Tag Archives: Auction at Graceland

Elvis’ Fabulous Cufflinks

Elvis' costume tiger eye cufflinks - Left at Vernon's Home

If you entered an Elvis trivia contest and the question was, “Who was Elvis’ Doctor?” what would you answer? Probably “Dr. Nick,” or perhaps his full name “Dr. George Nichopoulus.

Dr Nick and Elvis

You would be right, because from 1970 until 1977, he pretty much worked full time as Elvis’ personal doctor in Memphis. He often was part of the travelling party when Elvis went on tour. Elvis gave him a yellow Cadillac and lots of other stuff and loaned him money to invest in business ventures.

 

However, when Elvis was in Las Vegas, he relied on a different doctor – Dr. Elias Ghanem

Dr. Elias Ghanem and Elvis

His story is almost as interesting as Dr. Nick’s. Here are a few paragraphs from a March 1976 article in People Magazine:

“Elias Ghanem’s life is the fascinating stuff movies are made of…. Ghanem is a Palestinian immigrant who became a doctor and worked at Los Angeles County Hospital until he realized he had more important things to do. He set out for a place where people were desperate for medical help, Las Vegas.

“There he met a princely entertainer with a frog in his throat, removed same – and thus began to acquire a reputation as physician to the stars. Before long he had a Stutz Bearcat, a fleet of jets, flashy jewelry and a mirrored canopy over his bed. He went around saying things like ‘Fast cars and beautiful women are my hobbies’. ‘He owned real estate and restaurants. He was divorced.

“… The Vegas headliner Dr. Ghanem treated to get his start in showbiz medicine actually was Elvis Presley. But it would not be difficult to cast an entire movie from Ghanem’s roster of patients. In not quite five years in Las Vegas, Ghanem, 37, has treated Tom Jones, Liberace, Ann-Margret, Johnny Cash, Raquel Welch, Bill Cosby, Glen Campbell and Roy Clark, among others. ‘They always get sore throats’, Ghanem says. ‘We call it Vegas throat’.

“Swabbing talented throats may not win Nobel prizes, but the victims tend to be very grateful. Presley alone has lavished upon Ghanem the $32,000 Stutz, a Mercedes, two watches, a $60,000 diamond ring and a gold medallion inscribed ‘TCB’. (‘Elvis’ people say this stands for ‘Take care of business’, ‘Ghanem chortles’. I say it stands for ‘Take care of broads’.”

 

Dr. Elias Ghanem - Older

 

I had never heard of Elias Ghanem until he was mentioned as the former owner of an Elvis ring in the January 6, 2018 Auction at Graceland.

Jan 2018 Auction at Graceland14k Lavender Jade Diamond Ring Upright (1)

This 14-karat gold nugget-style ring has a center oval lavender jade stone surrounded by 22 diamonds each measuring 0.25 carat. It sold for $10,000. Here is what the auction website had to say about the man Elvis gave the ring to:

“Elvis restarted his concert career performing routinely at the Hilton in Vegas, and it was during this period in 1972 that he met Israeli-born Dr. Elias Ghanem, who initially treated him for throat maladies. The two became friends, with Elvis staying at Dr. Ghanem’s home in the Las Vegas County Club for days at a time. As he did for many close friends, Elvis gave Dr. Ghanem a plethora of gifts over the years.”

The website also offered this letter from Dr. Ghanem’s wife:

List of Jewelry Elvis left at De. Elias Ghanem's House - Cropped

Wow, what a list. Elvis was both extremely generous to his doctor buddy and very careless about leaving jewelry in Dr. Ghanem’s guest room. The list includes thirteen rings, one bracelet, four pendants (including one TCB), one watch, sixteen pairs of cuff links, and a bunch of other stuff. Because just one ring was included in the Auction at Graceland, I wondered what had happened to everything else. Sold elsewhere? Maybe saved to be sold in the future?

Then, thanks to ElvisBlog reader Alberto Z, I checked out the May 2017 Music Icons Auction at Julien’s. And there I found most of those sixteen Elvis cuff links. Mrs. Ghanem also offered another list covering just the cufflinks. And none were Elvis gifts to her husband. Elvis left them behind in their Las Vegas home. Who travels around with sixteen pairs of cufflinks? I guess Elvis did, and it doesn’t really come as a surprise.

List of Cufflinks Elvis left at De. Elias Ghanem's House - Cropped

 

So, let’s take a look at some of these Elvis cuff links.

A pair of cufflinks by Hickok:

A pair of Elvis Presley cufflinks by Hickok

These cufflinks feature a silver tone metal plaque with a black oxidized “E” and gold tone mesh wraparounds. The cufflinks sold for $5,760

 

Gold Nugget Style Cufflinks:

GOLD NUGGET STYLE CUFFLINKS

These gold tone mesh cufflinks with swivel backs are designed in a gold nugget style with black tablet-cut stones. The they sold for $1,280

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Tiger Eye Cufflinks:

ELVIS PRESLEY TIGER EYE CUFFLINKS

These gold tone mesh cufflinks with swivel backs feature a simulated tiger eye tablet-cut stone. They sold for $1,920

 

Black Stone Cufflinks with Wraparound Accent:

BLACK STONE CUFFLINKS WITH WRAPAROUND ACCENT •

These gold tone mesh cufflinks with swivel backs are topped with black faceted stones and simulated diamonds. They sold for $2,240

 

Square CuffLinks with Blue Stones:

quare Cuff links with Blue Stones

These gold tone mesh cufflinks with swivel backs are topped with faceted blue stones. They sold for $3,125

 

YELLOW-Green Stone CuffLinks:

Elvis' YELLOW-GREEN STONE CUFFLINKS

These gold tone mesh cufflinks with large wraparounds are topped with yellow-green faceted stones. They sold for $2,240

 

Faux Gem Cuff Links:

Elvis' FAUX GEM CUFFLINKS

These gold tone mesh cufflinks are topped with faceted aurora borealis stones. They sold for $1,920.

 

Shark Fin style Cufflinks:

Elvis' SHARK FIN STYLE CUFFLINKS

A pair of gold-toned metal cufflinks with molded orange iridescent glass. They sold for $1,024.

 

Globe Cufflinks:

Elvis' Globe Cufflinks

A pair of gold-toned metal with molded domed clear glass with rainbow effect. These cufflinks sold for $576.

 

Green Stone Cufflinks:

Elvis' Green Stone Cufflinks 2

A pair of gold-toned metal cufflinks with molded domed green glass. They sold for $640.

 

ElvisBlog has looked at Elvis’ Fabulous Rings eight times. This is the first post on Elvis’ Fabulous Cufflinks, but something tells me we’ll be doing them again.

 

 

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

 

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Special Elvis Collectibles at the Last Auction at Graceland

1970 Elvis Presley Black-and-White Souvenir Poster

It’s been five weeks since the last Auction at Graceland, so I want to do a post on three items that interest me because of the stories behind them. We’ll save the rings, clothing, and other goodies until a later time.

 

Dixie Locke and Elvis 1955

You have probably seen this photo before, and you might know the girl with Elvis is Dixie Locke. Five items from her personal collection showed up for sale at the January 6 Auction at Graceland. The auction website does a great job describing the relationship between Elvis and Dixie:

It was January 1954 and Elvis’ family was relatively new to Memphis. Elvis attended the First Assembly of God church to hear the Blackwood Brothers Quartet, who were members of the congregation and of whom Elvis was a fan. It didn’t take long for Elvis to be noticed by a group of girls, among them the lovely Dixie Locke. Unbeknownst to Elvis, they admired him from afar and hatched a plan to discuss their weekend plans within his earshot in hopes he would come to the Rainbow Rollerdome. And in fact, he did not disappoint. When he showed up at the skating rink, Dixie immediately spotted him and skated over to introduce herself. He knew just who she was and the two talked all evening, with Elvis driving her home at the end of the night.

A courtship followed and the two began dating. Elvis was about four years Dixie’s senior so it required some interrogating questions from both sets of parents before they all blessed the relationship. In the summer of 1954, Dixie and Elvis parted company for the first time when Dixie’s family left Memphis for a Florida vacation. While they were away, Elvis began early recordings in Sun Studio, and Dixie returned to him to hear his surprise as he was making radio airtime. The two dated for about two years, with Elvis taking Dixie to her high school prom in 1955 [as pictured above].

Elvis Kissing Dixie Locke - May 6, 1955

Elvis and Dixie smooching on prom night

Dixie and Elvis were like any normal young couple dating in the 1950s: their outings consisted of going to the movies, taking drives, going to the local canteen and visiting each other at their respective homes just to play games or sit on the front porch and chat. It was later that fall that the two drifted their separate ways. Dixie has been quoted describing the departure as, “It was kind of a natural thing. His career was going in one direction, and I didn’t feel that I could be a part of it.”

