Tag Archives: Elvis autographs

The Second Auction at Graceland — Part 2

Last week, I promised we would look at the items that failed to receive the minimum bid established by the auction — overly optimistic minimums in most cases:

Gold Nugget and Diamond Ring:

Elvis' Gold Nugget-Style Diamond Ring

Dozens of Elvis’ rings have been covered in the four ElvisBlog special reports on Elvis’ Fabulous Rings (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4), but only ten have sold for over $15,000. The minimum bid on this ring was $12,000, which means the buyer would have to shell out $15,000 when the 25% auction premium is added in. It’s a fine ring, with 14-karat gold weighing approximately 16 grams and four diamonds measuring approximately 0.5 carats. The problem is that no photo of Elvis wearing the ring was offered. Letters of authenticity from two previous owners of the ring just didn’t cut it.


Crown Cake Topper:

Crown Cake Topper Gifted to Elvis

It was easy to see this wasn’t going to reach the estimate of $1,200-1,500, let alone the minimum of $500. It is just a 4 inch-wide decoration to put on top of a cake. A fan handed it to Elvis at a concert and had someone take a photo with the cake topper in front of Elvis. This is one time a photo didn’t seem to help create demand. Elvis has to do more than touch something for a few seconds to make it serious memorabilia.


Teddy Bear Gifted by Elvis:

Teddy Bear Gifted by Elvis

I laughed out loud when I saw what they wanted for this. As you know, lots of fans sent Teddy Bears to Elvis, even while he was stationed in Germany during his Army days. Elvis had a table full of them when an Army buddy and his expectant wife visited him. He wanted to give them a gift for their baby and asked the wife to choose a teddy bear from the table. This is the one she choose. There was not enough of an Elvis connection to make anybody cough up the minimum bid of $4,000, and the expected range of $7-9,000 was just ridiculous.


Application for Credit for a 1964 Rolls Royce Signed by Elvis:

Application for Credit for a 1964 Rolls Royce Signed by Elvis

The auction website description tried to present this as a great glimpse at the day-to-day business dealings in the lives of Elvis and Vernon Presley. But the truth is that most of the value comes from Elvis’ signature at the bottom of the left document. But Elvis autographs sell frequently at much less than the estimate of $3,500-$5,000. And they are on more interesting items, as can be seen in the earlier ElvisBlog series So What Is an Elvis Autograph Worth? (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4)


Gold and Diamond TCB and TLC Necklaces:

Elvis' Gold and Diamond TCB and TLC Necklaces

I’m actually surprised this set didn’t sell. Sure, the minimum bid was high at $25.000, which meant the buyer would have to part with $31,250, but the tone of the auction indicated the buyers were willing to spend big bucks on the top items. Plus, a single TLC necklace with no diamonds went for $12,500 at this auction. Both pendants have twelve imbedded diamonds totaling 0.25 carats. The lightning bolts are 14k gold weighing 13 grams, and the chains are 14k gold approximately thirty inches long. I expect we’ll see these at auction again, probably with a bit lower minimum bid.


U.S.S. Arizona Memorial Fund Original Flyer, 1961:

Elvis - U.S.S. Arizona Memorial Fund Original Flyer

While this 9-1/4 x 12-3/8 inch promotional flyer did not bring the minimum bid of $2,000, it did have the most fact-filled description on the auction website:

“Perhaps what endears Elvis Presley to his fans so much is the fact that it seemed like there was no end to his willingness to give. In December of 1960 an editorial ran in an L.A. paper about the stalled efforts to complete the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial. This article was spotted by the Colonel and Elvis answered the call to duty. On January 11th, 1961, a press conference was held and it was announced that Elvis would perform a benefit concert on the condition that every penny from the concert must go to the fund. Elvis had just turned 26 and the fact that the average age of the 1,102 American seamen that died aboard the U.S.S. Arizona during the Pearl Harbor attack was about that same age was not lost on him. It was stated during the press conference that not only was everyone expected to pay for entry to the event but that Elvis wanted to be the one to buy the first ticket. Ticket prices ranged from $3.00 to $10.00 for reserved section seats and $100.00 for the 100 reserved “ringside” seats. The goal was set at raising $50,000 towards the effort. The concert date was set for March 25th, 1961 and 4,000 screaming fans, 15 songs and $54,000 later, Elvis left the building. As a result of the concert and the huge amount of media attention it garnered, public and private donations flooded in from all over the country and on May 30th, 1962 (Memorial Day) the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial was dedicated.”


