Tag Archives: Elvis Clothing

Elvis’ Fabulous Wardrobe – Part 7

Elvis' Suzy Cream Cheese Two-Tone Brown Suede Fringed Jacket - Back

Sadly, only one of the last four Graceland Auctions offered more than a minimal selection of Elvis’ wardrobe. Here are the two items offered on Jan 6, 2018 during the Elvis Birthday Week celebration.

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1970s Leather Jacket:

Elvis' Leather Jacket He Gave to Bodyguard Dave Hebler

 

The auction website says, “Leather jackets have always been synonymous with the kind of cool of which Elvis Presley certainly had no shortage.”

This light brown leather coat with three-button front closure and two side pockets was one of several that Elvis owned in various colors. A manufacturer’s tag at the back collar states, “Genuine Leather / by Grais / Made in U.S.A.” Rubin Grais was an immigrant shoe maker from Russia who came to the U.S. and adapted his skills to create one of the iconic leather manufacturers of the ’40s and ’50s.

Grais Label

Elvis gave this coat to his bodyguard, Dave Hebler, who worked for him from 1972 to 1976. A Letter of Authenticity from Hebler states,

“One day Elvis invited me upstairs to his bedroom at Graceland and offered me all of his jumpsuits. He complained that they no longer fit him and that he wanted them out of his closet. I told him I had no use for his jumpsuits nor did I have the ability to store them at my apartment. I then moved a majority of the jumpsuits to the shed at the back of Graceland. I did receive several jackets including this brown leather jacket. Elvis had several of these.”

Perhaps because there was no accompanying photo of Elvis wearing the coat, the auction had an estimate of $3 – 4,000, which seemed pretty cheap to me. Somebody picked up a good deal at $2,875 including the auction surcharge.

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Signed Shirt from Elvis’ Personal Wardrobe:

Signed Shirt from Elvis' Personal Wardrobe Provided as the Grand Prize in a 1973 Boy Scout Raffle

 

Besides being a typically cool Elvis shirt, this one has an interesting history. The green shirt has gold buttons down the front and gold stars across the chest and on the collar and cuffs.

Elvis was well-known for his generosity and philanthropy, which became a long-standing tradition. A good example is Elvis donating this shirt to Memphis Boy Scout Troop #225 to raise money for their Jamboree Trip Fund. Tickets were printed for the raffle and each sold for a donation of 50 cents.

Announcement on Elvis' Donated Shirt

 

Harold A. Smith purchased this ticket in 1973 and was the lucky winner. Harold’s wife Shirley, who was a part-time nurse at Methodist Hospital in Memphis, took the shirt to work when Elvis was there as a patient and was able to get his autograph on the lower left front side.

Elvis' Signed Shirt

 

Smith had the shirt framed, and it hung in his KOA campground office as a big attraction until he sold the campground in 1984.

Although there is no picture of Elvis wearing the shirt, it is stamped “Elvis” in the collar, and the lot includes the winning ticket and a Memphis Press-Semiter newspaper article about Elvis’ donation to the Boy Scout troop. However, it is the autograph that made it a highly prized Elvis double collectible. The minimum starting price was $8,000, and the winning bid was $11,250.

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Now, I would like to take a look at Elvis’ clothing items from the Gotta Have Rock and Roll auction held earlier this month.

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Paisley Shirt:

Elvis Presley's Paisley Shirt 1

 

Elvis purchased a lot of clothing from IC Costume Co. including this orange and blue paisley long sleeved, button down shirt. Elvis gave the shirt to his Aunt Delta in the 1970’s. There is no accompanying photo of Elvis wearing the shirt, but it does come with a letter of provenance from Aunt Delta. The estimate was $4 – 6,000, and it went for $3,993.

 

Green Suede Pullover Top:

Elvis' Pullover Top

 

Elvis’ personally owned and worn custom green suede pullover top with the Anton, Beverly Hills label and his initials “EP” sewn on as labels. Elvis gifted this shirt and many other articles of clothing to his close friend Charlie Hodge. Like the preceding shirt, the estimate was $4 – 6,000, and it went for $3,993.

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Black Faux Fur Pants:

Elvis' Black Faux Fur Pants

 

These unusual pants also came from the IC Costume Company. Elvis seemingly gave away his clothing to everybody, this time to his uncle Vester Presley (Vernon’s brother) one day when he was cleaning out his closets. For some reason, the minimum bid was only $2,000, but six bids pushed the winning number up to $4,290. Too bad they didn’t come up with a photo of Elvis wearing faux fur pants.