Okay, now check out this photograph. Please ignore the diagonal text of Graceland Auctions obscuring it. That was put there for reasons that will soon be apparent.

1954 Snapshot of Elvis Presley with Girlfriend Dixie Locke and Her Family

Again, from the auction website:

The charming black-and-white snapshot, emanating directly from Dixie’s personal collection, depicts her large family gathering on the lawn for the going-away party for her sister, who was moving to California to be married.

Elvis is pictured in the front row with argyle socks and slicked back hair. The other people consist of Dixie and her parents, siblings, grandparents, aunt, uncles and lots of cousins. The photo is also notated in pencil with the date “6/54” which would have been just before Dixie left on that Florida vacation and Elvis’ career began heating up. The snapshot measures 3 3/8 by 3 3/16 inches.

1954 Close-up of Elvis Presley in Snapshot with Girlfriend Dixie Locke and Her Family

Blow up of Elvis in the Dixie Locke family photograph.

Here’s why I find this photograph so interesting. It had 60 bids at the auction, running the price up to $8,750. I don’t recall any other item at the Auctions at Graceland having that much spirited bidding. So, what caused this interest? I asked Jeff Marren, the Consignment Director at the auction about this photo plus another one from Dixie Locke, and this was his reply:

“Those two offerings, specifically, were extremely strong prices, obviously, but not total surprises from the standpoint that they turned out to be photos that had never been seen. When we brought them to auction, we were almost certain they had never seen the light of day, coming directly from the Dixie Locke Emmons collection. The market is very strong for unpublished photos of Elvis.”

Whoever the high bidder was, he now owns a photo of Elvis that other fans have never seen. It will not join the millions of Elvis pictures on the internet. Nobody will be downloading copies of it. And think of the timing. It was snapped just a few weeks before his first recording session at Sun Records and the start of his career. No wonder there were 60 bids on it.

 

Elvis Presley Inscribed Snapshot - Given to His Little Sister-in-Law - From the Dixie Locke Collection

This is the other photo Mr. Marren referred to. According to Dixie’s accompanying letter, the image of Elvis on this photo postcard was taken at Blue Light Studio in Memphis.

Blue Light Studio

Look at the words along the top of the building. That is Lansky Bros. Men’s Shop. How natural would it be for Elvis to have a postcard photo made at a studio next to Lansky’s, a place he frequently visited.

Anyway, this Elvis photo had 51 bids and topped out at $9,375.

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Elvis Presley Inscribed Snapshot - Given to His Little Sister-in-Law

Elvis inscribed the back side of the black-and-white photo postcard in pencil to “My (high) tempered little sister-in-law” for Dixie’s sister. Elvis and Dixie had talked seriously of marriage during their relationship, and at the time, the two were sure that marriage was in their future. Thus, the reference to his little sister-in-law.

The photo had at one time been trimmed, cutting off part of Elvis’ inscription. The auction website sums up things nicely: “This early and delightfully playful keepsake captures the youthful star and his adoration for his young love and her family. The photo measures 4 7/8 by 3 1/3 inches.”

Over the years, I have reported on many autographed Elvis photographs at auctions, but I don’t remember another bringing in over $9,000. Looks like it makes a big difference if a photo is one of a kind and has never been reproduced on the internet.

 

The Auction at Graceland website had a quite detailed and interesting background story about a 24” by 36” Elvis concert poster.

Scotty Moore invited Elvis to join his band, The Starlite Wranglers, in July of 1954, and Elvis played just two songs with the group in front of a live audience for the first time at the Bon Air in Memphis on July 17. Just three short weeks later on August 7, Scotty, Bill and Elvis break from The Starlite Wranglers for their first real performance together at the Eagle’s Nest in Memphis. The Eagle’s Nest was a nightclub that was located above the changing room of the restaurant and pool at the Clearpool complex located on Lamar Avenue.

Eagles Nest above Swimming Club

The Clearpool was an entertainment complex that catered to a country and western swing crowd. The house band was led by Memphis DJ “Sleepy-Eyed” John Lepley, and at one time or another, the house band members included Jim Stewart, Stax Records founder, and Jack Clement, producer at Sun. Elvis performed here 16 times in 1954 before the club fell victim to fire in the late 1960s. This venue was one of the first paying gigs for Elvis and his very first consistent venue at the birth of his career. It was at the Eagle’s Nest that Elvis initially gained notoriety among the teen crowd, who would rush in from the pool to hear Elvis sing and then return outside when the next act came on. This is also where Elvis’ own style began to flourish and he was recognized as something out of the ordinary.

1954 Elvis Presley One of the Earliest Known Concert Performance Posters - Eagle’s Nest

Offered is a hand-painted, cardboard poster that hung at the entrance to the Eagle’s Nest and touts “Memphis’ own Elvis Presley with Scotty & Bill.” The poster is signed and inscribed “I spent a week there one night / Scotty Moore / DJ Fontana” in white ink on the black background.

The poster lists three songs: “Heart Breaker,” “That’s All Right,” and “Good Rockin.” Elvis had released “That’s All Right” and “Good Rockin” with Sun by September of 1954, while he had been using “Heart Breaker” in his set before recording it as “You’re a Heartbreaker” in December 1954. As Elvis’ performances on the Louisiana Hayride began in mid-October, taking his career into the direction of concert performances at other venues in various cities, his appearances at the Eagle’s Nest begin to wane. Elvis’ last two shows at the Eagle’s Nest were on November 17 and December 10, when, given the songs advertised, this poster was likely used. Since no specific date is listed, enabling the poster to be used more than once, this custom example may have even been used to advertise the appearances on both of those nights.

The auction website traces the ownership of the posters over the years, and one owner, Brian Beirne, a famed Los Angeles radio personality, purchased it in the late 80s or early 90s. He then got Scotty Moore and DJ Fontana to autograph it, approximately 35 years after they had performed there.

Scotty Moore and DJ Fontana autographs on Eagles Nest poster

Mr. Beirne says, “I consider this poster one of the true Holy Grails of concert posters.” The auction website said, “This amazingly rare survivor from the club where Elvis’ legend was launched perfectly captures the spirit of the scene from one of the most formative years in Elvis’ career. One of the earliest known Elvis concert posters.”

Bidders certainly must have been impressed, as it sold for $18,750. Wow

 

Here is one last auction item that has an interesting story. You can’t tell from this picture or the one at the beginning of this article that they are actually posters. Big ones – 22 inches by 28 inches. Hey, ladies. Wouldn’t you love to have one of these posters of Elvis hanging on a wall in your house?

1970 Elvis Presley Black-and-White Souvenir Poster 2

The auction website describes them:

“The Colonel would create generic posters of Elvis that could be altered with snips and venue information and used to promote stops on Elvis Presley’s 1970 tour. These generic posters are few and far between, especially in such an exemplary state of preservation as this one. In true Colonel style, the larger-than-life, bewitching image of Elvis graces the full size of the entire poster. This unusual and rare example with printed Elvis inscription …. is very difficult to come by.”

These full-face posters were given by Tom Diskin [Col. Parker’s assistant] to a fan(fans ?) after a Sept 1970 St. Louis, MO. concert appearance.

I think some folks got very good deals on these posters. The one with the brooding Elvis face went for $687, and the one with the microphone at his mouth went for $812.

 

It’s less than five months until the next Auction at Graceland. I can’t wait to see what new special things they will come up with.

© 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.

Elvis Collectibles that Failed to Sell in 1999 Get a Second Chance

Catelog - The Archives of Graceland Auction 1999

This is the 296-page catalog of the 1999 Archives of Graceland auction. It was held in the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas, and the auction lots were open for public viewing for ten days. Admission was $5, or you could buy the catalog for $40 and get in free. I happened to be in Las Vegas at that time for a convention, and I gladly forked out the $5 to spend three hours looking at all the Elvis goodies while my wife played the slots. Years later I bought the catalog for a much reduced price from a vendor at Elvis Week.

Poster for the Archives of Graceland Auction

This is a very rare hotel poster (covered in plastic) announcing the Archives of Graceland auction. It probably has some collectible value of its own now.

It appears that not everything at this auction sold, and now they are back nineteen years later at the January 6, 2018 Auction at Graceland.

The Auction at Graceland Jan 6, 2018

I guess these items have been in storage in the Graceland archives all this time. But, with all the expanded exhibit space now at the Elvis the Entertainer Career Museum and five other exhibits at Elvis Presley’s Memphis, you’d think they would hang on to these items. However, they are for sale at auction again, and we will take a look at most of these repeat items. It’s interesting to compare the original 1999 estimates with those for 2018. Because the current estimates are all lower, we can assume the items were over-evaluated the first time, and nobody would pay that much for them.