“Louisiana Hayride” Contract Signed by Elvis, Gladys and Vernon, 1955:

Louisiana Hayride Contract Signed by Elvis, Gladys and Vernon, 1955

The auction description of this contract correctly stated that “The significance of this contract cannot be overstated… Elvis’ weekly “Hayride” shows were instrumental in the development of his early stage presence, and were where Colonel Parker first saw Elvis perform. Producer and contract signer H.L. “Hoss” Logan coined the phrase ‘Elvis has left the building’ during this time period as well.”

But bidders must have considered the value of Elvis’ signature on the last of four pages of legalese to be less that the minimum bid of $15,000.


One other element of this second Auction at Graceland that was kind of interesting:


Graceland.com had a link so we fans could watch a live stream of the event. In addition the screen had a column on the right for viewers to chat.

At first, it was all one big happy family:

Samantha – Hello fellow fans, hope everyone one has had a lovely Elvis day
Jill – I wish I had the money for this stuff
Kitten – If I had anything from Elvis, I would sleep with it every night and then I would be buried with it when I die.
Gayleen — “He was a man, take him for all in all, I shall not look upon his like again.” A quote from Hamlet that certainly applies to Elvis.

Then, as often happens in chat rooms, there was occasional sniping back and forth:

Sue – He died from a heart attack because he was so out of shape. He had an enlarged heart and liver.. He was an accident waiting to happen
Kathy – Debbie Downer, don’t ruin this for us fans
Soul Reactivator – Why is Elvis birthday being celebrated after he died from Drugs ?
Daniel – Soul reactivator, don’t be so ignorant
Jamie – Go away Troll Trash

Auction at Graceland Live Feed - Loading

About half-way through, the live stream started having problems. Those who were still getting it okay were nice to the rest of us and gave us a running play-by-play of the results (the chat room kept going just fine):

Ellen – 8,500 for the scarf and ticket stub. omg!

Then the auction live stream seemed to go into permanent buffering mode for everybody.

Auction at Graceland Live Feed - Buffering

Nanlyn – Does anyone know how I can stop it from buffering so much. get tired of refreshing
Sherrie – Mine is still frozen. won’t even let me log out
Wayne – Yep, I’m crashed here too…at least I’ve got an excuse. I’m in Australia!!


At that point, I gave up and went to bed.


Next week we will look at the auction’s big surprises and a few other items that caught my fancy.


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


ElvisBlog Thumbnail Icon

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

So, How Much is an Elvis Autograph Worth? – Pt. 4

If the volume of comments is a measure of success for blog posts, then the ElvisBlog series on Elvis autographs has been a winner. There seems to be a lot of folks out there holding on to an Elvis autograph and wondering what it’s worth. If that includes you, there’s good news. Eight of the nine Elvis autographs offered by Heritage Auctions at its just completed Entertainment & Music Memorabilia Signature Auction, exceeded the pre-auction estimate. Several of them brought two or three times the expected prices. Let’s take a look – in sequence cheapest up to most expensive.

Autograph on White Paper (Circa 1960) — $1.062.50:

Elvis' Autograph on White Paper from Fan Book

Usually, the least expensive Elvis autographs are written on a scrap of paper, or the back of a check deposit slip – whatever a fan had available when the opportunity came up. The value can be enhanced by framing it or adding extras. Here is an example. The small white sheet of paper above is a 5” x 4.5” page from an autograph album (shown directly below it). Elvis signed it boldly in blue ballpoint pen.

Blow Up of Elvis' Autograph in Fan Book

The seller added two unsigned black-and-white photographs, and the package brought in $1,062.50 (including 25% buyer’s premium to the auction house). But the photos and book are really of no value, so this turned out to be a rather expensive Elvis autograph on a plain piece of paper.


Signed Magazine Page (Circa 1957) — $1562.50:

Elvis' Autograph on Magazine Page, Circa 1957

This autograph seems to have been written on a page from a magazine or program. Elvis signed it “Thanks Honey, Elvis Presley” in blue ink. The Honey receiving the thanks was Joyce Gentry, the president of the Elvis Presley Rock-N-Roll Kats Fan Club in Missouri, as noted in the upper left corner.

Blow up of Elvis' Autograph on Magazine Page

The 10″ x 8″ image has been glued to a piece of black construction paper. The pre-auction estimate was $1,500, which seemed a little high to me, but the winning bid topped that.


