Tag Archives: Elvis rings

Elvis’ Fabulous Rings — Part 8

Elvis -- Diamond and Opal Ring - Side View

The past two Auctions at Graceland have been loaded with Elvis rings. The one on January 7 (during the celebration of Elvis’ birthday) had five rings, and the one on March 4 (during the opening celebration for Elvis Presley’s Memphis) had six. And one ring at first appeared to have been sold at both auctions, but a closer look revealed they are examples of Elvis purchasing multiples of the same or similar rings from his favorite jeweler, Lowell Hays. First, here are the rings sold in January.

.

Diamond Cluster Cocktail Ring:

Elvis -- Diamond Cluster Cocktail Ring

The auction website had this to say about this gentleman’s cocktail ring:

Elvis’ star shone bright and part of that sparkling came from the jewels that adorned his fingers. The offered flower-shaped seven-diamond cluster ring was worn on stage by Elvis as documented in photographs from the period. The 10k gold ring weighs 6.5 grams with seven diamonds, one weighing 0.18 carat and measuring 3.5 mm while the remaining six each weigh 0.12 carat and measure 3 mm.

Although they mention Elvis was photographed wearing this ring, no picture was offered as verification. Instead, a Letter of Authenticity from Joe Esposito was included to prove Elvis actually wore the ring. But the LOA included something strange. Instead of saying Elvis gave him the ring, Joe states “This ring was given to a particular friend.” I wonder who that might have been, and why the name wasn’t given.

The ring fell a little short of the $10-15,000 estimate, going for $9,375 (which includes the 25% auction house fee).

 

.

Gold and Diamond Lion Head Ring:

Elvis -- Gold and Diamond Lion Head Ring

The next four rings were all originally given by Elvis to Charlie Hodge. It is part of a group of twelve rings Charlie sold to an unnamed man is the early 80s. Here is a portion of the man’s letter describing the event:

At one point in the very early 1980s there was an event in Antwerp, organized by the Belgian fan club, that featured Charlie Hodge as the headliner. He was one of the very first people who had known Elvis up close to come to Europe to speak at an Elvis event. I found Charlie in one of the hallways at one point and talked to him for about twenty minutes. He was a bit shocked to hear a teenager asking if he had any of Elvis’ stuff for sale, but I convinced him that I was very, very serious about expanding my Elvis collection with as many personal items as possible. He told me to visit him at his hotel the next morning.

He showed me a small black box full of rings, and said Elvis had asked him to hold on to them at some point in the early 70’s and then had never asked for them again afterwards. He said this kind of stuff would happen all the time, because Elvis would go through a lot of rings and other jewelry all the time. He asked me if there was any ring I liked best, that I was most interested in buying from him. I could not take my eyes off the box and immediately knew I wanted the entire thing! Within minutes we agreed on a price for all 12 rings that were in the box. I was short so I borrowed some money from my parents, and we left with a dozen of Elvis’ rings!

The gold and diamond lion head was the star of the Elvis jewelry at this auction. It blew past the estimate of $10-15 and topped out at $37,500 (including the auction fee).

 

White Gold and Star Sapphire Ring

Elvis -- White Gold and Star Sapphire Ring

This is another ring Elvis gave to Charlie Hodge. Elvis had a fascination with sapphire jewelry, perhaps because of the special significance of sapphires in numerology, of which Elvis was an enthusiast.

This 14 karat white gold ring has a black star sapphire, which weighs 14 grams, mounted above two sapphires each weighing 0.08 carat. While the estimate was for the same $10-15,000 as the lion head ring, it sold for only a fourth as much, topping out at $9,750.

 

.

 $2-1/2 Indian Head Gold Coin Ring

Elvis -- 1911 Indian Head Gold Ring

Elvis had a number of rings made with gold coins. This one is a U.S. 1911 $2½ Indian Head gold coin. Rings of this ilk were worn during many of Elvis’ hallmark moments on stage and screen, including during the filming of the 1970 documentary film Elvis: That’s the Way It Is.

The coin is set in 17 grams of 14-karat gold. I’m surprised the ring did not blow past the estimate of $10-15,000. Somebody took it home for $9,375.

 

Gold and Diamond “Pyramid” Ring

Elvis -- Gold and Diamond “Pyramid” Ring

This is the last of the four Elvis rings given to Charlie Hodge and sold at the January 7, 2017 auction. However, there are four more coming up in the March 4, 2017 auction.