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Love Me Tender 16mm Film and Acetates of Movie Songs:

Elvis Presley 16mm Film of Love Me Tender and Acetate

This is Elvis’ personal copy of the film in three metal reels and the original brown-strapped shipping case. The smaller case contains his personal acetates of the four songs in the soundtrack: “We’re Gonna Move,” “Love Me Tender,” “Poor Boy,” and “Let Me.” There were actually three versions of the title track “Love Me Tender.”

Address Label 16mm Film of Love Me Tender and Acetate

Back in 1999, the estimate was $5,000-7,000. Now it is just $1,500-2,500. But what if one of those unused versions of “Love Me Tender” is substantially different and has not already been released? It could be licensed for enough to cover the cost of the whole lot.

There are three other lots containing film reels and song acetates that also carried over from the 1999 auction: G.I. Blues, Kid Gallahad, and Live A Little, Love A Little. Their original estimates were less than Love Me Tender, but today they are the same. It seems unlikely that they will bring in as much as Elvis’ first film.

 

Original Screen Door from Graceland:

Original Screen Door from Gracelsnd

Can you believe it? I guess they figure anything related to Elvis has appeal to collectors, including this screen door from the back entrance to Graceland. It has presumably been in storage since 1967 when Elvis replaced with an ironwork door (still there today).

Back in 1999, the estimate was $3,000-4,000, but today it is $1,500 – $2,500. Sorry, if I had that kind of money to spend on Elvis collectibles, I’d get something besides a screen door.

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Elvis Presley’s Personal Massive Wooden Desk from His Home Office in Palm Springs:

Elvis Presley’s Personal Massive Wooden Desk from His Home Office in Palm Springs - Front

This desk came from Elvis’ home in Palm Springs, not Graceland. Because the Colonel and others took care of all his business dealings, Elvis actually used it for little more than reading or to review his concert arrangements. The desk is 7-1/2 feet long and is an impressive-looking piece of furniture – angular kidney-shaped wooden desk with burl wood trim and brass handles.

Elvis Presley’s Personal Massive Wooden Desk from His Home Office in Palm Springs

Back in 1999, the estimate was $40,000 – $50,000, but today it is $10,000 – $20,000. I think they will get it. If a photo of Elvis sitting at this desk ever surfaces, the value would go way up.

 

Elvis’ Portable Sauna:

Elvis Presley’s “Scandinavian Products” Portable Sauna

This is something I most remember seeing at the 1999 auction exhibit, and I thought it was pretty weird. In the 1970s, the Colonel purchased this steam spa for Elvis’ Chino Canyon, Palm Springs home.

Elvis Presley’s “Scandinavian Products” Portable Sauna - Open

Elvis used this spa to maintain his heath  because the advertised benefits included detoxification, stress relief, weight loss, and improving circulation.

Back in 1999, the estimate was $8,000 – $10,000, but today it is $3,000 – $5,000

 

Elvis Presley’s Personal Globe-Shaped Free-Standing Wooden Bar from His Beverly Hills Home:

Elvis Presley’s Personal Globe-Shaped Free-Standing Wooden Bar from His Beverly Hills Home - Closed

 

In 1967 when Elvis and Priscilla moved to the two-acre, two-story home in the elegant Holmby Hills neighborhood of California, Elvis made sure to furnish his home with only the best stuff. Amenities included a soda fountain, a pool table, a projection room and this stately Italian-style Old World Globe Bar.

Elvis Presley’s Personal Globe-Shaped Free-Standing Wooden Bar from His Beverly Hills Home

Of course, Elvis didn’t drink, and the inside doesn’t have much room to store anything, so my guess us that it was just a conversation piece. The globe/bar was put into storage in Los Angeles in 1975, and presumably has been stored away ever since.

Back in 1999, the estimate was $4,500-$5,000, but today it is $1,500 – $2,500. I think it will sell this time, possibly going for a good bit more than the estimate.

 

VCR from Elvis’ Bedroom:

Elvis Presley VCR from His Bedroom at Graceland

According to the auction website, “Not only was Elvis featured in many films, but he also thoroughly enjoyed watching movies. He often went to the theater as a young man and that habit continued into adulthood when he would rent out an entire theater to watch a film. As technology progressed and the video recording system became a popular format in the mid 1970s for home viewing, Elvis would watch his favorites in the comfort of his bedroom at Graceland.” with his own personal VCR player.

Elvis Presley VCR from His Bedroom - Controls

Elvis was passionate about technology and acquiring the latest and greatest, and this high-tech JVC model CR-6300U video player certainly was that at the time.

Back in 1999, the estimate was $4,000 – $6,000, and it is still pretty close today at $3,000 – $5,000.

 

Elvis Presley’s Leather Rocking Chair from the Jungle Room:

Elvis Presley’s Leather Rocking Chair from the Jungle Room

Although fans call it the Jungle Room today, Elvis referred to it as the den, and the auction website calls it the original man cave. However, during the 70s, the furnishings were not the ones we see in Graceland today. We can be thankful that all the original tiki-inspired furniture was saved and ultimately restored to its iconic domain.

The auction website says this rocking chair was a favorite of Elvis’ in his earlier rendition of the room. They acknowledge that a photo of the wrong chair ended up in the 1999 catalog.

Elvis Presley’s Leather Rocking Chair from the Jungle Room

To my eye, this one looks way more like something from the Jungle Room than that spindly one above. But the one in the new picture is what’s for sale and the estimate is $10,000 – $15,000. Back in 1999 it was $20,000 – 30,000. Without a photo of Elvis sitting on it, I don’t think it will sell.

 

Elvis Presley Original Acetate of Beatles Songs “Hey Jude” and “Something”:

Elvis Presley Original Acetate of Beatles Songs “Hey Jude” and “Something”

In 1969 Elvis recorded The Beatles’ hit “Hey Jude” at the American Studio in Memphis. “Hey Jude” was released by The Beatles in 1968 and topped the charts in Britain and the U.S. and is often cited as one of the greatest songs of all time. Elvis’ rendition of “Hey Jude” was included on his 1972 album Elvis Now.

“Something” was another song written by George Harrison and released on the 1969 Beatles album Abbey Road. Elvis included the song during his third season at the Las Vegas International Hotel in August 1970, and performed it during his Aloha from Hawaii television special in 1973, so the song was included on the namesake album as well.

This rare acetate of Elvis singing both famous tunes is described on the auction website as a historic relic of incomparable significance. I don’t understand why it did not sell at the 1999 auction when the estimate was only $650 – $750. Contrary to everything else we have looked at in this post, the current estimate is even higher at $1,000 – $2,000. I predict it will sell at that or more.

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Signed Title to Elvis’ Circle G Ranch:

The background story of this deed is presented nicely on the auction website:

Elvis was an avid rider and purchased his first horse, Domino, as a Christmas gift for Priscilla. Elvis’ passion grew and soon the barn at Graceland was being cleaned to house the horses Elvis began to acquire. It was during a horse-buying excursion in Mississippi that Elvis spotted a 65-foot white cross overlooking a manmade lake on a beautiful piece of land. At the time, Elvis was reading a lot about spirituality, so the mystique of the property moved him enough to stop and knock on the owner’s door. Elvis didn’t even bother negotiating the price of “Twinkletown Farm” with the owner, Jack Adams, but proceeded to put down an initial payment of $5,000 against the total asking price of $437,000 for the house, cattle, farm equipment and 160 acres of land. Shortly after, Elvis moved nearly 40 horses to the property, eight trailers for his friends and family and spent $100,000 on vehicles for the ranch. Elvis renamed the farm “Circle G Ranch,” with the “G” for Graceland. Much time was spent by Elvis, Priscilla and his entourage at the ranch as it provided a getaway from the pressures of Hollywood and superstardom. Elvis had quickly spent a small fortune on the ranch and the cost of maintaining it became too much of a financial burden, so in May of 1969 Elvis sold the property for $440,000.

Elvis Presley Signed Title to His Circle G Ranch

So, the two-page title from Mid-South Title Company in Memphis, dated February 8, 1967 for the Circle G Ranch is back at auction. The title is signed in blue ink by Elvis.

The new estimate has an unusually wide range: $10,000 – $20,000. This puts it both above and below the 1999 estimate of $13,000 – 15,000. I don’t think they know what this signed deed will bring. I hope it goes high.

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1973 Tennessee Motorcycle License Plate:

Elvis Presley 1973 Tennessee Motorcycle License Plate

Elvis owned a lot of Harley-Davidson motorcycles in his life, and this license plate was on one of them. But the best the auction website can say about it is, “The plate may have been used on a custom-made Harley-Davidson that Elvis bought in 1971.”

What’s strange is that this plate is only one of four offered at the 1999 auction.

Elvis Presley License Plates

That set included two white Tennessee plates and a black one from California. The combination was expected to bring $10,000 – 12,000 in 1999. Now the green Tennessee motorcycle plate alone is estimated at just $1,000 – $1,500. It might bring that.