Signed “Surrender”/ “Lonely Man” Compact 33 Single (1961) — $1500:

Compact 33 with Elvis' Autograph

Elvis’ five Compact 33 singles from 1961 are some of his most highly sought after records. “Surrender”/”Lonely Man” was the first, and the most copies of it were released. Still, a ‘mint’ copy of it sold for $700 at auction three years ago.

Blow Up of Elvis' Autograph on Compact 33 Single

The one pictured here is in ‘VG-EX6’ condition, and the sleeve is ‘VG7’ (not quite mint, but really, really good). Add Elvis’ autograph to the sleeve, and the package is worth $1,500 (25% above the pre-auction estimate). To me this is an excellent Elvis collectible and well worth the money.


Signed Graceland Christmas Card (1959) — $1625.50:

Christmas Card with Elvis' Autograph

I have studied this thing numerous times, and I can’t figure it out. The auction website says it is 8.5” x 5.5” but is that the dimensions of everything shown, or each half because there are clearly two images. And why is the top half of the lower one up-side-down?

 Blow Up of Elvis' Autograph on Christmas Card

Regardless, Elvis signed it and sent it to Janet Gentry, that Rock-N-Roll Kats Fan Club president.

Envelope for Christmas Card with Elvis' Autograph

Together, the weird autographed Christmas card and the envelope addressed in Elvis’ handwriting brought in $1,625.50, an excellent value in my opinion.


Signed Elvis LP – RCA 1382 (1956) — $1625.50:

 Elvis Autographs on Album

 Elvis was the title of his second RCA album released in 1956. Of course it can have considerable value to collectors, but the auction website makes no mention of this copy’s condition, which makes a huge difference. Plus the sleeve is missing.

Blow Up of Elvis' Autograph on LP

However, it is signed “yours Elvis Presley” in white ink, and has been matted and framed to 14.5″ x 14.5’ so this is a very cool collectible. The sell price came in just above the estimate, the most accurate on any of the nine items.


Signed Humes High School Commencement Program (1956) — $1687.50:

Elvis Autographed Humes High School Commencement Program, 1956

This commencement program is not from Elvis’ graduation in 1954. He left Humes High as nobody special, but two years later he had become a huge rock and roll sensation. Elvis went back to his alma mater as the Class of ’56 was graduating and caused quite a stir. As a result, we have this signed commencement 5.5″ x 8.5″ program matted and framed to 9″ x 20″.

Blow Up of Elvis' Autograph on Commencement Program

The black-and-white picture of Elvis has no connection with the program, but it adds a nice touch to the presentation. Somebody liked it a lot, as the high bid came in 50% over the estimate at $1,687.50. I wonder if that bidder didn’t read the fine print and thought it was Elvis’ graduation program.


 Signed Black and White Photograph and a Related Telegram (Circa 1965) — $3,500:

Elvis Autograph on Black and White Photograph

This item had a pre-auction estimate of $1,600, and I thought that was a little high. To my surprise, it sold for $3,500. Sure, you’ve got a nice publicity photo with Elvis’ inscription, “To Dore, Many thanks for everything from Elvis Presley.” Dore” was Dore Freeman, a longtime publicity agent at MGM Studios. All in all, not enough to justify $3,500.

Blow UP of Elvis Autograph onBlack and White Photograph

The item accompanying the photo is a Western Union telegram to Dore Freeman wishing him a happy birthday. It might have added some value if Elvis had sent it, but it was sent by Colonel Parker.


Signed America’s Ten Outstanding Young Men Banquet Program (1971) — $4.687.50:

Elvis Autographed America's Ten Outstanding Young Men Program

Like the Compact 33 record and the Elvis album, this program has some collectible value by itself. In 1971, Elvis was selected by the United States Jaycees as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Men in America. George H W Bush, Ambassador to the UN at that time, was the keynote speaker at the banquet which was held in Memphis.

Blow up of Elvis' Autograph on America's Ten Outstanding Young Men Program

This made it easy for several Elvis buddies to attend, and apparently Marty Lacker’s parents as well. The blowup of page 22, which contained Elvis’ bio and photo, shows he wrote, “To Mister and Mrs. Lacker, Love Elvis Presley.” The top bidder thought it was worth three times the estimate of $1,500. This time I think the bid is right and somebody goofed on the low-ball estimate.


Signed Playboy Bunny Cuff and Complete Bunny Ensemble (Circa 1973) — $6,250:

Elvis' Autograph on Playboy Bunnie Cuff

This is a photo of a white cotton Playboy bunny cuff, including the bunny logo cufflink that holds it together around the wrist. Elvis autographed it with a blue felt-tipped pen. This is a very cool Elvis collectible, especially because also included are the complete bunny outfit – ears, collar, bowtie, shoes, sky-blue suit, the other cuff and cufflink, and a black nametag reading ‘Deni’.