Elvis showed this affinity for jewelry by wearing and gifting a hundreds of rings in the 1970s. This 14-karat gold men’s ring weighs approximately 9.5 grams and contains a 0.18 carat diamond.. The diamond is centered in a starburst, which is centered in a pyramid-shaped concentric surround. With just one small diamond, this ring brought in a modest $8,125.

 

The March 4, 2017, Auction at Graceland provided multiple phots of the rings, but no shots of Elvis wearing any of them.

 

Gold and Diamond Panther Head Ring

Elvis -- Gold and Diamond Panther Head Ring

This 14-karat yellow gold panther head ring has marquise-shaped diamond eyes that each weigh 0.18 carat, a diamond in the panther’s mouth that weighs 0.20. It was gifted by Elvis to Tom Hulett who, with Colonel Parker, managed Elvis’ live performances in the 1970s.

Elvis -- Gold and Diamond Panther Head Ring - Front

The auction website had this to say:

The ring is a stunning example of the kind of dramatic touch that Elvis was always seeking in his wardrobe and especially in his jewelry. Elvis adored larger rings later in his career, and since the symbolism of the panther represents courage, valor and power, this ring would have been a perfect choice for Elvis in his career.

Like most of Elvis’ rings in this auction, it had an estimate of $10-15,000, and it did go for $15,000.

 

Diamond and Blue Sapphire Owl Ring

Elvis -- Diamond and Blue Sapphire Owl Ring

Back to the rings Elvis gave to Charlie Hodge. According to the auction website, the owl is known to symbolize wisdom and it was a favorite of Elvis’, who would wear jewelry adorned with the depiction of an owl. Of the eighty Elvis rings featured in these ElvisBlog posts, there have been three owl rings.

Elvis -- Diamond and Blue Sapphire Owl Ring - Front

This 14-karat yellow gold ring weighs 12 grams and has two round blue sapphire eyes which each measure 2.9 mm and a singular V-shaped brow of 15 1-point diamonds. This owl ring is 14K and has gold-feathered texture surrounding the eyes, brow and beak. It had the usual $10-15,000 estimate, and thirteen bids ran the price up to $13,750.

 

Gold and Diamond Cocktail Ring

Elvis -- Gold and Diamond Cocktail Ring

This ring is another that Elvis gave to Charlie Hodge. Remember the first ring in this post that Elvis gave to a “particular friend.”  Here it is again:

Elvis -- Diamond Cluster Cocktail Ring

And here is one given to Dave Hebler covered in Part 7 of this series:

Elvis Presley's Diamond Circular Ring from Julien's May 2016

The auction website stated: “When Elvis discovered a style he liked, he would often acquire several examples of the piece of jewelry.” This flower-shaped diamond cluster ring is certainly a good example of that. Who else but Elvis would buy rings in bulk to give to people?

The Charlie Hodge version on this ring is only 10-karat, but it contains seven champagne-colored diamonds, one weighing 0.12 carat and the remaining six each weighing 0.15 carat. The gold in the ring weighs 7 grams. Of the three versions shown here, the Charlie Hodge had the highest bid of $16,250.

 

.

Diamond and Black Sapphire Ring

Elvis -- Diamond and Black Sapphire Ring

The auction website says, “The shimmering rays of the star effect in the star sapphire is called asterism, from the Latin word astrum, or “star.” Black star sapphires owe their stars to the included crystals of the shiny, dark mineral hematite.”

Elvis -- Diamond and Black Sapphire Ring - Side View

This diamond and black star sapphire ring was a favorite of Elvis’ and he was as known for wearing this style as he was for gifting it to friends and family. The men’s yellow 14-karat gold ring, with black star sapphire weighs 10 grams and is mounted in a nugget-style setting that is marked 14K and “Heirloom” on the interior band. The ring measures approximately size 10 with three diamonds each measuring 1.5 mm.

This diamond and black star sapphire ring was a favorite of Elvis’ and he was as known for wearing this style as he was for gifting it to friends and family. The men’s yellow 14-karat gold ring, with black star sapphire weighs 10 grams and is mounted in a nugget-style setting. The three diamonds each measure 1.5 mm. It sold for $11,875.

 

.

Diamond and Opal Ring:

Elvis -- Diamond and Opal Ring

This large white opal ring got fourteen bids, the most of any of the rings in this auction. Bidders must have liked the big size of the emerald-cut opal (19.5 x 14.5 mm). There are 40 diamonds surrounding the center stone which each measure .01 mm. The 24k gold ring weighs 10.5 grams. Elvis gave it to his concert tour promoter Tom Hulett during the 1970s. Hulett certified that Elvis wore it both on and off stage. “Opal held a special meaning for Elvis and wore it often.”