 

The Auction at Graceland January 6 2018

This is just a taste of the 271 Elvis items that will be auctioned on January 6 in Memphis during the Elvis Birthday Celebration. To see everything, click here.

 

© 2017 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.

Interesting Elvis Memorabilia – Part 37

The Auction at Graceland Sign

I have run out of ideas for different titles on these posts featuring Elvis collectibles, so I’m just going to number them from now on. Here are the titles for the memorabilia articles posted so far in 2017.

2017 Elvis Auctions

So, the 37th post in this series will feature items for the recent Elvis Week 2017 Auction at Graceland. The number of lots for bid increased to 309, so the items I find interesting will fill several posts.

 

1954 Elvis Presley Ceiling Hanger Advertisement:

 

1954 Elvis Presley Ceiling Hanger Advertisement

You have to be impressed when a hanging advertisement for an Elvis record sells for $2,000. This 14 inch diameter in-store promotion featured Elvis’ second single “Good Rockin’ Tonight,” released on September 25, 1954. The auction website calls it custom-made, so presumably Sun Records made just a few for the local record stores. This one came from Popular Tunes, a record store in Memphis where Elvis shopped and hung out. It is rumored that when he released a new song, Elvis would hide around the corner to watch people go in and buy his new record.

 

Signed 1953 Humes High School Yearbook:

Signed 1953 Humes High School Yearbook

Every year or two another one of these Humes High School yearbooks shows up at auction. Elvis must have autographed the books of nearly every girl in his graduating class, and his usual message was a variation of, “Best of luck to a cute girl,” as it is in this one. The auction website describes all the pages in the yearbook pertaining to Elvis:

Elvis is depicted in his senior class portrait wearing a suit jacket and tie with a curl of hair falling onto his forehead. He has listed his major as “Shop, History, English” and his activities as “R.O.T.C., Biology Club, English Club, History Club, and Speech Club. The yearbook is 112 pages and Elvis is also mentioned on page 30 in the class’ Last Will and Testament in Section 83: “Donald Williams, Raymond McCraig and Elvis Presley leave hoping there will be someone to take their places as ‘teachers’ pets.’” Elvis is also pictured on page 56, in the 5th period 12th grade English class photo, in the back row.

If you would like to see these pages, click here.

These yearbooks are always popular with bidders, and after 15 bids, the price on this went up to $4,250, about what they usually bring.

 

1957 Soda Fountain and Ice Cream Toppings Canisters from the Graceland TV Room:

Elvis Presley’s 1957 Soda Fountain Ice Cream Toppings Canisters from the Graceland TV Room

When Elvis bought Graceland in 1957, he started remodeling immediately. He hired an interior decorator and let him decide what to do with the place. But Elvis did ask for two specific things. He wanted the most beautiful bedroom in Memphis for his mother — and he wanted a soda fountain so his friends could come and sit and have soda. He installed the ice cream machine, along with the soda fountain and topping canisters, in the bar area of the basement TV Room downstairs.

There are six ceramic canisters. The taller ones are 9 inches tall and have a soda pump. The three toppings canisters are 6 inches tall and have a chrome lid with a serving spoon attached.  Two of the soda fountains are labeled “Coca Cola” and “Root Beer,” while two of the topping canisters are marked “Marshmallow” and “Strawberry.” Two labels are missing. The set stayed in Graceland until 1974 when Linda Thompson did the remodel.

Bidding was rather light on this, but it went for $4,000. If the new owner could find a photo of Elvis standing in front of it, the value would surely go up.

 

Two Reels of 8mm Film from 1959-62:

Two Reels of 8mm Film from 1959-62

I believe someone got a real steal on this. These two rolls of film had the ridiculously low starting bid of $500 and pre-auction estimate of $1,000-1,500. They sold for $3,750.

These very interesting reels of 8 mm film contain footage of Elvis Presley and his Graceland home over a number of years, plus Elvis on location for Follow that Dream in 1961. The total viewing time is almost 20 minutes, but there is no sound. The scenes include:

Elvis Playing Football in 1961
Elvis Playing Football in 1962
His 21st Birthday Party where he kisses half a dozen different girls on the cheek as they pose for still photos.
Miscellaneous scenes showing Graceland.
Elvis signing autographs on location for Follow That Dream in Aug. 1961.” The scene shows a crowd discovering Elvis at his hotel and surrounding him, and soon he diligently signs autographs.

Based on labels on the reels, it is assumed that Ms. Pam Drew of Chicago shot this film. It seems like she (and perhaps girlfriends) caught up with Elvis a few times and had the camera ready. It is uncertain whether this film was ever shared or distributed.

The reason I think the top bid was a steal is because of the possibilities all the screen grabs present for marketing. Those shots of Elvis kissing the girls at his birthday party should alone generate big bucks for licensing. Somebody could add narration and music and editing and turn the footage into a DVD. There were 32 bids on this film, making it all the more surprising it didn’t go for a larger sum.

 

1953 “Annual Minstrel” Talent Show Program at Humes High School:

1953 “Annual Minstrel” Talent Show Program at Humes High School -- Front

Well, you wouldn’t be allowed to put an image like this on a program for a high school variety show these days. Apparently, it was okay back on April 9, 1953. Elvis is the 16th act, listed as “Guitarist,” but the interesting thing is that his last name is spelled “Prestly.”

1953 “Annual Minstrel” Talent Show Program at Humes High School - Inside

The winning bid for this program was $2,125, about what the pre-auction estimate projected.

 

Necklace – Possibly Stage-Worn in 1957:

Elvis Presley Necklace - Possibly Stage-Worn in 1957

I’m not sure why the auction website was so cautious about saying Elvis wore this item. Although they didn’t have a Letter of Authenticity from J.D. Sumner, to whom Elvis gave the neckless (along with additional tokens given to him by fans). But, they did have a LOA from Mike Moon of The Elvis Museum. Sumner gave it to the museum in the 1970s. The pendant, contains Catholic symbols on a clover-shaped design on the front, and reads on the reverse, “I am Catholic, please call a priest.”

This photo was snapped prior to Elvis’ March 28, 1957 performance at the International Amphitheatre in Chicago where he wore his famous gold-leaf suit. The website says the pendant in the picture “is very possibly the exact pendant” in the auction. Bidders must have believed this, because they ran the final price up to $8,750.

 

Complete Set of Five Elvis Presley Sun Records 45 RPM Records:

Complete Set of Five Elvis Presley Sun Records 45 RPM Records

I agree with the auction website that most collectors have to build this collection piece by piece, so it was a rare occasion to have all five Elvis Sun singles available together. Twenty bids ran the price up to $8,750

The collection includes:

1954 Sun 209 “That’s All Right” / “Blue Moon of Kentucky” (Sample stamped in red on both sides)
1954 Sun 210 “Good Rockin’ Tonight” / “I Don’t Care if the Sun Don’t Shine”
1955 Sun 215 “Milkcow Blues Boogie” / “You’re A Heartbreaker”
1955 Sun 217 “I’m Left, You’re Right, She’s Gone” / “Baby Let’s Play House”
1955 Sun 223 “Mystery Train” / “I Forgot to Remember to Forget.”

Can you make a guess which of these is the most difficult to acquire? The answer is Sun 215 “Milkcow Blues Boogie.” Four of the five records in this set are rated Very Good or better. # 217 has single crack through playing surface. You can bet the new owner of this set will still be looking for a better copy of “I’m Left, You’re Right, She’s Gone.”

 

Historic January 25, 1956, Elvis Presley First Signed Document as an Adult – Certifying Earlier Agreements with Colonel Parker:

Historic January 25, 1956, Elvis Presley First Signed Document as an Adult - Certifying Earlier Agreements with Colonel Parker

Col. Tom Parker convinced Elvis and his parents to allow him to manage his career and had them all sign a contract in August 1955. Gladys and Vernon had to sign it because Elvis was just 20 years old and considered a minor. The Colonel obviously wanted something stronger, so when Elvis turned 21, Parker had Elvis sign another contract where he reaffirms his agreement to the earlier contract. It seems like Parker skipped using an attorney and composed it himself using his best legal-sounding language. He refers to himself as both “me” and Col. Thomas A Parker in the document. And when he refers to Elvis as an “infant,” he obviously meant “minor.” Have fun reading this attempt at legalese.

On this 25 day of January, 1956, before me personally appeared ELVIS PRESLEY, to me known to be the individual described in and who executed this instrument, and he duly acknowledged to me that on November 21, 1955, he entered into and signed certain management and representation agreements with Col. Thomas A. Parker, that said instruments were formerly signed and executed by him when he was still an infant under the age of 21 years, that he has since arrived at full age and is desirous of confirming the signing and execution of said agreements, and he now acknowledges that he does hereby confirm said agreements as and for his act and deed, for the purposes therein contained.

Of course the contract had a big effect on Elvis’ life. It also sold for $21,250 at this auction.