Playboy Bunny Outfit that Accompanies Elvis Autographed  Bunny Cuff

I wish they had included a back shot of the outfit showing the white cottontail. The estimate was $3,000, and the winning bid was more than double that. I guess I can see how it might be worth that much to some collectors, but if I had $6,250 to spend, I’d by some clothing worn by Elvis, not a Playboy bunny named Dani.

If you want to see every Elvis autograph that sold at auction in the past few years, click on the links below.

 Part 1

Part 2

Part 3


© 2013 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net


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

I Was Wondering What This Might Be Worth

This blog started out as another report on Elvis memorabilia items sold recently at auction.  I’m still going to do that someday, but first I need to make a confession.

As a result of the ElvisBlog series of posts about Elvis autographs and memorabilia, many readers have written in Comments about an item they own and ask what it might be worth.  I certainly couldn’t tell them, because I’m not an expert.  So, I created a standard reply directing them to Jerry Osborne, noted Elvis collector, author and historian.   Jerry knows so much about Elvis records and collectibles that he has published an incredibly complete reference, Presleyana.

Preslyana VII

Over the years, Jerry has revised it seven times, and Presleyana VII now totals 384 pages.

My standard reply included Jerry’s website, his e-mail address and his phone number.   Unfortunately, I somehow got the wrong e-mail address, and no doubt frustrated many people when their attempts to e-mail Jerry went nowhere.  I am sorry about that.  For future reference, if you are trying to determine the value of an Elvis collectible, here are the ways to contact Jerry Osborne:

Website  jerryosborne.com
Phone number 360-385-1200
E-mail address JPO@olympus.net

Jerry and Barbara

Notice the gold TCB pendant around Jerry’s neck

Osborne Appraisals

Please note that appraisals are based on a photo and an e-mail description of the item provided by the inquirer.  There is a $10 charge for this general appraisal service.


Here are a few of the inquiries that have come in to ElvisBlog Comments.  You might find them interesting.

Elizabeth –  August  22, 2012

I was lucky enough to meet Elvis in the 60′s while he was making ‘Flaming Star’ and have a signed photo of him with me and my brother. I would like to now sell this item.  I would appreciate your expert advice on this matter as you seem to know so much about Elvis memorabilia!

Carl – January 10, 2013

I have a signed autograph guitar of Elvis Presley.  It’s about two and a half foot long.  I was told he passed them out at some concerts. It was dated 1975. I was wondering if you could tell me what it’s worth.

Jeremy – December 14, 2012

I am writing you to inquire about an oil painting I came across at my parent’s house. My mother worked for a concert venue and when Elvis was in town she got his autograph. The oil painting is of Elvis and is maybe 30 inches tall by 24 inches wide. He made out the autograph to my mother Patricia, and I believe it says Best Wishes to Patricia or something of that nature.  Do you have any idea of how much something like this is worth?

Linda – December 1, 2012

Since mother passed away, I have stacks and stacks of books, cards, promotional materials from Colonel Parker’s office and just about anything else you can think of pertaining to Elvis. I, personally, have a signed makeup towel used by Elvis on the set of Blue Hawaii that I won as a contest prize on American Bandstand in the 60′s. Where would the best auction be to find the buyers for these things? Thank you for any help you can give me.

Debbie – September 17, 2012

I have several scarves that were worn by Elvis at the Hilton Hotel in Las Vegas in the 70′s. Only one of them has his name on it. Do you know the value of these?

Sandra – August 29, 2012

I have an autographed 8X10 picture signed by Elvis Presley to me in the mid-50s in Tampa FL…….How can I sell it for $$$$$$$$$

Steve – June 19, 2012

In 1977 when Elvis was in hospital, my wife then 12 years old sent him a get well card. A few months later she received a card back from Graceland.  It was a thank you card and on the inside reads Thanks for remembering me during my illness. Signed Elvis Presley.  Can someone e-mail me with what this might be worth.

Tom Smith | August 18, 2012

I have a movie photo of all the dancers from the movie Jailhouse Rock. Elvis is in the photo with all the dancers and one of the dancers was my late uncle.  Everyone who performed in that scene including Elvis signed it.  Just wondering of what kind of monetary value something like this would be.