 

Paisley Shirt:

 

The facts are the same on this red and blue paisley long sleeved shirt as the previous one – made by IC Costume Co, given to his Aunt Delta, and an estimate of $4 – 6,000. However, it sold for $3,300, which is $693 less. I can’t figure out why they weren’t valued the same.

 

 

From this point on, we will look at something I’ve never seen before at auctions of Elvis’ wardrobe – six NO BIDS.

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Pale Blue Balloon-Sleeved Shirt:

Elvis' Pale Blue Balloon-Sleeved Shirt

 

First we have another Elvis owned and worn IC Costume Co. shirt with pale blue balloon-sleeves and large pointed collar. Elvis gave the shirt to his close friend and valet Richard Davis. It seems like stuff Elvis gave to Davis has been showing up at auctions for a decade. I wonder when the supply will run out. The minimum bid was only $2,000, but nobody cared to pony up that much. Maybe the shirt was too plain.

 

Stay Away Joe Red Wine Denim Jacket:

Elvis' Red Wine Denim Jacket from Stay Away Joe

 

Elvis wore this red wine colored denim jacket in his film “Stay Away Joe.” It is one of several denim jackets made for Elvis to wear in the film. Elvis gave the jacket to Charlie Hodge who was an extra on the movie. Hodge apparently accumulated a ton of Elvis’ clothing over the years. Also offered were three photographs of Elvis wearing the jacket during filming, such as in the shotgun wedding scene.

Elvis in Stay Away Joe Shotgun Wedding Scene

 

I have always maintained that photos of Elvis wearing an article of clothing enhanced its value to collectors. That must have been the thinking when the minimum bid was set at $8,000 and the estimate at $9 – 12,000. Pretty strong, and it must have scared off potential bidders. Also, this is movie wardrobe, not clothing that Elvis purchased and wore in his personal life.

 

Suzy Cream Cheese Two-Tone Brown Suede Fringed Jacket:

Elvis' Suzy Cream Cheese Two-Tone Brown Suede Fringed Jacket

 

The back of this stunning two-toned brown suede fringed jacket is shown in the first photo of this post. Elvis gave it to his friend Shaun Nielsen, who first met Elvis when he was a back-up singer on his gospel album “How Great Thou Art.” Shaun sang with Elvis until his final show, and one day when they were recording in the Jungle Room at Graceland, Elvis took the members of his band and vocalists upstairs and told them each to pick out something that they liked. This jacket was just one of many items he gave to Nielson. The minimum bid of $7,000 seemed reasonable to me, but not to the bidders.

 

Suede Shearling Coat:

 

Elvis’ personally owned and worn tan suede coat that he purchased from one of his favorite stores, Goldsmith’s in Memphis. Goldsmiths would often open late at night for Elvis so that he could shop privately.

 

Suede Shearling Coat- Elvis Wearing 2

These are two of the three supplied photos of Elvis wearing the coat.

Suede Shearling Coat - Elvis Wearing

Elvis gave this coat to Richard Davis who took care of his wardrobe and eventually became Elvis’ wardrobe manager. With three supporting photos, I thought the minimum bid of $6,000 was reasonable. Shows how much I know. Nobody bid.

 

Blue Track Suit with Red and White Stripes:

Elvis' Blue Track Suit with Red and White Stripes - Both Views

 

Elvis owned and wore this blue track suit with red and white stripes. He wore it at Graceland and when traveling on his plane. Elvis gave the track suit to Aunt Delta.

It does come with a photo, but the auction website says “Comes with a photo of the same track suit, or one virtually the same (I added the italics).” That might have tampered the enthusiasm of the bidders, and surely the minimum bid of $5,000 did.

 

Burgundy Patent Leather Boots:

Elvis' Burgundy Patent Leather Boots

Burgundy patent leather boots that Elvis wore off-stage for his casual every day wear. They ended up with Charlie Hodge who make a surprising statement in his letter of provenance: “Elvis’ shoe size varied from size 10 to 12.5 depending on the make of the shoes or boots.”

Here’s an included photo which the website says shows Elvis wearing the same, or very similar boots. There’s not even much of the boots showing. The estimate was $5 – 7,000, but again no bids.

 

 

Gotta Have Rock and Roll

So, a total of six items of Elvis’ wardrobe drew no bids. I’ve mentioned several possible reasons for this unheard of occurrence. But I think the big problem was that this Gotta Have Rock & Roll auction featured memorabilia from dozens of singers and bands. It probably attracted many bidders with no interest in Elvis.