 

1956 Signed Copy of His First Album Elvis Presley:

Signed Elvis Presley Album

As far as I know, no autographed Elvis album has sold for as much as this one. The estimate of $5-10,000 seemed reasonable, but 37 bids rocketed the price up to $25,000.

What makes this album so special? The auction website says that signed copies of the Elvis Presley LP are few and far between. However, this one has an extra feature – a close connection to the inner workings of the Presley organization. The back cover has an inscription, “To Trude, A great little gal. Thanks and good luck, Elvis Presley.” This is Trude Forsher, Elvis and Colonel Parker’s west coast secretary and promotions coordinator from 1956-1961.

You may not know this fact about Elvis’ first album as explained on the auction website:

In 1956, “Heartbreak Hotel” was already a smash hit, and RCA wanted to capitalize on the heavy TV presence of its young star. So five songs RCA acquired from Sun Records when it bought Elvis’ contract were combined with seven RCA recordings to round out the album.

The front and back of the sleeve have separated from heavy use. The back of the sleeve has several areas of tape and tape residue, including one that affects “Trude” in the inscription. None of these distresses affect the Elvis signature. The bidders apparently didn’t care about this album cover not being in the best of shape. Although the photos show that the vinyl record is included, not one word was said about its condition.

 

Wraparound Sunglasses – Worn on the Set of Follow That Dream:

Elvis Presley's Wraparound Sunglasses – Worn on the Set of Follow That Dream

I know you have heard of Ray-Bans and Foster Grants, but how about Renauld sunglasses?

In the 1960s, Renauld of France created a stylish and futuristic wrap-around style sunglasses that were popular with celebrities and sport enthusiasts. The above “Sea & Ski Spectacular” model was touted as appearing to float on the face. The green lenses were guaranteed distortion-free and contained a special UV formula filter.

Elvis always wanted to be at the forefront of fashion, so it was important to him to have this latest hot item. The story of how Elvis got this pair is described in a letter from Elvis’ buddy Alan Fortas on the auction website:

“I was with Elvis during the filming of the movie Follow That Dream down in Ocala, Florida. Elvis has wanted a pair of these new wrap-around sunglasses that had just come out. He had me look in shops around town and I couldn’t find any. When Elvis wanted something he wanted it ‘NOW.’ There were hundreds of people around the set wanting autographs and just wanting to watch Elvis.

“Well, eagle eye Elvis saw someone in the crowd with a pair of the sunglasses that he wanted. He yelled at me and pointed to the person in the crowd and told me to go and ask him where he got them, and, if I had to, buy them from him. When Elvis gave you a task you followed it. Turned out the guy that was wearing them got them as a gift and he didn’t know where they came from. I said I’ll give you $50.00 for them. He said make it $100 and he’d sell them. That’s how Elvis finally got these sunglasses he had been wanting. He wore them constantly when we weren’t filming. Eventually Elvis got tired of these when he started wearing another style and gave these to me.”

The Renauld sunglasses went for $11,875, which is more than Elvis’ familiar EP design from the 70s bring at auction. There have been many of those, but this pair of Elvis shades is one of a kind.

 

© 2017 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

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Artwork on Foreign Posters for Elvis Movies

Hertitage Ultimate Elvis Auction PosterHertitage Ultimate Elvis Auction 2012

This Heritage auction had over 300 Elvis items up for bidding during Elvis Week 2012. They even commissioned their own Elvis drawing to publicize the event. It’s easy to imagine that the folks at EPE checked it out and realized this was popular with the fans and a good way to make money. So, Graceland got into the Elvis auction business, and Heritage hasn’t been back to Memphis since.

The Auction at Graceland March 4, 2017

Yet another Auction at Graceland was held this weekend, purposely scheduled to compliment to opening of Elvis Presley’s Memphis. In the past eight months, there have been three other of these –coupled with Elvis Week, the opening of the Guesthouse at Graceland, and Elvis’ birthday celebration. The proliferation of theses auctions at Graceland have completely sucked the Elvis market away from other companies that present entertainment memorabilia auctions.

 

Elvis Girl Happy Romanian Movie Poster

For some reason, the latest Auction at Graceland has over 40 Elvis movie posters, and most of them are from foreign countries. Like this Romanian poster for Girl Happy. I thought it was interesting that they chose to show Shelly Fabares doing her drunken striptease dance and Elvis and the guys looking through the blinds of the motel room window.  Almost looks like they are in jail.

 

Elvis The Trouble with Girls Belgian Movie Poster

Most of the foreign Elvis movie posters had artwork rather than screen shots from the film. This one above from Belgium for The Trouble with Girls has a terrific drawing. But most of the others were a little off the mark. (Some were off by a lot.)

Elvis Easy Come, Easy Go Australian Movie Poste

Like this Australian poster for Easy Come, Easy Go. Check out the close-up.

Does this look like Elvis to you?

 

Elvis It Happened at the World’s Fair Spanish Movie Poster

This poster from Spain for It Happened at the World’s Fair has both a good Elvis image and a bad one.

Elvis It Happened at the World’s Fair Spanish Movie Poster - Close-up 1

This is pretty good.

Elvis It Happened at the World’s Fair Spanish Movie Poster - Close-up 2

This is definitely not a good reproduction of Elvis.

 

Elvis Kissin’ Cousins Italian Movie Poster

This Italian poster for Kissin’ Cousins also has two drawings of Elvis.

Elvis Kissin’ Cousins Italian Movie Poster - Close-up

Soldier Elvis looks a little better than mountain-man Elvis.

 

Elvis Roustabout Argentinean Movie Poster

This Argentinean poster for Roustabout is the first of two showing Elvis on a motor cycle.

lvis Roustabout Argentinean Movie Poster - Close-up

Doesn’t quite cut it. For me anyway.

 

Elvis Clambake Belgian Movie Poster

And this is a Belgian poster for Clambake.

Elvis Clambake Belgian Movie Poster - Cl

It’s fair, I guess. But what is she wearing? Is that supposed to be a helmet?

 

Elvis Jailhouse Rock Australian Movie Poster

This is a better Elvis on an Australian poster for Jailhouse Rock. At least they did a terrific job on the hair. While the movie was in black and white, most American posters were color. I guess the Aussies thought it was artsy to do the poster in B & W also.

 

Elvis Easy Come, Easy Go German Movie Poster

Here’s another poster for Easy Come, Easy Go, this time from Germany.

Elvis Easy Come, Go German Movie Poster - Close-Up

This guy sort of reminds me Elvis. I don’t like the brown smudge on his cheek and chin.

 

Elvis Speedway Turkish One Sheet Movie Poster

Elvis movies even played in Turkey. The artist for Speedway liked Elvis skinny and Nancy Sinatra buxom.

Elvis Speedway Turkish One Sheet Movie Poster - Close up

Handsome guy. Sort of looks like Elvis.

 

Elvis Fun in Acapulco Australian One Sheet Movie Poster

Another Australian poster. The Elvis image this time isn’t near as good as their one for Jailhouse Rock.

Elvis Fun in Acapulco Australian One Sheet Movie Poster - Close-up

Sorry. Not so much.  Looks like he has a knife wound on his cheek.

 

 

Elvis Roustabout Belgian Movie Poster

Let’s end with a good one. This is a Belgian poster for Roustabout.

Elvis Roustabout Belgian Movie Poster - Close-up

Looks like Elvis to me.

 

© 2017 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

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

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

Items on Display in Car Museum

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

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

Viva Elvis Logo

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

 

Elvis - 68 Comeback Elvis

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

 

Elvis MarchMovieMadness

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

 

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

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

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

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

Estimate: $100,000 – $125,000

ElvisBlog Prediction – It will make the estimate.

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

 

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

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

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

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

Coat Label - Elvis' World's Fair Suit

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

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

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

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

Estimate: $30,000 – $50,000

ElvisBlog Prediction: It will make the estimate.

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

 

Signed Hollow Body Electric Guitar:

Hollow Body Electric Guitar Signed by Elvis and Col. Parker

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

Signatures by Elvis and Col. Parker onHollow Body Electric Guitar

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

Estimate: $25,000 – $35,000

ElvisBlog Prediction: Won’t make the estimate.

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Estimate: $25,000 – $30,000

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

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

 

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

TCB Diamond and Gold Necklace Elvis Gifted To Sammy Davis Jr

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

Elvis and Sammy Davis Jr.

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

Estimate: $20,000 – $30,000

ElvisBlog Prediction: It will beat the estimate.

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

 

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

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

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

Elvis Signature on Million Dollar Quartet Guitar

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

Estimate: $20,000 – $30,000

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

Estimate: $20,000-30,000.

ElvisBlog Prediction: It will not make the estimate.

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

 

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

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

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

Coat Label - Elvis' World's Fair Suit

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

Elvis Wearing Suit from World's Fair

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

Estimate: $20,000 – $30,000

ElvisBlog Prediction: It will make the estimate.