These inquiries can be grouped into three categories.  There are items without autographs like the books and promo items from Col. Parker’s office.  There are autographed items like the guitar and oil painting that probably have some intrinsic collectible value even without the autograph.  And there are the letters and photos where all or most of the value is derived from Elvis’ autograph.

For items in the last two categories, Jerry Osborne will provide appraisals based on the assumption the Elvis autographs are authentic.  He does not provide an autograph authentication service.  However, he has suggested that I revise my standard reply to include the best person he knows of to do this.

Rich Consola

In 1957, Rich Consola saw Elvis perform in Buffalo, New York. Elvis was wearing his famous Gold Lamé jacket that day and, since then, Rich has been a lifelong fan and collector. Rich has thoroughly studied Elvis’ handwriting and signature for over 20 years. Today, Rich Consola is considered one of the foremost authorities on Elvis autographs and is known worldwide for his exceptional knowledge.

I have corresponded with Rich Consola, and he has no problem with me referring folks to him.  If you have an Elvis autograph that you hope is authentic, but you’re not sure, he charges $25 for a simple authentication.  If you have a Elvis autograph you are sure about, and you would like to sell it at auction, you will need a Letter Of Authenticity (LOA).  Rich Consola can do that for $75.  Considering the prices paid for authenticated Elvis autographs at auctions the past few years, this is a small investment for a big pay-off.  To view the three ElvisBlog articles on Elvis autographs sold at auction, click here, here, and here.

 Rich Consola Photo

Rich Consola’s e-mail address is:




©  2013    Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister    All Rights Reserved    www.ElvisBlog.net

 Thumbnail Icon

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

So, How Much is an Elvis Autograph Worth? – Pt. 3

The two ElvisBlog posts that generate the most comments are Part 1 and Part 2 of the continuing series So, How much is an Elvis Autograph Worth?  If anyone in possession of a signed photo, record album, or anything else Googles “Elvis Autographs,” ElvisBlog comes up third on the list.  However, a quick check shows that two higher ones do not report prices recently paid for Elvis signature items.  If you want a reference to approximate the value of your Elvis autograph, this is the place to come.

Fortunately, Heritage Auctions presented their Entertainment & Music Memorabilia Signature Auction in Dallas last December 14, and it contained nine Elvis autographs.  All prices below include the 25% buyers’ premium added on by the auction house.


Signed Color Print from 1965:   $625

Signed Color Print Plus Close-up

This oversized (20” x 16”) print of the original work by June Kelly depicts Elvis wearing a red jacket.  He signed it in blue ballpoint ink on the left center: “To Vicki / Love you allways / Elvis Presley.”  $625 seems like a low price for this piece.  It must be the water damage and other staining that turned people off.  When you blow up the image on the auction website, you can see blotches all over his jacket and one on his face.  There is also a streak coming down from his left eye where the water must have run.  What kind of fool lets a huge color autographed Elvis picture get rained on?  At least the inscription was not affected.


Signed International Hotel Keno Card, circa 1970:   $875

Signed Back of Keno Card and Front

According to Rich Consola who provided the third-party authentication for all the Elvis autographs in this auction, Elvis would go out into the casino from time to time during the Vegas days, with all his guys around him, and he was known to have signed autographs there.  Some lucky gambler named Joyce must have been at a Keno game when Elvis joined in, and she had the foresight to get the King’s signature on the back of a Keno card.  Too bad about the old Scotch Tape mark around the autograph.  That had to bring the price down some.


Signed Back of Check, Circa 1957:   $1,125

Signed Check 1957 Back

Signed Check 1957 front

This autograph did considerably better than the pre-auction estimate, and I’m not sure why.  It’s a good thing it came with a Certificate of Authenticity, because it looks a lot different than most Elvis autographs in this series.  He signed this personal check on the back in pencil “yours / Elvis Presley.” There is slight staining on the blow-up of the check, but the autograph is not affected.   The seller’s mother obtained this autograph in person when she saw Elvis at the Dallas Love Field Airport in 1956 or 1957.  The only thing she could find in her purse for him to sign was this torn-out check from the family checkbook.


Signed Loving You, Vol. II EP, 1957:   $1,187

Signed Loving You EP Front and Back

The next three items all originated from Buddy Ochoa, the first Elvis impersonator (according to the item description on the auction website).  For the full story on this, please check out the November 12, 2012 ElvisBlog article about Ochoa.  There is no mention of the condition of the album sleeve, but it does look pretty worn down at the corners.  Note that Elvis signed this extended play album once on the back, because we will compare it with the next two items.