On the other hand, the Graceland Auctions are 100% Elvis items, and they are scheduled to be part of big events like Elvis Week. My suggestion to the owners of the no-bid items here is to try again at the Graceland Auction in January 2019. With slightly lower minimum bids on the Stay Away Joe jacket and the track suit, I think every one of six items will draw multiple bidders and sell.

 

 

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

 

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Disparate Prices on Elvis Clothing at Auction

Gotta Have Rock and Roll Auction
Gotta Have Rock and Roll continues to offer a wide selection of rock artist memorabilia, but their most recent auction didn’t bring the kinds of prices we are used to seeing on several Elvis items. The Auctions at Graceland have a distinct advantage by offering a hundred or more Elvis collectibles and having them on display when thousands of fans are in town for events like Elvis Week.

So, if you have some collectibles you want to sell, stick with the Auctions at Graceland, but if you are looking to buy, be sure to check out the next Gotta have Rock and Roll auction. Their Pop Culture Auction last month had a few items that went cheap or had no bids at all.

 

Pink Stage Pants with Black Saddle Stitching:

Elvis WearingPink Stage Pants With Black Saddle Stitching

Do you remember this photo of Elvis in a pink suit and Scotty and Bill wearing pink vests? I’m not sure what happened to Elvis’ coat, but the pants were auctioned last month.

Elvis Presley's Pink Stage Pants With Black Saddle Stitching

Elvis gave the pants to his cousin Gene Smith, along with some other clothes. Gene was the first of the ever-present Elvis buddies and performed many duties for Elvis including attending to his wardrobe. He provided a letter of provenance, and Gotta Have Rock & Roll supplied their own Certificate of Authenticity. In addition, the pants contained a Lansky Bros. label and another one that said Styled for Elvis Presley.

Lansky Bros label on Pink Pants

Styled for Elvis Presley Lansky Label

So, with all that, you’d think it was a slam dunk for the pants to meet or surpass the estimate of $3-5,000, but only three bids came in and the pants went for just $2,200. A real bargain.

 

White Leather Boots:

Elvis Presley's White Leather Boots

Elvis wore these white leather boots with square toes and black heels both on and off stage. He gave them to Charlie Hodge, who received dozens of clothing items during the sixteen years he lived downstairs at Graceland. It’s hard to find an auction of Elvis collectibles that doesn’t include at least one Elvis-gifted item to Charlie.

Elvis Wearing White Leather Boots

Gotta Have Rock and Roll may have dampened the enthusiasm of some buyers in their description of these accompanying photographs. The website says “photos of Elvis wearing the same, or nearly identical, boots on stage. I added the italics. However, Charlie Hodge provided a letter of provenance, so the estimate of $4-6,000 seemed reasonable. Only one person bid on the boots, and picked them off for just $3,000.

 

Painted Leather & Suede Jacket:

Elvis Presley's Painted Leather & Suede Jacket

Elvis usually wore this brown leather jacket with painted birds and whip-stitching as a shirt. When I saw the pre-auction estimate of $5-7,000 on this jacket, I thought it was too low. Look at this blow-up of the design on the back.

Elvis Presley's Painted Leather & Suede Jacket -- Back

Elvis gave this beautiful jacket to Shaun Nielson, a friend and singer in his back-up group The Voice, after a recording session in the Graceland jungle room. The jacket came with a letter of provenance from Nielsen and a Gotta Have Rock & Roll Certificate of Authenticity. However, only one person bid on it and he got the shirt for just $4,000. If the seller had provided a photo of Elvis wearing it, the price probably have been double or more.

 

Blue Warm Up Suit with Red and White Stripes:

Blue Warm Up Suit With Red and White Stripes

Here’s another example of where a photo of Elvis wearing an item of clothing adds much to its value. He wore this warm up suit both at the racquet ball court and when he traveled from city to city on his plane the Lisa Marie. It is yet another item Elvis gave to Charlie Hodge. Of course it was accompanied by a letter of provenance from Charlie and a Gotta Have Rock & Roll Certificate of Authenticity. However, the photo they offered was Elvis wearing a very similar warm-up suit.

Elvis Wearing Different Warm Up Suit

Close doesn’t count. The estimate was $4-6,000, but potential buyers must have been unimpressed, because not one even bid the $3,000 minimum.