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

 

Purple Velour Shirt from the 1966 RCA Pocket Calendar:

Elvis' Purple Velour Shirt from the 1966 RCA Pocket Calendar

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

Pocket Calendar Picture of Elvis

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

Estimate: $10,000 – 15,000

ElvisBlog Prediction: It will beat the estimate.

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

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

TCB Gold Necklace Gifted to Richard Davis by Elvis Presley

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

LOA from Richard Davis on TCB Pendant

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

Estimate: $12,000 – $18,000

ElvisBlog Prediction: It will beat the estimate.

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

 

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

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

Elvis' Signature on Letter to Gary Pepper

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

Estimate: $10,000 – $15,000

ElvisBlog Prediction: It will make the estimate.

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

 

Luggage, Personal Effects and Signed Purchase Documents:

Elvis' Luggage, Personal Effects and Signed Purchase Documents

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

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

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

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

Check Paying for Luggage, Personal Effects and Signed Purchase Documents

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

Estimate: $9,000 – $12,000

ElvisBlog Prediction: It will make the estimate.

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

 

Signed RCA Nipper Statue:

Elvis Signed and Inscribed RCA Nipper Statue - Front

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

Elvis Signed and Inscribed RCA Nipper Statue

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

Estimate: $8,000 – $10,000

ElvisBlog Prediction: It will make the estimate.

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

 

Elvis Presley Doll in Rare Original Box:

1957 Elvis Presley Enterprises Elvis Presley Doll in Rare Original Box

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

Box for 1957 Elvis Presley Doll in Rare Original Box

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

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

Estimate: $7,000 – $10,000

ElvisBlog Prediction: It will surpass the estimate.

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

The Second Auction at Graceland — Part 3

So far, we’ve looked at the big winners and the items with excessive minimum bids that nobody would pay. This post will be about the items that did way better than expected.

Viva Las Vegas Movie Poster:

lvis Viva Las Vegas Movie Poster, 1964

If you have any high-end Elvis memorabilia that you want to sell, the Auction at Graceland has quickly become the place where you want to sell it. There is no doubt in my mind that you can get more money for your stuff there than at any other auction. Maybe it’s the whole vibe associated with Elvis’ birthday celebration and Elvis Week that energizes the bidders and gets them to loosen the purse strings. Here’s an example.

This 27” by 41” poster in Very Fine condition had a minimum bid of $250, and an estimate of $4-500. This is in line with a sale of the same item in a June 2014 Heritage Auction which went for $418.25. However, twenty-two bids at the Auction at Graceland pushed the price up to $1,750, four times as much.

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Tickle Me Movie Poster:

Elvis Tickle Me  Movie Poster, 1965

This one is even harder to believe. Again, same size, condition, minimum bid and estimate as the Viva poster. However, thirty-two bids resulted in a final price of $2,500. On the Heritage Auctions website, a search for Elvis Tickle Me resulted in dozens of these posters selling since 2009, at a top price of $155 for one rated Very Fine. Come on, people. Do your research before blowing away thousands on something.

 

Special Shelby County Deputy Sheriff Badge:

Elvis' Special Shelby County Deputy Sheriff Badge

Although EPE sponsored this auction, they made it clear that all items came from private owners, not the Graceland archives. They did, however, state that they would be bidding on some items to add to their display of Elvis memorabilia.

Elvis' Law  Enforcement  Badge Collection

Part of Elvis’ Law Enforcement Badges Collection on Display at Graceland

When I saw that the badge up for auction had a minimum bid of $1,500 and an estimate of $2,500-3,500, I thought Graceland might go after it to add to their display of Elvis’ collection of law enforcement badges. Well, it went for $8,750, so I’m guessing they dropped out of the bidding.

 

Elvis Presley’s Personal Checkbook Register:

Elvis Presley’s Personal Checkbook Register

This checkbook register from 1975-76 was offered at the first Auction at Graceland last August during Elvis Week. However, nobody thought it was worth the minimum bid price of $6,000. So, what did the owner do? He brought it back this year with the minimum bid dropped down to just $1,000. After eighteen bids, it topped out at $3,750. I think this is a bargain. There are 43 pages with Elvis’ writing (not his signature) on them. The auction says, “This checkbook is a treasure trove of examples of Elvis’ generosity.” The checks totaled $89,000, and many of them went to charities and his friends.

 

Elvis Tour Jacket, 1975:

Elvis Tour Jacket, 1975

This size 46 red wool and black-leather-sleeve, varsity-style jacket had a minimum bid of $2,500, which I thought was a little high because it was not part of Elvis’ personal wardrobe. These jackets were made for his security guys so Elvis could see them from the stage. Even the Letter of Authenticity from his personal nurse, Tish Henley, states that Elvis never wore the jacket. However, it was inside Graceland one night when it was pouring rain outside as she was leaving, and he handed it to her to wear and keep dry getting to her car.

Again, it seems the bidders didn’t read the fine print in the item description, because this jacket’s winning bid was $8,125. Pretty steep price for something that Elvis merely touched.

 

Used Guitar Pick:

Elvis Used Guitar Pick

I can’t believe what this guitar pick went for. Even though it was accompanied by a Letter of Authenticity from Graceland Authenticated, there is no way it would be worth $3,125 to me. I have seen many dozens of Elvis items at auction over the years priced less than this, that I would much prefer to have.

 

“That’s All Right” 45 Record:

Elvis' Sun Record #209 45 RPM That's All Right

This record is characterized as a File Copy. I’m not sure what that means, but the item description says it has never been played and is in pristine condition. The reason is because Cecil Scaife, who worked for Sam Phillips at Sun Records, took it home and stored it safely away.

The top bid is actually not a surprise. The estimate was $7,500-8,500, and the bids stopped at $7,500. Of course, the 25% buyer’s premium meant he had to write a check for $9,375.

 

Flashing Blue Police Light:

Elvis-Owned Blue Police Light

Did you know that Elvis was an accredited Captain on Memphis’ police force? All his other badges were honorary, but the one from Memphis PD was official. Elvis took it seriously and bought these flashing blue lights to keep ready in his cars in case a situation arose where his action was needed.

This item is not a surprise with a high bid compared to the estimates. It’s just a surprise to me that it went for as much as it did without a photo of Elvis sitting in one of his cars with this light sitting on top. It went for $2,000, but if that photo had existed and been offered with it, no telling what the bidders would have forked out.

 

Red and White 7-Button Shirt:

Elvis' Red and White Shirt From Homer Gilleland

Of all the Elvis shirts I have seen sold at auction during the past seven years, this one epitomizes him the absolute least. It rates about a 2 on the Elvisishness scale. And no photo was offered of Elvis ever wearing it. In spite of this, someone shelled out $7,500 for it. I would hate for him to know about all the other cool Elvis shirts (with photos) have sold for less than that.

One other note. The item description listed the longest chain of ownership I have ever seen on an Elvis collectible. It went from Elvis to Homer Gilleland (his personal hairdresser) to Thomas B. Morgan, Jr. to the LeBonheur Children’s Hospital to the seller (unnamed before the auction), and of course, it now has the new owner.

 

Four of Elvis’ Personal Telephone/Address Books:

nside pages Elvis Presley’s Personal Address Books

This is another item that failed to generate its minimum bid ($7,000) at the first Auction at Graceland, but staged a comeback at the recent one. This time they showed samples of the open pages rather than the closed books, and it paid off. Somebody got all four of these books for $7,500. If they had been sold individually, I am sure the total would have been higher.

Elvis Address Book

The item description said, “These books are an encyclopedia of his friends, family and acquaintances — today’s equivalent of having Elvis’ iPhone contacts.” I believe showing the books open to sample listings helped make that point and juiced up the bidding.  On the pages above you can see Priscilla, Col. Parker, and Vernon Presley.  Priscilla must have moved a lot.  Note she had five different phone numbers in Elvis’ book

 

Army First Aid Kit:

Elvis Presley’s Army First Aid Kit

I think this is one of the coolest Elvis collectibles to show up at auction. If you owned it and were showing it off to other folks, you could point to the hand-printed “EP” in blue ink at the top. Then you could turn it upside down and show the stamp with Elvis’ Army service serial number “53310761.” Then you could open it up and see the red stamp on the interior stating “SP1 ELVIS PRESLEY – US53310761, 1st Med Tank Bat. 32nd Armor 3rd Div. APO 33.” If all that wasn’t enough, Elvis also signed near the stamp, “E. A. Presley” in blue ink. The supplied Letter of Authenticity from Graceland Authenticated almost seems superfluous.

Elvis’ Army First Aid Kit had a minimum bid of $3,000, but spirited bidding ran it up to $7,500. Well worth it in my opinion.

 

I had a few more items to present, but something came in the email yesterday that deserves to be noted. It came from info@graceland.com, one of four EPE related mailing lists I seem to be on.

