? Anyway, here is the original photo of Elvis with twelve-year-old Mary Magdalene Morgan.

Elvis and Magdalene Morgan - 1946

It was taken in 1946 shortly before Elvis’ family moved from Tupelo to Memphis. You will note that the original shot was flipped from left to right.

1942 Norma Jeane Mortenson Before She Became Marilyn Monroe

And here’s young Norma Jeane. She got flipped side-to-side, too, and other modifications were made with her arms.

I think it’s pretty crummy that people are now messing with kid pictures of Elvis. As another rankled reader, Leon’a, said in a Comment, “I don’t know how to stop it either. Maybe EPE should get involved. It should be illegal.”

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What’s it Worth?

In this post, I have mentioned things five ElvisBlog readers have put in Comments. I like getting most comments, but here’s one that hit me the wrong way.

I have a large poster signed by Elvis. It reads “Best Wishes Linda Sincerely Elvis”. What is it worth?

I also have 8-track tapes of Elvis records. Are they worth anything? If so, how much?

I have a 45 record titled “Guitar Man”. What is it worth?

Here’s my reply:

Linda: I’m happy to give my time to reply to comments posted by readers of ElvisBlog. Some of these nice folks say something like “I love your blog.’ Could I ask a favor, please? Then there are others who find ElvisBlog while doing a Google search for Elvis photos, autographs, records or some other Elvis collectible they recently acquired. They always jump right to it and end with, “What is it worth? Sometimes they ask that about three different items, and never even bother to say “Thank you.” I used to answer these folks, but I’m not anymore.

However, I do have an Elvis book out titled, “BIG E and the SANTA MAN.” If you would like to purchase an autographed copy for $10 delivered, I would be happy to send it to you… and help you out with your questions.

Phil Arnold, Original ElvisBlogmeister

I probably should have just ignored this rude and thoughtless person, but I’ve seen stuff like this so many times. I can always tell they aren’t regular readers. You guys are polite.

 

Elvis’ 1955 Income Taxes:

Elvis' 1955 tax return

This may be too small for you to read, but Elvis’ gross income in 1955 was $25,414, and he paid $7,383 in taxes. Adjusted for inflation, that equates to an income of $237,244 today. Not bad for a twenty-year-old, but it was chump change compared to what he made in 1956 when he hit the big time with records recorded at RCA, appeared on TV, and made movies.

 

My thanks to all you readers who posted things that I could use in this article.  Keep them coming.

 

 

© 2018 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

 

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Elvis Goodies rom the Fuzzy Room – Part 4

You readers really came through the last time I did this. In two days, everything was sold. Thanks for helping me find new homes for the Elvis stuff I’ve collected for decades and displayed in my Fuzzy Room.

Jungle Tree Fuzzy Room

 

Please Note: The prices are for delivery to USA destinations only. Postal rates to other countries are just prohibitive and way too much hassle. Sorry.

 

Elvis Refrigerator Magnet Set:

 

Editor’s Note:  This item has been sold.

 

Elvis Magnet Set

 

Elvis treasures are nice to own, but they mostly just sit around and look pretty. This one has a bonus because you can play with it. I’ve had a lot of fun messing around this magnet set for a couple of decades.

 

Elvis in Blue Hawaii Swim Trunks

It starts with a 7 inch tall Elvis wearing the swim trunks from Blue Hawaii. Then, you get to be his wardrobe manager. And look at all the fine stuff you get to put on him.

 

Elvis in '68 Special Black Leather Suit

The “68 Special black leather is one of my favorites. The jacket is so baaad and the pants are the best ones in the set.

 

Elvis in Flame Jumpsuit

The Flame Jumpsuit from 1976 always looks good. I’m just glad to see something other than the Aloha American Eagle suit getting featured. It’s on so many different Elvis products.

 

Elvis in Hawaii Shirt and Lei

It’s hard to beat the Hawaiian shirt and lei. The sunglasses could go on any of the outfits, of course, but this is the only place I use them.

 

Elvis in Karate Gi Top

Here’s an Elvis image you’ve never seen before – wearing the Karate Gi without the pants. You lady readers are welcome to download a copy of this photo.

 

Elvis- Jailhouse Rock Jacket and Karate Gi Pants

I like to mix up the combinations of shirt and pants. Elvis looks just fine wearing the Karate Gi pants with the Jailhouse Rock jacket.

 

Elvis - Gold Coat and Bluejeans

I thought it would be interesting to pair up the gold coat with the Jailhouse Rock blue jeans. Elvis is such a fashion icon, he can successfully make elegant and simple work together

 

My least favorites are the Army Uniform. Elvis just looks too dull in them. I put them in a box that might as well be marked Rejects, because I don’t use them. Someone else may feel differently.

 

Discarded Elvis Army Uniform

 

They are joined in reject box by the pants of the Gold Lame Suit. I like the coat, but the pants are too baggy, so they too ended up in there, too. You know, it’s feels weird to use the word reject in connection with anything Elvis.

 

One time when my brother visited, we did a lot of drinking and were feeling no pain. I gave him the complete show of all the different Elvises I could create with my magnet set. I also told him about the Army uniform and the gold pants being in the reject box because I didn’t care about them.

That was all my brother needed to hear. Later, when I went to use the bathroom, he hurried back to the refrigerator. Using our kitchen scissors he cut off about a third of the gold pants, and then placed them on Elvis. Then he added the wide jumpsuit belt that comes in the set. He completed the ensemble with the tall Army boots.

 

Jethro Elvis

 

I came into the kitchen, and actually did one of those head fakes as I walked by the refrigerator. I cussed out my brother and then we broke into laughter. Good brother bonding time. Sorry, Elvis.

He came up with a name that’s bad, but I after all these years I still remember it – Jethro Elvis.

 

Elvis Magnet Shoes

I must admit I don’t use the shoes very often. Maybe the blue suede shoes with the blue jeans just for variety. They won’t work with anything else, except the black the black leather pants. One of the black leather shoes is missing, and the other is in the reject box.

 

Teddy Bear, Guitar, Hound Dog

The teddy bear, guitar, and hound dog just hang around near Elvis in his prized spot on the refrigerator.

 

Elvis Magnet Hair

What do you think this is? It’s supposed to be Elvis’ hair, jumpsuit era, I would guess. It is the stupidest thing you ever saw. The Elvis face is this set has great hair.

 

Head of Elvis Magnet

I can’t believe anyone would want to ruin it like this.

Elvis wearing Magnet Hair

Guess where I keep the ugly hair?

 

Elvis Magnet

I’ve had this Elvis name magnet positioned above him most of the time, but sometimes I like a new look and it goes underneath.

 

I apologize to anyone offended by the Jethro Elvis picture or the idea that anything Elvis could end up in a reject box.

 

So, would you like an Elvis goodie that you can interact with… as frequently as you please? This magnet set is it. Whoever buys it will be rewarded with a lot of fun. Is there room on your refrigerator for something really cool?

 

The price on this set is $20 delivered. If you want it, send me an email at philarnold@charter.net. (Do not notify me of your interest on Comments.) As usual, first come, first served. I would prefer payment by PayPal, but checks work, too

Pay Now with PayPal Button.

I will send a PayPal invoice to whoever responds first. You approve it, and I send the package. Shipment with check payment will take a little longer.

 

Thanks for your support.

Phil Arnold

 

 

© 2018 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.