 

Bell-Sleeved Shirts:

Elvis Presley's Bell Sleeved Shirts

This is a very informative comparison. Elvis owned these custom-made, pullover, V-neck shirts with large pointed collars and balloon sleeves in two colors, red and blue. He gave both to his close friend and valet Richard Davis one day when he was cleaning out his closet. Both had the same Elvis Presley custom made label and the IC Costume Company label. Both were accompanied by a letter of provenance from Richard Davis and a Gotta Have Rock & Roll Certificate of Authenticity. Both had the same minimum bid of $3,000 and estimate of $4-6,000, yet one had no bids and the other had nine bids and went for $8,565. Can you guess why the difference?

Elvis Presley Wearing Royal Blue Bell-Sleeved Shirt

There was no picture of Elvis wearing the red one. Like I’ve said many times, if you want to get into collecting Elvis clothing, buy the items with photos of him wearing them.

 

To be fair, some other Elvis wardrobe offerings at this auction brought in pretty substantial prices. Let’s look at them.

 

Custom Made Tan Suede Trench Coat with Faux Fur Collar

Elvis Presley's Custom Made Tan Suede Trench Coat With Faux Fur Collar

This tan suede trench coat with large faux fur collar was custom made for Elvis at Lansky Bros. This is another prime piece of his wardrobe that Elvis gave to Shaun Nielson. It has the Lansky Bros. label, letter of provenance, certificate of authenticity, and the all-important picture of Elvis wearing it. The bidding topped out at $8,577.

Elvis wearingCustom Made Tan Suede Trench Coat With Faux Fur Collar

 

Kissin’ Cousins” Film Worn Cream Denim Jeans and Jacket

Elvis Presley's Kissin' Cousins Cream Denim Jeans and Jacket

Wardrobe items from Elvis’ movies always have accompanying photos of him wearing them. I’m not sure why people go after movie clothes rather than personal ones, but this one brought in a smooth $6,000, a bit below the estimate.

Elvis Wearing Kissin' Cousins Cream Denim Jeans and Jacket

 

Blue Suede Pants with Brown Suede Flames

Elvis presley's Blue Suede Pants With Brown Suede Flames

Back-up singer Shaun Nielson picked out some really cool stuff when Elvis let him rummage through his closet after that recording session at Graceland. Elvis purchased these dark blue, suede bell bottom pants with brown suede flame design down the legs from what the website refers to as his favorite store in Las Vegas, Suzy Creamcheese. This is an exception to the rule when it comes to providing a picture of Elvis wearing the clothing item up for bid. There was none, but the pants went for $7,786 anyway, well above the estimate.

 

“EP” Blue Pajama Top:

Elvis Presley's EP Blue Pajama Top

The story is the same on this blue Munsingwear pajama top with his initials embroidered in white over the chest pocket. Elvis gave the pajama top to his good friend, and some time hair stylist Patti Parry, the only “female member” of his Memphis Mafia inner circle of friends. Patti sometimes styled Elvis’ hair, including for his Aloha from Hawaii special. Elvis gave the pajama top to Patti at his home in California when day when she was cold and asked for something to put on to keep her warm. She felt he always kept his room too cold. There is no photo of him wearing the pajama top, but it still went for $7,797.

 

There was no Elvis jewelry offered at this Gotta Have Rock and Roll auction, but there is an impressive item a fan from Denmark gave to Charlie Hodge for his many years of devotion to Elvis.

Charlie Hodge Bracelet

There’s a lot of 14k gold in this bracelet and dozens of diamonds. What I like best is the different TCB design with a horizontal lightning bolt.

Charlie Hodge Bracelet - Close-up

If Elvis had owned this, it surely would have gone for big bucks. It has been appraised at $14,000, but no one bid the minimum of $4,000. Wouldn’t the gold and diamonds alone make it a good investment? The owner should try again at the next Auction at Graceland.

 

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

 

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Shop.Graceland.com — Picks and Pans

Mark-Downs on Shop Graceland

Just about every time you log on to Graceland.com/news, you don’t have to scroll down very far to find an announcement for some kind of sale going on at Shop Graceland. I clicked on this one because I wanted to see what else was being marked down to $14.99. Unfortunately, these were the only two items.

I might have been interested in the T-shirt if it had said “WILD about ELVIS.” You have to look really close at the fine print on this shirt to see his name. Under the large–font Graceland it says The Home of Elvis Presley. What’s the deal with so much merchandise coming out with the emphasis on Graceland and not Elvis?

I decided to scroll through the Shop Graceland offerings to see what other items generated a reaction.