Unlike the other rings in the auction, this one had a lower estimate of $8-10,000, but fourteen bids ran it up to $15,000.

 

Gold and Red Star Sapphire Ring

Elvis -- Gold and Red Star Sapphire Ring

I get a kick out of the auction website that says, “Star sapphires were one of Elvis’ favorites.” They have said that about black onyx, opal, diamonds, lions, tigers, owls, horse heads and many more. It seems like everything was an Elvis favorite.

Elvis -- Gold and Red Star Sapphire Ring - Side view

A star sapphire is named because it has needle-like inclusions that refract a star-shaped pattern in effect known as “asterism.” Star sapphires are typically blue—but this is the less common red star sapphire . This 14-karat white gold, oval cabochon red star sapphire measures weighs 9.5 grams. The star sapphire is mounted in a textured white gold setting with two channels down either side.

There must have been many bidders hoping to score an Elvis ring without paying big bucks, but fourteen bids ran the price up to $6,875. If the winner ever finds a photo of Elvis wearing it, it will be worth a lot more.

 

 

The next ElvisBlog post or the one after it will also cover Elvis items sold at an auction. But this is a unusual one that has a Smith & Wesson revolver expected to bring $160-225,000, a diamond and ruby studded sheriff’s badge ($50-75,000), plus Elvis’ contract to purchase Graceland, two more guns, and two Nazi knives. Stay tuned.

 

© 2017 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.

 

Elvis’ Fabulous rings — Part 6

4 Elvis Rings from Auction at Graceland

In the first five parts of this series, ElvisBlog has featured over 50 rings Elvis owned.  He sure did love rings, didn’t he? The January 7, 2016 Auction at Graceland had a few more, so let’s take a look.

 

1914 Indian Head 2½-Dollar Gold Coin and Diamonds Ring:

1914 Indian Head Gold 2.5 Dollar Coil with Diamonds

Elvis had a fondness for rings designed to showcase rare, valuable coins, and certainly a 1914 2½-Dollar Indian-Head gold piece qualifies as that. Plus, it is set in more 14K gold weighing approximately 18.6 grams. Finally, the ring is enhanced with 26 round diamonds weighing approximately 1 carat surrounding the Indian Head side of the coin.

The auction website says Elvis gave this ring to Tom Hulett who assisted Colonel Parker in managing Elvis’ live performances in the 1970s. A Letter of Authenticity from Hulett does not specifically state that Elvis ever wore the ring before giving it to him, rather than just buying it to be a gift. Nor is there any photos presented of Elvis wearing the ring.

However, this ring is a custom design, so bidders were satisfied it was an Elvis-owned-and-worn ring and bid it up to $23,500, right in the middle of the pre-auction estimate.

 

10K Gold Tiered Octagonal Ring with 56 Diamonds:

Elvis' Gold Ring with 56 Diamonds

According to the auction website, “Elvis was a fan of the sparkle, and this ring certainly has the dazzle fit for a king.” Yes, indeed, it does – a 10-karat gold men’s ring that weighs approximately 9 grams and contains 56 diamonds set within a tiered octagonal design.

In July 1973, Elvis gave the ring to Sam Thompson, his friend, bodyguard, and the brother of girlfriend Linda Thompson. Thompson’s LOA was provided for verification, but it makes no mention that Elvis ever wore the ring. However, the auction website states, “It was common for Elvis to give his jewelry to his friends and family at the slightest admiration of a piece and since Sam was not only his bodyguard, but a trusted friend, it’s only natural that Elvis would gift him such a magnificent piece of jewelry.”

Apparently, that explanation motivated a total of eleven bids, topping out at $13,750

 

Gold, Diamond and Black Sapphire Ring – “Number 10” Ring:

Elvis' Gold, Diamond and Black Sapphire Ring – The “Number 10” Ring

I think this is the first open-faced ring we have seen in the Elvis’ Fabulous Rings series, and there is no question why Elvis called it the “number ten” ring. Apparently that number had no special significance for Elvis, he just liked the way the ring looked.

This unusual shape is 14-karat gold and has an open front and squared-back band. The “1” is a rectangular design containing 3 diamonds. The “0” is a large black cabochon star sapphire weighing approximately 2.5 carats, surrounded by 13 diamonds, each contained at the end of its own cylindrical channel.