Signed King Creole EP, circa 1958:   $1,625

 Elvis Presley Signed King Creole EP

Elvis signed the front of this EP album: “To Buddy, Elvis Presley”.   The album cover looks as worn at the corners as the previous one, and both have the same intrinsic value as unsigned albums.  So, why did it bring a price almost $500 higher?  Could it be that the signature is on the front?  It certainly will look better than the other when presented in a matted display.


Autographed Loving You EP and Photo Display:   $1,875

Autographed Loving You EP and Photo Display

This 20” by 30” display contains a lot of stuff, but most of it is of little value.  The photo is Buddy Ochoa and Elvis in 1958.  The shirt is similar to the one Elvis wore on the cover of the Blue Hawaii album.  That cover is partially visible behind other items and is unsigned.  The Loving You EP album cover is Vol. 1, and it is also unsigned.  So, that leaves the back cover of that EP, signed twice by Elvis.  It is unclear if the higher sell price of this item is due to the double Elvis signatures or to extra stuff and the nice display presentation.


Signed and Inscribed Spinout Promotional Photo, 1966:   $2,000

Elvis Presley Signed And Inscribed Spinout Promotional Photo 1966

This is a top-quality 12” by 12” color promotional photo showing Elvis wearing one of his outfits from the movie Spinout.  It is inscribed to Norman Taurog, the director of that movie and eight other films starring Elvis.  The winning bid was quite a bit higher than the pre-auction estimate.

Both Signatures on Spinout Promo Picture

It says, “To Mr. Norman Taurog.  My deep thanks for everything you have done for me.  With my deep respect.  Elvis Presley.”  It also says, “Thanks for everything.  Elvis Presley”  Look at those two signatures side by side.  They sure look different to me, but they both have been authenticated.  I need to do a little research to find out how that can be.


Signed Black and White Photograph, 1965:   $2,000

An Elvis Presley Signed Black and White Photograph, 1965

An original 10″ x 8″ print with a matte finish, depicting a classic headshot of Elvis from the early 60s, signed in green fountain pen ink in the lower right corner: “To Vicki / My Best allways / Elvis Presley.”

An Elvis Presley Signed Black and White Photograph, 1965 Recipient

This item was consigned directly to Heritage Auctions by the now adult Vicki Malkin, the former child actress who portrayed “Sari” the in 1965 M-G-M film, Harum Scarum, and who danced with Elvis as he sang ‘Hey Little Girl.’ Vicki remembers as a nine year-old having a big crush on Elvis and that he signed this photograph for her at the wrap party when the film was finished.


Signed Personal Check to Dick Grob, 1975:   $3,750

Elvis Presley Signed Personal Check to Dick Grob 1975

This check was the big winner at this Heritage auction, bringing in almost twice as much as the pre-auction estimate.  As you probably know, Dick Grob was the head of security for Elvis.  He must have done something special to get a $1,500 bonus after the July 1975 road tour (see note on left of check).  This is the first time I’ve seen an actual check drawn on his personal account, so they are probably very rare.  That probably added much to the value of this Elvis signature.


©  2012    Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister    All Rights Reserved    www.ElvisBlog.net

 Thumbnail Icon


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

So, How Much is an Elvis Autograph Worth — Pt. 2

When we took our first look at Elvis autographs two years ago, the auction prices ranged from $384 to $4,062.  There was also an autograph that went for $11,520, but it was on a shirt Elvis had worn, and four photographs of him in it were provided as verification.  Elvis’ clothing is in high demand, and almost none of it is autographed, so it’s not surprising that this item went for big bucks.

Today, we look at eleven Elvis autographs that changed hands at the Heritage Auctions’ Elvis Memorabilia Signature Auction held last month in Memphis during Elvis Week.  This time there were no low-end items such as signed napkins or loose torn-off bits of paper.  Also, most sellers were smart and offered their items in good-looking framed displays which always bring higher value.

It should be noted that each of these eleven autographs comes with a Certificate of Authenticity.   All values would have been less without it.


Two Back-to-Back Autographs:     $1,250

Sometime in the mid-50’s, a fan noticed Elvis in a small café eating cornbread and a bowl of chili.  The fan approached Elvis and asked for an autograph, but had no paper for it except his check book.  A check was sacrificed for the cause, and Elvis obliged by signing it on both sides – in pencil.

So how do you best display a two-sided autograph?  Add a nice color photograph and matting with cutouts on both sides to show the autographs.  It paid off for the owner, as the high bid was $1,250, including the auction premium.