 

Graceland Black and White Plaid Lounge Pants

Here’s a worse example of the increased emphasis on Graceland. These plaid lounge pants don’t bother with any mention of Elvis. Do they really think the fans would buy more of these saying Graceland rather than Elvis Presley? I wouldn’t, especially at $32.99.

 

Elvis Presley TCB Scatter Cap

Now, this is something I like. The TCB/Lightning Bolt symbol is showing up on a lot of Elvis merchandise. I actually own the original version of this baseball cap. It doesn’t have the mosaic of little TCBs across the front, or the Elvis Presley signature on the side. I wear my cap all the time, and I love it when someone sees the TCB and says, “You’re an Elvis fan, huh.” Realizing that they know what it means, I know I have encountered a kindred spirit, and conversation follows easily. When I finally wear out my cap, I’ll be glad to shell out $17.99 for this new model.

 

Elvis Silhouette Bead Charm

Here’s something I hated the first time I saw it. It struck me as the worst Elvis silhouette ever, especially the hands and feet. It reminded me of an alien creature.

 

Space Creature

Then, I read the fine print. The photo was a huge blow up of a charm for a bracelet.

Lowell Hays Gold Plated Elvis Charm Bracelet

Viewed at its actual size, you hardly notice that Elvis’ head is replaced with a loop. The bracelet goes for $99, or you can buy all the charms (and additional designs) separately for your own bracelet.

 

Elvis Presley's Heartbreak Hotel Collectible Key Key Ring

Here’s something they better unload quick. Once the Heartbreak Hotel is torn down, how much demand can there be for this key charm? But, maybe if you’ve stayed there over the years, it would be worth $8.99 to get one of these mementos. One thing is the item description confuses me. They are made with simulated enamel. What the heck is that?

 

Graceland Women's Burnout Pullover Hoodie

Here’s another item that mentions only Graceland. Actually, this thing is so ugly I’m glad it doesn’t mention Elvis. The item description talks about the burnout print, slight distressing, and raw edges like that is something good. Really? No wonder the price on this pullover hoodie has been dropped from $25 to $20.

 

Heart Elvis Presley Women's Black and White Plaid Pants

I like these lounge pants much more than the Graceland style earlier. Somehow this image reminds me of this screen grab from the kitchen dance scene in Girls, Girls, Girls.

Elvis Dancing in Girls, Girls, Girls

 

Here’s something I think would look cool on the female Elvis fans. I’m not familiar with the name of the designer, Christine Alexander, but the item description says she is “the leader in embellished apparel and accessories.” And that she elevated this T-shirt from an apparel piece to a work of art.

Christine Alexander Elvis Presley Profile Women's T-Shirt

Who would mind shelling out $60 for something where “Elvis’ sultry gaze is exquisitely defined by rows of Swarovski Elements that stand out from the black background in a celestial glow.” That has to be the best pitch-line I’ve ever seen on Shop Graceland.

 

Girls Rule Youth Burnout T-Shirt

I never thought I’d see something like this from a web store selling Elvis merchandise. It is a young girl’s T-shirt, but with the A-line styling it looks like a dress. The colorful tie-dye floral design is pretty, but where’s the Elvis reference? How about removing Girls Rule and changing it to Elvis Rules and making it in sizes for women. The youth model must not be selling so well, because the price has been marked down to just $12.

 

Major Trouble Camoflauge Infant Bodysuit

I usually scroll past the few infants offerings on Shop Graceland, but this one caught my eye. Camo designed clothing for babies is a pretty bold move. But, I had to study the rest of it to realize it is a play on words. We Elvis fans know that T.R.O.U.B.L.E was an Elvis song, and we can see that the silhouette image came from a familiar photo of Elvis in his Army dress uniform. It’s kind of a stretch, but a rug-rat crawling around in this bodysuit and getting into everything could qualify as major trouble. On the other hand, if anyone thinks the whole concept is bizarre, I can see their point.

 

Elvis Kissing Guitar Love Me Tender Women's V-Neck Nightshirt

Ladies nightshirts have not been featured much on Shop Graceland, but I think they have a winner here at a price of just $26.69.  The item description says, “This classic and comfy nightshirt makes the perfect gift for the Elvis loving lady in your life.”

What female Elvis fan wouldn’t appreciate receiving something that has red heart accents and Elvis’ face on it? But I can’t help thinking the guy who gives it might prefer to see Elvis kissing Ann Margret instead of a guitar.