The auction website says sapphires were attributed special significance by numerology enthusiast like Elvis, which may help explain why he had a lot of sapphire jewelry. He gave this ring to his friend and wardrobe manager Richard Davis, the lucky recipient of many articles of clothes and jewelry over the years.

This “number ten” ring sold for $15,000, right at the top end of the estimated range.

 

Aztec Ring with Jaguar Head:

Elvis' Aztec Ring with Jaguar Head

I think this is one of the ugliest rings presented in this series, but the bidders thought differently or didn’t care. It sold for $16,750, which was above the pre-auction estimate.

This Aztec-patterned, 14-karat yellow gold ring contains an opaque green, chrysoberyl, calcite cabochon, measuring approximately 5.6mm, above a protruding stylized jaguar head set with green tourmaline eyes. The auction website said Elvis liked the three preceding rings because of his fondness for sapphires, sparkle, and numerology, but they say nothing here about his fondness for jaguars. Instead, it says, “An ideal symbol for Elvis, the jaguar represents power and strength in ancient cultures, and in Aztec mythology is a warrior deity known for protecting the royal household.”

Sam Thompson was the recipient of this ring, too, but this time his LOA specifically states that when he admired the ring on Elvis’ finger, Elvis took it off immediately and gave it to him. But when Thompson tried to return it, Elvis just shook his head and mouthed the word ‘no’ and winked at him. It is specific references like this one that I would always look for if I had the money to bid on Elvis rings.

 

Gold, Diamond and Rock Crystal Quartz Ring:

Gold, Diamond and Rock Crystal Quartz Ring Gifted by Elvis Presley to Linda Thompson

This and the next one are ladies rings that Elvis gave to girlfriend Linda Thompson in 1974 and 1972. So, he picked it out, purchased it, and touched it briefly while giving it to her. This is not enough for me to consider it an “Elvis” ring, and not worth near the value of one he wore on stage or in his personal life. But the bidders still went for it and ran the price up to $8,750. The pre-auction estimate was $15-20,000, higher than three of the four real Elvis rings. I knew that wasn’t right.

Rock crystal quartz is the basis of this floral design. It is centered with a cluster of round, brilliant-cut diamonds and accented by 18-karat yellow gold

 

Gold, Emerald and Diamond Ring:

Emerald and Diamond Ring Gifted by Elvis Presley to Linda Thompson

Another ring Elvis gave to Linda Thompson. The elongated 4-prong design is 18-karat yellow gold with four round emeralds weighing approximately 0.64 carats and two round diamonds weighing approximately 0.40. There were only three bidders, but the bidding topped out at $6,250.

In 1988, Linda Thompson decided to part with 34 articles of jewelry given to her by Elvis at a Christie’s auction in New York. The auction was mentioned in this National Enquirer article.

34 Elvis Jewelry Items Linda Thompson Sold at Christie’s auction in 1988

In the text, Thompson stressed that she was not selling for the money but only to share these precious mementos with others that would appreciate them. “Something is not beautiful unless someone else sees it. It seemed selfish and silly to have all these pieces that Elvis gave me just sit hidden in a dark safety-deposit box. I just hope they will bring as much joy to someone else as they brought to me.”

I imagine the money was pretty nice, too.

 

 

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

 

LipLogo_thumbnail - Copy

 

Previous Elvis’ Fabulous Rings Posts:

Part 1;  http://www.elvisblog.net/2011/05/29/elvis-fabulous-rings/

Part 2:  http://www.elvisblog.net/2012/05/21/elvis-fabulous-rings-part-2/

Part 3  http://www.elvisblog.net/2012/08/18/elvis-fabulous-rings-part-3/

Part 4:  http://www.elvisblog.net/2014/10/06/elvis-fabulous-rings-part-4/

Part 5: http://www.elvisblog.net/2015/08/15/elvis-fabulous-rings-part-5/

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

Elvis’ Fabulous Rings — Part 5

Five Elvis Rings

The previous four articles in this series required a lot of legwork. I would find one or two rings at different auctions or websites, and over time would have enough to fill a post. This time, I’m lucky. The recently completed Auction at Graceland had eight fabulous Elvis rings, and six beat the estimates.

Let’s take a look at them, in ascending order of winning bid prices.