Solicitation for next year's Auction at Graceland

Just three weeks after their successful second Auction at Graceland, they are out soliciting collectibles for the next one. They are trying to prevail against the auction houses that frequently offer Elvis memorabilia, and I believe they will be very successful.

Heritage Auctions Ad Solicitation

Here is an ad in the current issue of the record collector magazine Goldmine showing Heritage Auctions soliciting consignments for their next entertainment memorabilia auction. It shows items from past auctions, including an Elvis standee.

Gotta Have It Ad Solicitation

From the same magazine, here is a solicitation for consignments by Gotta Have Rock and Roll for their next pop culture auction. Notice Elvis’ Peacock jumpsuit at the bottom. Like I said at the top of this post, it seems like people with Elvis collectibles can realize a higher return at the Auction at Graceland. I think EPE made a brilliant move coming up with the idea of auctioning Elvis memorabilia during Elvis Week and the birthday celebrations. They will put a hurtin’ on the competition.

I see this as similar to Graceland’s move into the Elvis Tribute Artist business. For the first two decades after his death, Graceland distanced itself from the hordes of men who performed as Elvis impersonators. Actually, they went farther than that. Ever protective of his ‘image,’ EPE filed a lawsuit against the Legends In Concert in 1983 to prevent the show’s “Elvis” from looking like, dressing like, or moving like the real Elvis.

Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest

But over the years, it became obvious that the fans liked the ETAs. So, in 2009, Graceland changed its tune and started the Ultimate Tribute Artist Contest in Memphis during Elvis Week. It is now an extremely popular, so I’m not complaining. But it and the auction prove if somebody is making a profit off Elvis, EPE will move in and get their share.

 

© 2014 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

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ElvisBlog Mini-Nuggets #19

We haven’t done Mini-Nuggets since March 2014, but Elvis’ 80th birthday has provided some short subjects to report.

Record Number of Hits for ElvisBlog:

ElvisBlog Results on Google Analytics

On January 1, I checked Google Analytics to see how well ElvisBlog did for the year. 147,000 people (users) visited the site, resulting in 279,991 pageviews (hits). That’s an average of 2,800 users a week, a gain of 30% over the 2013 results. Definitely a good year.

Which makes the results in the graphic above even more remarkable. Yesterday, on what would have been Elvis’ 80th birthday, ElvisBlog had nearly 2,600 people visit the site. Wow. I hope I’m still around to see the results on Elvis’ 100th birthday.

 

Elvis’ Movie Costars Pass Away:

Mary Ann Mobley with Elvis in Girl Happy

When time permits, we will take a deeper look at two late actresses who appeared with films with Elvis. Mary Ann Mobley (Girl Happy, Harum Scarum) died on December 19, 2014.

Donna Douglas and Elvis in Frankie and Johnny

Donna Douglas (Frankie and Johnny) passed away on New Year’s Day, 2015.

Elvis’ leading ladies have been a staple for print and video interviews about him for decades. Has there ever been an Elvis Week without one or two of them being “Special Guests” for talks, panel discussions, and autograph sessions?

Donna Butterworth with Elvis Presley in Paradise, Hawaiian Style

Well, the list is getting short, and you have to wonder what authors, journalists and EPE will do when Elvis’ female costars are all gone. Now we have a hint. In celebration of Elvis 80th birthday, an article in the Boone, NC Mountain Times featured an interview with Donna Butterworth who was ten-years-old when she appeared with Elvis in Paradise, Hawaiian Style. You are going to see more of this.

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Peanut Butter ‘N Banana Ice Cream:

Baskin-Robbins Peanut Butter 'N Bananna Ice Cream

I received an email from the PR firm representing Baskin-Robbins telling me about their new flavor to celebrate Elvis’ 80th Birthday. It will be available for the entire month of January, and it is described as banana-flavored ice cream with a chunky peanut butter ribbon. They are sending me two $31 gift cards – one to use to sample it and write a review. I expect to like it, but I did have a bad experience at Elvis Week 2007 when I tried peanut butter and banana coffee, and it was lame.

The other gift card will be offered as the prize in an Elvis Caption Contest which I will post in a couple of days.

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The Elvis Auction at Graceland:

Auction at Graceland

The auction last night was a huge success, highlighted by the 1953 acetate of Elvis’ first recorded songs “My Happiness”/”That’s When Your Heartaches Begin.” The pre-auction estimate was for $75-100,000, but it went for $300,000! That’s got to be the highest priced record ever. Let’s see a record by Michael Jackson, or the Beatles, or Mariah Carey top that.

There were 67 items up for auction, so it will take two or three blogs to cover all the interesting elements of this Elvis 80th birthday event, and I’ll get them posted as soon as possible.

 

 

© 2014 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

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Too Pricey to Sell at the Auction at Graceland

Auction At Graceland

August 16 is the apex of Elvis Week, so a blog article posted on this date usually celebrates Elvis’ legacy and marvels at how the fans come back to honor him each year. Unfortunately, this theme has been covered by ElvisBlog several times already, and it’s hard to find new ways to say it. So, this year we’ll do a report on the marvelous auction of Elvis memorabilia that unfolded on Thursday night and early yesterday morning.

Everybody who follows ElvisBlog knows I cover several Elvis auctions every year. But the Auction at Graceland was different. We were able to watch all three-and-one-half hours of it on streaming video via LiveStream. I found it fascinating viewing.

 Terri Walker at Auction at Graceland

This is Terri Walker of Walker Auctioneers, a local Memphis company. This woman should have been hoarse after the first hour, because she talks non-stop. She’s pretty, funny, and excellent at pulling higher bids out of people. Once in a while you’d think the bidding stalled out at say $2,000, but she’d spike it up and the item would end up going for $6,000.

 Auction at Graceland View Screen

She had a staff of about ten people helping her, things like describing each item, spotting bidders, taking phone and internet bids, and recording all the pertinent stuff. Behind her is the screen showing the item under bid, often including alternative views.

 Chatroom at Auction at Graceland

The unexpected bonus to this online streaming of the auction was the chat room on the right of the screen. There were a hard-core group of folks doing most of the texting, and I found reading it strangely addicting. Here are three to give you an idea how it went.

Wendy Auliff: His body was in that…. I want it to use as my PJs. (describing the White Puffy Shirt)

Deborah: The same thing happened to me. I woke up and remember seeing the stage covered with flowers. I truly felt like I had stepped out of a dream and I don`t remember it to this day. (Response to someone talking about her first Elvis concert experience)

Kyle Vanover: This would be even cooler than having Fonzie’s little black book! (Comparison to Elvis’ Personal Address Book).

 

It will take more than one post to cover all the interesting items at this auction. So, let’s start with the ten who didn’t reach the minimum starting price or failed to meet the reserve (whatever that is).

 

1975 Martin D-28 Guitar:

Elvis' Martin D-28 Guitar

This Martin D-28 Guitar was gifted by Elvis to his friend and bodyguard Sam Thompson in January of 1977 and has an interesting history. It was later sold to the National Enquirer for use as a contest prize, which helped Thompson fund his college education. What it lacks is pedigree. It’s not one of Elvis’ early Martin guitars from the 50s. As they stated on the auction floor, Elvis used Gibson and Fender guitars before coming back to Martin in the late 70s.

This Martin D-28 guitar was one of six items featured in the pre-auction promotions, so they obviously had high hopes for it. Quite a few Elvis-owned guitars have brought in big bucks, but this one failed to generate the $30,000 minimum bid. The pre-auction estimate of $70-90,000 was wildly over-optimistic.

 

Address Books:

Elvis Address Book 1

Considering that there are four address books in this lot, I was very surprised no one offered the minimum bid of $7,000.

Elvis Address Book 3

The description on the auction website tried to beef up interest.

The books contain names, numbers and addresses for almost everyone in Elvis’ life including Priscilla, Colonel Parker, J.D. Sumner, Jerry Schilling, all his entourage members, old girlfriends both pre-and-post Priscilla, and countless others. Transport yourself back in time and live the life of Elvis through his personal contacts and business associates. The address books offer a peek into the life of the King.

 Elvis Address Book 2

Penguin Suit:

Elvis' Black and White “Penguin” Suit

Elvis jumpsuits are among the most desirable memorabilia items and sell for lots of money. This must have been the consideration when the targeting the estimate for this outfit at $70-90,000. However, although Elvis wore it one time on stage, it is not a jumpsuit and collectors bid accordingly (or didn’t bid, as it turned out).

This black and white suit, is referred to as the “penguin suit,” and was made in the mid-1970s for Elvis by the IC Costume Company. Elvis wore it as part of his off-stage wardrobe. On September 19th, 1975, in Las Vegas, Elvis was dressed in this suit, and because he was running behind schedule without time to change into a jumpsuit for the show, Elvis wore this suit on stage for that particular performance.