Girls! Girls! Girls! LP:     $1,250

This is the first of two signed albums that sold at the auction, but the other carried a price more than double this one.  That difference is due to the inherent value of the albums as collectibles.  The Girls, Girl, Girls soundtrack album from 1962 is not considered anything special among Elvis record collectors, but with his autograph on it, the bidding topped at $1,312.  The jacket is signed in blue ballpoint ink in the lower right corner, “To Gary / Many Thanks for / all your help / E.P.”  Gary being Gary Pepper, an Elvis fan club president.


Publicity Photo:     $1,375

This is an 8” x 10” black-and-white photo given away at Elvis’ historic 1970 engagement at the Las Vegas International Hotel.  The signature in white is printed on the picture.  The valuable autograph is done in green marker on the guitar and says, “To Bobby, Love, Elvis Presley.”



Autograph and Photo:     $1,650

This is just a 4” x 3.5” piece of lined tablet paper that Elvis signed in 1956.  However, it brought a good price because it has been nicely presented in a matted frame, and is accompanied by a framed 1955-56 era black-and-white photo of the King.



Tour Photo Album:     $1,625

This is a 16-page high quality 8.5″ x 11″ photo album with a great color photo of the King on the front.  It was included in the 1970 RCA release Elvis: Worldwide 50 Gold Award Hits Volume 1.  Elvis has signed at left in blue ballpoint: “To Darlene, Elvis Presley.”


Outstanding Young Men Program Book:     $2,375

Elvis and nine other men under the age of 35 were selected by the United States Jaycees as the Ten Outstanding Young Men of America for 1970.  In January, 1971, a ceremony was held in Memphis to honor them.  Elvis was present and made an acceptance speech.

72-page programs were produced for the event, and they have considerable intrinsic value as Elvis collectibles.  This copy’s worth is enhanced because it was autographed by Elvis in blue ink on page 23 in the margin next to his bio.


Black and White Snapshot:     $2,375

This is an original 3.5” x 5” photograph showing Elvis during his Fort Hood, Texas days standing among other soldiers in what appears to be an Army base facility. The date stamp on the right border (from when the photograph was developed) reads “May 1958,”  Elvis signed “Elvis Presley” on the back in blue ballpoint ink.  If the owner had taken the trouble to put it in a matted display with cut-outs to show both sides, it probably would have gone for more than $2,375.


Loving You Stereo LP:      $2750

This signed album cover has more value than the first one we looked at above because it is something of a rarity and is in excellent shape.  The original Loving You album was released in 1957 in Mono.  For some reason, RCA decided to re-release it in 1962 in Stereo, and distribution was limited.  Combine that with Elvis’ autograph and you have a big winner.


Guitar Case:     $5,000

This autographed hardshell acoustic guitar case has an interesting story.  Elvis loved to ride horses, and, in February 1967, he purchased a 163-acre ranch just across the Mississippi state line, naming it “Circle G” after Graceland.  Later that year, an auction was held to sell off some excess equipment along with a few personal belongings of Elvis.  Two young ladies named Peggy Ferrell and Diana Hoover, roommates at the time, attended this auction.  Peggy bid $15 on the battered guitar case, said to be one of the first owned by Elvis.

Somehow, the girls were able to get Elvis to sign the case, “To Peggy and Diana from Elvis Presley” with a bold marker on the inside bottom felt.  Forty-five years later, that $15 purchase was worth $5,000 at another auction.  Nice going, Peggy.


Contract for Easy Come, Easy Go:     $5,625

Some folks must have wanted this item pretty bad and started a bidding war on the contract for Elvis’ 23rd feature film.  I don’t get it.  For that kind of money you can get a ring or clothing that Elvis actually wore.  He signed this three-page contract on September 27, 1966, and it stipulates his salary would be $400,000.  Col. Parker’s signature is also on it, too, but that doesn’t add much to its worth.


Application for Membership in the Screen Actors Guild:     $6,250

This 8.5” x 5.5” document was signed in black ink by Elvis on August 21, 1956.  This was just one day before filming started on his first movie Love Me Tender.  I love the line:  “I understand the obtaining of employment is my own responsibility and it is not the function of the Screen Actors Guild to aid in securing employment for its members.”  Elvis had no trouble ‘finding employment’ in the movie business for the next sixteen years – he acted in 31 features.


©  2012    Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister    All Rights Reserved    www.ElvisBlog.net

Elvis, Elvis Presley, and Graceland are registered trademarks of Elvis Presley Enterprise

So, How Much Is an Elvis Autograph Worth?