 

Diamond and Gold Ring Elvis Presley gave to Leilani Parker, Wife of Ed Parker:

Elvis Ring 1

The auction website calls this a beautiful lady’s ring, but I received an email from Paul Bennion, the successful bidder. He says it was actually a pinky ring that Elvis wore. The website says Elvis gave numerous gifts to Ed Parker and his wife Leilani over the years, and Elvis probably gave this ring to her in 1974. The new owner says it is definitely one of Elvis’ personal rings because, “I purchased one of his pinky rings from Juliens Auction with only one small diamond but exactly same design.” He is now actively looking for photos of Elvis wearing it.

If he does find that proof, it will be, as he says, “the steal of the auction.” I will agree, because the ring contains 21 clustered diamonds, weighing approximately 4.0 carats. It sold for $9,000 plus 25% fee = $11,250.

 .

Large Black Sapphire Ring Elvis gave to Sam Thompson:

Elvis Ring 2

Here’s another example of Elvis’ legendary generosity. Sam Thompson, the brother of Elvis’ girlfriend Linda Thompson, was Elvis’ bodyguard for several years in the 70s. Here’s the interesting story about how Elvis gave this ring to him.

“He was with Elvis on the way to a show in the car, and Elvis decided he didn’t like the feel of this ring on his finger. He asked Sam to hold onto it for him and said something to the effect of, “And don’t lose it, coz it’s pure gold!” Sam put it safely in his pocket but felt uneasy all during the show. Afterwards, Sam tried to hand the ring back to Elvis, expressing his concerns about losing it since it was made of pure gold. Elvis said something like, “And you really believed what I said about that stupid ol’ ring? Keep it, it’s yours.” Only later did Sam notice that, while not “pure” gold, the ring was stamped “90%!”

So, Sam ended up with a 22 karat gold ring weighing approximately 16.5 grams, with a large black sapphire and an ornate shank design reminiscent of a fleur-de-lis. It sold above the estimate at $16,000 plus 25% fee = $20,000.

.

Ring Gifted by Elvis Presley to Ken Hicks of the Stamps:

Elvis Ring 3

This ring was never worn by Elvis, so I had doubts that it would make the pre-auction estimate, and it didn’t. The nugget-style Stamps ring was one of six made by Lowell Hays for Elvis, who gave the them to each of the members of the Stamps vocal group, which sang backup for Elvis during the 1970s. This ring was given to Ken Hicks, who sang bass for the Stamps and later became Elvis’ personal valet in January 1972.

It is a large gaudy ring in the shape of a grand piano with the “S” of word Stamps in the form of a treble clef. The “S” is composed of approximately 29 single-cut diamonds along with 2 larger diamonds to the left and 5 diamonds to the right with a total weight of approximately 0.75 carat. So, although Elvis never wore it, the ring sold for $18,000 plus 25% fee = $22,500.

.

Ornate Diamond and Gold Ring Gifted by Elvis Presley to Ed Parker, His Karate Instructor and Bodyguard:

Elvis Ring 5

Here’s another ring with a very brief history of being on his finger. The auction website said Ed Parker and Elvis knew each other nearly 20 years, and that a gift of this magnitude was one of the many ways Elvis tried to show how much he treasured their friendship. In Ed’s book Inside Elvis, he recounts receiving the ring:

“In March of 1974, we were in Beverly Hills visiting his doctor when Elvis decided to visit a jewelry store as well. He examined a few rings, necklaces, and pins and asked my opinion about some of them. He tried a few more rings on and then asked for a special ring he had ordered for himself. It was astounding. It featured 20 diamonds set in white platinum with the remaining portion of the ring in yellow gold. Holding the ring you were struck by its bulk and weight and magnificence. He asked my opinion about his taste in jewelry. He said it was to be a present for himself. I commented that it was ruggedly masculine, a magnificent piece. He then asked me to try it on, and as I looked at him I immediately recognized that unmistakable look in his eyes. Sure enough when he discovered that the ring fit my left pinkie finger, he announced that it was my birthday present from him. As we got into his limousine, I kept examining and admiring the ring. His features then broadened into another of his familiar facial expressions—one of contentment and happiness.”

Nice story. And nice ring. It weighs 34 grams and the 20 diamonds are approximately four carats. It sold for $20,000 plus 25% fee = $25,000.

.

Elvis Presley-Worn Pinky Ring Gifted to Sam Thompson:

Elvis Ring 6

This is the second Auction at Graceland ring Elvis gave to Sam Thompson, and it went well beyond the estimate. For one thing, it is a ring Elvis bought for himself and wore it. Here’s what Sam Thompson said in his Letter of Authenticity.