 

 

We covered a few T-shirts in this article, but there are many more left for the annual ElvisBlog review of Elvis T-shirts in early July.

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© 2016 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

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Some Interesting Results at the Latest Elvis Auction

Gotta Have Rock and Roll Website

Except for the two Auctions at Graceland, there haven’t been any sizeable selections of Elvis goodies at auction this past year. Finally, some good stuff showed up at the Gotta Have Rock and Roll auction that closed late last week. There were no rings or other jewelry, but three items of clothing fetched significant bids.

 

1970’s Custom Made Bell Bottom Pants and Corduroy Jacket:

Elvis' 1970’s Custom Made Bell Bottom Pants and Corduroy Jacket

This is a nice combo – black bell bottom pants with red kick pleats (not visible in this picture) and a black corduroy jacket. Both were custom made by IC Costume Co, and the jacket bears their label.

Bell Bottom Pants and Corduroy Jacket

In addition to the photo of Elvis wearing the outfit, both items came with letters of provenance. The projected bid price was $6-8,000, and it went for a little more at $8,860. Please note that all buyers had to pay an additional 20% service charge to all sell levels mentioned in this article.

 

Lansky’s Custom Made Black Wool Jacket:

Elvis' Lansky Custom Made Black Wool Jacket

The next two items came from Elvis’ favorite clothier in Memphis, Lansky Bros, and the coat above sported both the Lansky label and the “Styled for Elvis Presley” custom-made label.

Elvis' Lansky Bros Custom Made Black Wool Jacket - Label

But what makes this black fleck woolen jacket especially desirable is the accompanying photo of Elvis wearing it.

Lansky's Custom Made Black Wool Jacket - Elvis Wearing

The estimated selling price was $5-7,000, and this turned out to be accurate. The most spirited bidding on any Elvis clothing item brought in $7088 (plus that extra 20% for the auction house)

 

1950’s Lansky Custom Made Stage Suit:

Elvis' 1950's Custom Made Stage Suit

Unlike the first two items, Elvis wore this outfit when he performed on stage (according the auction website description). If so, I’m surprised none of the previous owners has been able to find a photo of Elvis wearing it. Still, there is the Styled for Elvis Presley custom Lansky label on both the royal dark blue jacket with black velvet lapel trim and the blue-grey pants. The winning bid came in at $8860, just over the high estimate.

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Porcelain Monkey From Graceland:

Elvis' Porcelain Monkey From Graceland

This is the first of several items that have interesting stories. When I saw the pre-auction estimate of $2-3,000, I said, “No way.” For that kind of money, I’ve seen dozens of other Elvis collectibles I’d rather own.

Elvis' Porcelain Monkey From Graceland in TV Room

However, this photo showing the monkey in the TV room at Graceland and a letter of provenance from Charlie Hodge persuaded somebody to part with $1,612 to own it.

 

15 Priscilla Presley Original 2 x 2 Color Transparency Slides:

Priscilla Presley Original Transparency Slides

I guess there weren’t any Priscilla Presley fans following this auction, because nobody even bid the $25 minimum. I’ve never seen any of these pictures before (and I’ve downloaded many dozens of Priscilla photos over the years).

Priscilla Presley and Bull

This seems like a missed bargain – picking up fourteen rare pics of Priscilla for $25

 

Three Photographs of Elvis:

3 B&W Elvis Photos

Now, here’s some photos that really appealed to the bidders. The pre-auction estimate was $50-100, but I knew that was way low. I have never seen the two pictures on the left, and I’ve seen literally thousands of Elvis photos. Sure enough, these three 8 x 10 black and white original photographs had more bids than any other item in the auction (18) and brought in $541.

 

10th Anniversary Half-Ounce Fine Silver Coins:

Elvis Presley 10th Anniversary half ounce fine silver coins

These ten coins brought in $80, which is not that much of a premium over the price for their weight in pure silver. Maybe if the owner had bothered to polish them up before offering them….

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1957 Civic Center Concert Poster Reproduction:

1957 Elvis Concert Poster Reproduction

It is a mystery to me why the pre-auction estimate on this was $2-300. The auction website clearly says REPRODUCTION. Nobody thought this fake was worth the $100 minimum bid. No surprise.

 

Elvis Presley Special Edition Graceland Gift Set:

Elvis Presley's Graceland Special Edition

Elvis Presley special edition Graceland gift set Box

The auction website has one short sentence describing this item: “Recreate your own personal Graceland with this Elvis Presley special edition Graceland gift set.” Plus the two pictures above – and this:

Elvis Presley special edition Graceland gift set Inside

What is all that stuff? I couldn’t figure out what they were offering, and apparently the bidders couldn’t either. Nobody would cover the $200 minimum bid.