An Elvis autograph or two are usually offered at the major Rock & Roll memorabilia auctions, but the recent Julien’s Legends # 5 auction contained Elvis signatures on a dozen different items.  The prices varied from $384 to $11,520.  Let’s see if we can figure out what made some items much more valuable than others.

Autograph on Scrap of Paper:   $384

This offer included no history or verification, and the tail on the Y in Presley is different than all the others.  So, the buyer is taking a chance that it is real.  Plus, the presentation is terrible.  Couldn’t the seller have trimmed the torn edges and put it in a nice matted frame?

Autograph on Back of Photo:   $625 


This is an okay fan photo of Elvis, but to display his autograph, you couldn’t see it anyway.  The upside-down portion of the back says “Summer of ’62 By Lou Hohn.”  Note the tail at the end of Presley.

Signed Christmas Card:   $704  


This postcard was created by the Las Vegas Hilton in 1975.  Clearly visible is the preprinted holiday message “Seasons Greetings, Elvis and the Colonel,” but you have to look close to see the signed message, “To Dennis and Mara from Elvis Presley.”  The unsigned card alone would have value, so this seems to be a pretty good bargain.

Autographed Napkin:   $768 

There is no history given for this item.  I can’t figure out why anyone would pay more for a signed napkin than for the Christmas card.  Maybe the buyer is named Amanda or Pete.

Autograph on Scrap of Paper:   $937 

The premium for this one over the Christmas card really mystifies me.  Maybe it is the lipstick kiss on the corner.  Actually, what Elvis signed is a portion of an American Airlines envelope, obtained by a fan as Elvis was traveling to Los Angeles and passed through Little Rock, Arkansas.  It seems like they should have been able to tell us the date it this occurred.

Autographed Postcard:   $1,408

This is a German color postcard, which probably has some intrinsic value without Elvis’ autograph.  With it, somebody thought it was worth $1,400.

Autographed Photograph:   $1792


This is a vintage publicity photo like they used to sell at Elvis’ early concerts.  Elvis’ signature is printed in the lower right corner, but he also signed it “To Myra, Elvis Presley.”  The rare photo certainly adds a lot to the total value of this item.

Autographed Record Sleeve:   $1920 


The auction website makes no mention of the condition of this record, but in near-mint condition, “Trying To Get To You” is worth around $50.  The song was recorded at Sun Studios and was supposed to be Elvis’ sixth release for the label.  However, his contract was sold to RCA in November 1955, and they released it in early 1956 backed with another Sun recording “I Love You Because.”  The combination of Elvis’ autograph on a historic old record made this item worth almost $2,000.

Autographed Promo Card:   $2,048


I don’ know why this item brought such a high bid.  Perhaps it is partly due to the large 11’ X 14” size of the promotional image of young Elvis.  This is another case of the printed signature at the bottom right being much more visible than the one Elvis signed. 

Autographed Book of Sheet Music:   $2,432


This Elvis song book was published by Hill and Range Songs Inc. in 1955.  It contains the sheet music for fifteen Elvis songs, which must include a number of Sun recordings that weren’t even released as singles at that time.  So, the song book alone is a rare, valuable collectible, and Elvis’ autograph makes it even better.

Signed Contract:   $4,062


This is a great example of how proper presentation can add to the price an Elvis item will bring at auction.  It is a one-page William Morris Agency contract between Elvis Presley and Glen Hardin for a 1973 engagement at the Sahara-Tahoe Hotel.  Hardin was the piano player in the TCB Band, and he received $1,500 per week for his services.  The photo shows one of the jumpsuits that Elvis wore during the engagement, and the plaque explains the story about the contract.  So, this is a winner, but, I think several of the other Elvis autographed items are a better value for the money.

Autographed Shirt:   $11,520



There is no question why this autograph brought such a high bid..  Elvis wrote on the pocket of the shirt, and Elvis clothing always bring big bucks.  Big bucks, that is, if the seller can provide a picture of him wearing it.  In this case there are four photos, but Elvis probably wore the shirt only long enough to have the pictures taken.  That’s because the shirt was the prize for a contest by British magazine Mirabelle in 1959. The photo spread is a reprinted page from the magazine announcing the contest.  The writing on the pocket says, “Good luck to the reader of ‘Mirabelle Magazine’ Love Elvis Presley ’59.”  This is a very unique and special Elvis collectible.  They estimated it would go for $10-12,000, and it did, but I wouldn’t have been surprised if it went for even more.


©  2010    Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister    All Rights Reserved    www.ElvisBlog.net

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