“In June of 1977, just before we left for the CBS TV Special, Elvis gave me a ring after I admired it. The ring is 14K yellow gold, nugget style, about size 10 (he had it on his pinkie finger with lots of band aids around it), with one large clear stone and 3 smaller clear stones.”

Another example of how Elvis would often spontaneously give his personal items away if someone simply admired them. How could you not admire a nugget-style, 14-karat gold ring set with three small diamonds and one larger diamond? It sold for well over the estimate at $20,000 plus 25% = $25,000

.

Gold and Diamond Ring Flanked With Initials E and P:

Elvis Ring 7

The pre-auction estimate on this beautiful ring was way off at $10-15,000. The size 7 gold pinky ring contains 15 round diamonds. But the big appeal is the engraved E and P on the sides. Additional proof that the ring belonged to Elvis is a Letter of Authenticity from Richard Davis, his friend, wardrobe manager and movie stand in. Davis seems to have been the recipient of the most clothing and jewelry of any member of Elvis’ inner circle. Items Elvis gifted to him have been showing up at auctions for years.

There were no photos of Elvis wearing the ring offered along with it. In fact, none of the eight Elvis rings had supporting photos. This one sold for $22,000 plus 25% fee = $27,500.

.

Gold Owl-Shaped Ring Gifted to a Fan:

Elvis Ring 4

This ring is 14-karat yellow gold has black sapphire eyes, five tiny diamonds, and a total weight of 21 grams. The best thing about it is the story of how Elvis gave it away to Connie Murray after a concert at Lake Tahoe in May 1973.

“…On the particular night I received this ring, I was sitting stage side and Elvis’ girlfriend at the time, Linda Thompson, was sitting near me. During the show Elvis threw out a red scarf. My friend had it in her hands when another girl grabbed a hold to take claim of it. Neither one of them were going to give it to the other, so I took the scarf and ripped it in half and gave each of them a half. I believe that Elvis saw this gesture and at the end of the show he went along the stage shaking hands. He then came over and motioned for me to stand up so I did. He leaned over and gave me a kiss as he took my hand and put the ring in it. I said you dropped this in my hand. He smiled and bowed with his cape wide open and said, ‘No I gave it to you.’”

The torn scarf and a newspaper clipping about Elvis’ fabled generosity at this encounter were included with the ring. It sold for well above the estimate at $26,000 plus 25% fee = $32,500.

.

Gold Ring With Diamonds and Tourmaline Worn by Elvis Presley and Gifted to Linda Thompson:

Elvis Ring 8

Here is the big winner among the eight rings offered at the August 13, 2015 Auction at Graceland. According to the auction website, the18-karat yellow gold, diamond and tourmaline ring was worn by Elvis and then given to his girlfriend Linda Thompson. After that, the history of this ring gets weird. Linda said she donated it to the Elvis Presley Museum in Memphis. Then, the tabloid National Enquirer somehow gained possession of the ring. On the tenth anniversary of Elvis’ passing, the paper featured the ring as a prize in a contest for one lucky reader to win.

Elvis Ring Contest in National Enquirer

The winner of the wildly popular contest was a woman from Texas. Next, a Texas oilman purchased the ring directly from her. Then, Brown Humphries, who owned a construction company that was doing work in Texas won the ring from the oilman in a poker game. Then the current owner obtained the ring and put it in the auction.

The ring weighs approximately 21.5 grams, has 20 round diamonds weighing approximately 1.75 carats, 22 marquise-cut green tourmalines, and one large, dark-colored, radiant-cut center tourmaline. It sold for 38,000 plus 25% fee = $47,500.

 

 

To real all of the ElvisBlog articles on Elvis’ Fabulous Rings, click here.

 

 

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

 

ElvisBlog Lip Logo

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

The Second Auction at Graceland — The Big Winners

2015 Elvis Auction at Graceland

As part of the activities for Elvis’ 80th birthday celebration, EPE promoted a large auction of his memorabilia. You have to give them credit for coming up with another reason for folks to brave the harsh winter weather in Memphis that week.

Elvis Wearing Necklace, 1957

There were 67 items up for auction, and eight were pieces of jewelry, including the necklace above. I’ve followed auctions of Elvis memorabilia for years, and this one has to be called the big daddy winner. Many items sold for much more than the pre-event estimates. Let’s look at the most expensive items in descending order.

.