Box Elvis Presley's Graceland

So, I looked it up on eBay and the photos and description there made it very clear. This box contains a miniature Graceland at Christmas set — lighted ceramic Graceland building, 1955 Pink Cadillac Fleetwood, wrought iron gate, the original Christmas lawn decorations, and six mylar twinkling trees. Look at the first photo again to see it all put together.

Inside Box - Elvis Presley's Graceland

With this picture you can see some of the listed items. This set was introduced as a limited edition in 2000 and retired on January 8, 2001. A few are currently available on eBay for $2-300. I’m sure it would have sold at this auction if the owner had bothered to describe what he was selling.

 

 

 

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

 

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The Auction at Graceland — Postgame Show

We looked at the losers last week, so now it is time for the winners. I’ve followed dozens of Elvis auctions over the years, and there is no question that having this one at Graceland was a brilliant move. Some of the selling prices were incredibly high.

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Gemstone, Diamond and Gold Lion Pendant:

Elvis' Lion Head Pendant Pendant

Minimum bid – $10,000, Estimate – $20-30,000: Sold for $82,500

This 18-karat gold lion’s head pendant contains two emeralds for the eyes, a cabochon ruby in the mouth, and brow and mouth set with 24 single-cut diamonds with a total weight of approximately 0.48 carats. It was designed specifically for Elvis by his favorite Memphis jeweler Lowell Hays.

Elvis Wearing Lion's Head Pendant

Elvis wore this pendant on multiple occasions, including his meeting with President Nixon, his acceptance of the Jaycees Award as one of the Top Young Men in America, and Sonny West’s wedding.

Elvis and Nixon

As has been stressed here repeatedly, nothing boosts the price of Elvis clothes or jewelry like a photograph of him wearing it. The famous Elvis/Nixon picture (bestselling item at the Nixon Presidential Library gift shop and most requested document reproduction from the National Archives) probably added $50,000 to the value of this item, and made it the big winner at this auction.

 

1977 Cadillac Seville:

Elvis' 77 Cadillac from Auction at Graceland

Minimum bid – $50,000, Estimate – $100-120,000: Sold for $81,250

Although this car was number two on the high bid listing, it went for well under the estimate. Keep in mind that the estimate price is before the auction house tacks on their 25%. The sell price shown above includes this charge; actual bidding stopped at $65,000. Two weeks ago, Elvisblog posted a photo and report from a 1994 auction where this Caddy brought in $101,000 at auction. That came from an Elvis chat room, so it could be off. But, if not, I can’t figure out why the car didn’t sell for that much or more.

Elvis’ 1977 maroon and silver Cadillac Seville – V8 automatic is the last known Cadillac he drove (the night before his death), and it was also the last Cadillac that he purchased for his own personal use.
Note: The next highest priced item was Elvis’ opal and diamond ring at $38,750. There were two other rings, but we’ll skip them all here. They will show up soon in the next edition of the series Elvis Fabulous Rings.

 

Graceland Blueprints:

Blueprints for Graceland's First Floor

Blueprints for First Floor of Graceland

Minimum bid – $10,000, Estimate – $25-35,000: Sold for $35,000

On several TV shows prior to the auction, Priscilla stated the estate would be bidding on some items. This certainly had to be one of them.

Blueprints for Graceland Upstairs

Upstairs at Graceland

There are three framed and matted 1939 blueprints measuring 32 by 54 inches in this lot. I can see the value, but if I had $35,000 to spend on Elvis memorabilia, I’d get a couple of rings or some clothes.

 

Shooting Target:

Elvis' Graceland Shooting Target

Minimum bid – $500, Estimate – $1,200-1,500: Sold for $27,000

I couldn’t believe my eyes as the bidding unfolded on this police silhouette target. There must have been two or three collectors who really wanted this, because they bid it up to a ridiculous level. Yes, we know Elvis had these 36 by 44 inch targets set up inside the old Graceland smokehouse, so he and the boys could shoot through the door at them. But, I agree with the woman in the auction chatroom who questioned whether the bullet holes were made by Elvis or by his bodyguards when he wasn’t using it.