The Penguin Suit is still a valuable piece of Elvis clothing, so we will see it up again at auction. However, it needs to have a lower minimum bid than $40,000 it had this time.

 

Bean Bag Chair:

Elvis' Faux Fur Bean Bag Chair and Two Pillows

This faux leopard fur bean bag chair with small and large matching pillows was used in Elvis’ Chino Canyon, Palm Springs home. I saw it back in 1999 in Las Vegas when Graceland held a huge auction at the MGM Grand Hotel. I’ve often wondered why EPE dumped a lot of good stuff then. I’ll bet they wish they had most of it back now that they have opened the new Graceland Archives Experience.

Elvis Auction in Las Vegas, 1999

Anyway, the beanbag and pillows failed to generate the minimum bid of $2,000. It probably would have soared past that if a photo of Elvis sitting on it had been provided.

 

Molds for Elvis Sunglasses:

Molds Used to Create the Emblems for Elvis' TCB Sunglasses

When I saw the projected sell price of this item at $10-15.000, I said no way. You can buy the actual sunglasses for less than that, and they are much cooler. Here’s what the auction website description had to say about them.

An iconic part of Elvis history, Elvis’ sunglasses, whether aviator or neo-nautic style, are recognizable anywhere and all Elvis tribute artists and fans alike want “the look.” These iconic shades were customized by Dennis Roberts of the Optique Boutique in Los Angeles. The offered three molds are the original molds used by Dennis to create the gold and silver emblems that adorned Elvis’ glasses. The “EP” was typically placed on the bridge of Elvis’ aviator glasses, and the TCB logo with the lightning bolt adorned the temple arms.

Sounds good, but not worth the minimum bid of $4,000.

 

The Impersonal Life:

Elvis' The Impersonal Life” Book

There were a number of items at this auction that originally came from Ginger Alden. The folks in the chat room didn’t much like her. Maybe the bidders didn’t either, because not one would cover the $4,000 minimum on this book.

This surprised me, because it has a lot going for it. This copy of The Impersonal Life is signed on the interior “To Ginger, with love, E.P.” Ginger Alden states in an accompanying letter that the book was one which she and Elvis read together in bed. It also shows many passages and phrases underlined by Elvis, highlighting meaningful parts of the book or placing emphasis on certain words. Perhaps the fact that Ginger also made similar marks soured the bidders.

 

Numerology Pages:

Two Pages of Notes by Elvis on Numerology

This thing is really strange, and it’s no surprise that bidders didn’t think it worth the minimum of $5,000, let alone the projected $12-15,000. There is no way I can describe it better than this from the auction website.

Two pages of handwritten notes by Elvis written ten days prior to his death. These note pages were obtained directly from Ginger Alden, Elvis’ fiancée. Accompanied by a letter of authenticity from Ginger Alden stating that Elvis had written these notes during his visit to her Memphis home. She discusses in detail his interest in numerology and words and the ways in which each can be broken down into smaller parts, such as “his-story” or how the word woman is so appropriate because when you break it down into its two syllables it can be pronounced as “wo-man.

What???

 

Wrought Iron Chair:

Elvis' Yellow Wrought Iron Guitar

Like the beanbag chair, this yellow wrought iron chair came from Elvis’ Palm Springs home on Chino Canyon Drive. And it suffered the same fate. Bidders did not find it worth the $2,500 minimum. Again, a picture of Elvis sitting on it would have made a world of difference.

 

Personal Checkbook:

Elvis' Personal Checkbook

I thought this personal checkbook would make the minimum of $6,000, if not the estimate of $12-15,000. It got neither. It has 43 entries for checks Elvis wrote, so it certainly has his handwriting if not his autograph. He used it from May 21, 1975 to January 22, 1976. The checks totaled $89,000, showing Elvis’ incredible generous to his friends, family and even to strangers. This checkbook also contained a handwritten note giving his foreman an all-expenses-paid trip to Hawaii and a new car. The auction says, “This checkbook is a treasure trove of examples of Elvis’ generosity.” I can’t believe the stupid high prices some bidders paid for certain items at this auction, but passed on this checkbook register.

 

Marriage Certificate:

Elvis and Priscilla's Marriage Certificate

So, what do you think Elvis and Priscilla’s original marriage certificate would sell for? The pre-auction estimate was $40-60,000. Sorry, it didn’t even bring the minimum of $15,000. Again, I’m mystified by this, compared to what some other much less significant items went for.

This original Las Vegas, Nevada marriage certificate, dated May 5, 1967, is signed by Justice David Zenoff and best men, Marty Lacker and Joe Esposito, but not Elvis or Priscilla. The Clark County Nevada clerk claimed that the marriage certificate was mailed to Elvis and Priscilla, but came back to the county office marked “return to sender.” The clerk retained it in a file until selling it to Chris Davidson in 1995.

Can’t you just imagine her thinking: “That Elvis marriage certificate has been in the file for 28 years, and I’m the only one that knows it’s there. Screw it, I’m selling the thing and making some money.”

 

So, that’s Part 1 of our look at the Auction at Graceland results. Stay tuned for the big winners next week.

 

© 2014 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

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The Auction at Graceland – Pregame Show

If you watch any of the morning shows on the networks or cable news channels, you have seen Priscilla promoting the upcoming Auction at Graceland.

Priscilla on Fox and Friends

If not, you probably have received emails about it. They’ve come in to me from four senders: Elvis Presley Enterprises, Graceland Insiders E-Newsletter, Graceland Insiders E-Blast, and Graceland.com. So, there is obviously a big push on to promote this auction.

 The Auction at Graceland

What’s the reason for all the hype? Well, it takes place on August 14, so that makes it one more thing to attract folks to Elvis Week. All 72 items will be on display at the new Graceland Archives Studio that opens on August 9. Sounds good, but don’t forget that the only way to get in the Archives Studio is by buying one of the Graceland ticket packages, the cheapest of which costs $37.

On her TV appearances, Priscilla has stated that the items for sale at the auction are not any that EPE owns. Rather they come from the private collection of Greg Page. So, who is this guy?

Greg Page

He was born in Sydney, Australia in 1972. In 1991 while attending Sydney’s Macquarie University to study Early Childhood Education, he teamed up with two fellow students to form The Wiggles, one of the world’s largest children’s entertainment brands.

The Wiggles

The Wiggles travelled all over the world to entertain children, live performances before more than 4 million people. They also recorded well over 20 CDs and 22 DVDs with combined sales of over 17 million. Greg Page obviously made a lot of money, and he used much of it to amass a sizeable collection of memorabilia from his favorite singer, Elvis Presley. In 2009, he opened The King’s Castle, Australia’s only permanent exhibit of Elvis artifacts.

 The King's Castle

Page’s collection has totaled as many as 1500 items, so he is selling just a small portion at the Graceland auction. The photo below shows a few of the items on display at the King’s Castle, but that room is pretty bare now. The piano is now Item #55 at The Auction at Graceland. The gold ‘throne chair’ is item #63, and the couch is item #68.

King's Castle Display

 

Greg Page also combined his affection for Elvis with his own musical ability and worked with the TCB Band in several concert settings.

Las Vegas 2003

The above Las Vegas show took place in 2003.

Las Vegas wwith Jerry Schiff

In this photo, bass player Jerry Scheff is on stage with Greg Page at the Stardust concert.

Greg Page and James Burton and Glen D. Hardin

Here we see Glen D. Hardin, James Burton, and Greg Page in concert in Sydney in 2006.

Greg Page and James Burton 2006 Sydney

This is a better shot of James Burton and Greg Page

 

When I took my first look at the items to be auctioned at Graceland, some of them looked familiar. Over a dozen auctions of Elvis memorabilia have been covered on ElvisBlog, so this is no surprise. Look at Item #1, a signed library card.

Elvis' Library Card from Auction at Graceland

It has a minimum opening bid of $5,000 and an estimated top bid of $10-12,000. It is accompanied by a letter from the archives of Graceland stating that they have no full Elvis Presley signature pre-dating it. The only earlier signature of Elvis they have is a scrawling of “Elvis” on a crayon box from when Elvis was in 1st grade. I’m sure this item will get the minimum bid and probably beat the estimate as well, because another Elvis Presley signed library card from a year later went for $7,500 at a November 10, 2010 Heritage auction.

Elvis' Library Card from 2010 Heritage Auction

Next, we see Item #62, Elvis’ 1977 Cadillac Seville. The minimum bid is $50,000, and the estimate is $100-120,000.

Elvis' 77 Cadillac from Auction at Graceland

Again, I have no doubt they will get this, maybe more. Here is the photo of it from a 1994 auction where it sold for $101,000.

Photo of Elvis' 77 Caddy for 1991 Auctions

 

There is so much more to write about with the Auction at Graceland. There will definitely be a Postgame Show, so stay tuned.

 

 

© 2014 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.