Elvis’ First Recording Acetate:

Elvis Presley’s First Recording Acetate, 1953

According to the description on the auction website, this is likely the most important 78 mm record ever offered. It had a pre-auction estimate of $75-100,000, but twenty-one serious record-collector bids ran it up to $300,000. One note, the winning bid was $240,000, but a 25% “Buyer’s Premium” was added to cover the cut for the auctioneer (and probably EPE, too).

The auction website had a very complete description of this item and its history.

“Elvis walked into Sam Phillips’ Memphis Recording Service, home of Sun Records, [in August 1953] and paid the sum of $4 to record a belated birthday gift for his mother — his first ever recording. Elvis sang two songs: “My Happiness” (Side A), which is the only Elvis recording that exists of this song, and “That’s When Your Heartaches Begin” (Side B). Legend has it that Elvis’ friend Ed Leek convinced and accompanied Elvis to the recording studio that fateful day. Elvis was greeted by Marion Keisker, assistant to Sam Philips, who asked Elvis who he sounded like and Elvis responded, “I don’t sound like nobody.” Little did she know at the time that he was absolutely right. In these two songs that Elvis chose to sing, Marion heard something different, enough to note Elvis’ name and telephone number [on a 3×5 card] and add that he was a good ballad singer. When Elvis left the studio that day, he and Ed stopped at Ed’s parents’ house to listen to the fresh recording, as they had a modern phonograph and Elvis wanted to hear how it sounded. Elvis left his friend’s house that day without the record and this acetate is being offered directly from a descendant of Ed Leek.”

Elvis -- My Happiness Label

I can add two more things about the legend of this record. Supposedly, Elvis had no money with him this day, so Ed Leek paid the $4, and this is why the record stayed at Ed’s house. He also made some money from this record back in 1992, when RCA purchased the rights to include it in their compilation titled ELVIS The King of Rock ’N’ Roll – The Complete 50’s Masters.

ELVIS The King of Rock 'n Roll -- The Complete 50s Masters

 

Treble Clef Gold and Diamond Ring:

Elvis' Treble Clef Gold and Diamond Ring Gifted to Sammy Davis, Jr.

Elvis’ rings are always popular at the auctions, and this one is certainly fabulous. The pre-auction estimate was $20-25,000, and it hit the high end of that range. With the 25% buyer’s premium added, the total tab was $32,500. Let’s look at what the item description said about this ring:

“Elvis’ close friends were without a doubt very important to him, and one of those friends was Sammy Davis, Jr. This ring was treasured by “The Candyman” as it was one of several gifts given to him by Elvis that he kept in his possession for the remainder of his life. The offered 14-karat gold and diamond ring is designed as a bar of music with a diamond-encrusted treble clef on one side and a stacked but offset “EP” at the other end. The size 10 ring contains 11 diamonds weighing approximately 2.5 carats, with the gold weighing approximately 12.8 g. The design is reminiscent of the gates at Graceland.”

 

Elvis Presley’s First Sun Record, Signed:

Elvis Presley’s First Sun Record, 78 RPM Signed

The heirs of Ed Leek did well on another Elvis record. A year after the “My Happiness” acetate, Leek ended up with what is probably the first autographed Elvis Sun Records single. The estimate was woefully low at $10-15,000. It cost somebody $32,500 to take this prize home. Again, here is the auction description.

“This 78 RPM record of “That’s All Right” (#209) is the first Elvis song recorded at Sun Records. Elvis’ friend Ed Leek was with Elvis to witness the initial production of Elvis’ first Sun Studio record and grabbed one of the records, which Elvis signed to Ed, writing “To a good pal, Elvis Presley” on the label. Likely the first record signed by Elvis, this record has been in the same private collection as the 1953 acetate Elvis recorded for his mother. Considered by some to be the rock and roll equivalent of the “Shot Heard Round the World,” this record jump-started the unprecedented craze over this young star. The Sun label is signed in blue ink.”

 

1914 Indian Head Gold 2½-Dollar Coin and Diamond Ring:

Elvis' 1914 Indian Head Gold 2½-Dollar Coin and Diamond Ring

Records and rings dominate the list of top Elvis items at this auction. This beauty didn’t quite meet the estimate, but it still brought a winning bid of $18,750.