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1969 Las Vegas Show Agreement:

Elvis' Las Vegas Show Agreement

Minimum bid – $10,000, Estimate – $20-25,000: Sold for $27,500

This isn’t just any contract Elvis signed with the Las Vegas International Hotel. This is for his1969 return to live performances after the movie years. Elvis was to be paid $100,000 per week for fifteen performances. The full contract is thirteen pages long.

 

Overnight Army Pass:

Military Leave Pass Issued to Elvis Presley, 1958

Minimum bid – $1,500, Estimate – $4-6,000: Sold for $20,625

I don’t get it. What makes this worth so much more than any other Elvis signed article? It’s not something big like his enlistment papers or release documents. It’s an overnight pass.

While stationed in Germany, Elvis was issued this military leave pass granting him permission for an overnight leave of absence to visit a “US Area of Interest” from noon on October 4 and ordering his return prior to midnight on the evening of October 5, 1958.

So, what was this US Area of Interest? Elvis, Vernon, Grandmother Minnie, Red West, and Lamar Fike travelled to Bad Homburg. They ate dinner and spent the night at the Ritters Park Hotel.

 

Personal Message to Vernon:

Elvis' Personal Message Christmas Gift to His Father

Minimum bid – $1,500, Estimate – $3-5,000: Sold for $18,750

In 1976, Elvis wanted to give his father Vernon something special for Christmas, so he asked his friend Janelle McComb of Tupelo, Mississippi, to calligraph a personal message. It has Elvis’ signature at the bottom. The framed and matted message measures approximately 17 5/16 by 14 3/16 inches.

 

Baldwin Upright Piano:

Elvis' Baldwin Piano

Minimum bid- $10,000, Estimate – $25-35,000: Sold for $15,000

This upright piano from Elvis Presley’s Palm Springs home. The plate in the center says “Baldwin.” Includes attached music stand and bench. Too bad they couldn’t find just one photo of Elvis sitting on that bench playing the piano

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“Love Me Tender” Script:

Elvis' copy Love Me Tender Screenplay

Minimum bid – $1,500, Estimate – $4-6,000: Sold for $14,375

There were six items featured in the pre-auction promotion. The Martin guitar and the marriage certificate were over-valued and scared off bidders. The Caddy sold for much less than the estimate. However, the lion’s head pendant went for much more, and so did this script.

A number of things about the cover are interesting. The original title was The Reno Brothers back in August 1993. The script languished for years in pre-production, until hot young star Elvis was considered for a role in 1956. When his hit song “Love Me Tender” dominated the charts, the title was changed, as noted on the cover. Of course, many copies of the screenplay were printed, but this was Elvis’ own copy, as stamped in the upper left: “Please forward to: ELVIS PRESLEY.”

 

Library Card:

Elvis' Library Card from Auction at Graceland

Minimum bid – $5,000, Estimate – $12-15,000: Sold for $10,000

This is an important Elvis signature, a steal at half the price of the overnight pass. It is the second oldest known full Elvis signature, not counting a crayon box from when he was in first grade with ‘Elvis’ scrawled on it.

This signed library card was found by the librarian at the school which Elvis attended in Tupelo. Once the librarian realized Elvis’ fame, she searched through all of the books borrowed from the library by Elvis to find his signature, and discovered two cards. The second, from two days earlier than the offered card, is now in a private collection,

 

Okay, that is the top ten highest bid items (excluding the three rings to be covered later) at the Auction at Graceland. We’ll skip now to a couple of articles of Elvis clothing.

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White Puffy Shirt:

Elvis' White “Puffy Sleeve

Minimum bid – $3,000, Estimate – $7-9,000: Sold for $8,125

This is the shirt that one auction chatroom lady said she would love to sleep in because it touched Elvis’ body. Made for Elvis by the IC Costume Company, this shirt has puffy sleeves and cuffs that were a particular favorite of Elvis’ during the 1970s.

 

Used Concert Scarf:

Elvis Presley Used Concert Scarf

Minimum bid – $300, Estimate – $6-700: Sold for $5,625

Before the actual live auction on August 14, there had been a week of internet bidding. I checked it several times and noted very spirited bidding on this scarf. By the time the live auction started, forty-six bids had been made, so you knew something interesting was going to happen. And it did with the winning price going for eight times the estimate.

There have been other Elvis stage-worn scarves up for auction before, and they didn’t bring in this much money. It’s not because Elvis signed this one – the autograph is a printed facsimile. Maybe the included ticket stub added some value. Or, maybe the winning bidder was at that concert in Pittsburgh in 1976. Then it just might be worth shelling out $5,600 to get.

 

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