“Elvis had a great appreciation for jewelry and a particular like for jewelry that contained gold coins. He is known to have owned several rings with 2½ and 5 dollar gold pieces. The offered ring, with a U.S. 1914 2½ dollar Indian Head gold coin, was given to Tom Hulett, co-founder of Concerts West, in the 1969/1970 era. Tom was very instrumental in managing Elvis’ live performances in the last eight years of his concerts. Tom had great attention to detail and a knack for working well with Colonel Parker and as a result managed all of the Elvis concerts during this period. This fine example is surrounded by 26 round diamonds weighing approximately 1 carat total. The gold ring weighs approximately 18.6 g and measures a size 8 1/2.”

.

RCA Award to Colonel Parker for “In The Ghetto”:

RCA Award to Colonel Parker for In The Ghetto

I’m afraid some of the bidders didn’t read the fine print on this one. Note the title above. It says “RCA Award to Colonel Parker,” not “RCA Gold Record Award to Elvis.” Here’s what the gold records at Graceland look like:

Elvis' Gold Records at Graceland

I thought the estimate of $6-8,000 sounded high, so I was blown away when it went for $16,250.

“This framed RCA Victor 45 award for “In The Ghetto” is dedicated “To Col. Tom Parker In appreciation of his contribution toward making IN THE GHETTO 47-9741 A Million Seller 1969.” The song, about a boy born and raised in the ghetto of Chicago, was written by Mac Davis and originally titled “The Vicious Circle.” The song describes the rough life of the boy and how, just as he is killed, another child is born, implying that the vicious cycle of poverty and violence will continue. Elvis made the song famous in 1969 and the song hit number 3 in the U.S. charts and number 2 in the U.K. This framed display features a 45 single above a silver colored plaque, both mounted on a black velvet background. The framed display measures 14 1/8 by 12 1/8 inches.”

.

Neo Nautic Prescription Sunglasses Made for Elvis:

Neo Nautic Prescription Sunglasses Made for Elvis

This is the second time I’ve seen so-called “Neo-Nautic” style Elvis sunglasses at auction. The other one was less ornate and sold for $6,853 in 2011. Here is a photo of Elvis wearing the other pair.

Elvis Wearing Neo-Nautic Sunglasses

You don’t see many photos of Elvis wearing his shades in concert. Anyway, this better pair went for $15,000.

“These Neo Nautic style sunglasses with TCB custom embellishments on both arms were made for Elvis to wear for his concerts at Madison Square Garden by Dennis Roberts of Optique Boutique. Elvis often sent his sunglasses to Dennis for repairs and these glasses were sent in and never collected. The prescription sunglasses have three holes on each arm underneath the TCB embellishment. The arms show evidence of having been replaced, likely the reason they were sent to Optique Boutique for repair.”

.

Red Velour Shirt Worn by Elvis in “Girl Happy”:

Red Velour Shirt Worn by Elvis in Girl Happy

This shirt sold previously at a Gotta’ Have It auction in 2011, and it brought in $8.216. This year it went for $12,500. However, here is a shot from the Girl Happy DVD. Seems like maybe blue should be the color to pull in this kind of money.

Elvis in Girl Happy Wearing Blue Velour

“The offered red velour pullover shirt with zippered collar opening has an orange MGM tag and an interior tag that reads “Sy Devore of Palm Springs Hollywood Las Vegas.” “E. Presley” has been written at the top of the tag. It comes from the MGM wardrobe collection and was worn by Elvis in the movie Girl Happy. Elvis can also be seen in various publicity photos wearing this red velour shirt. In his role, Elvis plays a band member hired by a Chicago mobster and club owner to watch over his daughter on spring break in Florida. This well documented shirt, worn by the man that has made many a girl happy.”

.

Elvis Necklace from 1957:

Elvis-Worn Necklace, 1957

We will look at two necklaces in a row. This one is not made of a precious metal, and it has no diamonds or other jewels. However, it had 22 bids and went for $12,500.

“JD Sumner was Elvis’ bass singer in the 1970s. During performances at that time, fans would often throw tokens of their admiration for Elvis on stage at the end of each concert. Elvis would often give many of these items to JD Sumner. The offered religious pendant necklace was one such token that a fan gave Elvis. Before gifting it to JD Sumner, Elvis wore this necklace. It can be seen in images of Elvis from March 28, 1957 in Chicago meeting the press before a show [see second photo above]. The pendant with Catholic symbols on a clover-shaped design is suspended from a white metal chain and reads on the reverse ‘I am Catholic please call a priest.’”

.

Gold “TLC” Necklace:

Elvis' Gold “TLC” Necklace
This necklace also went for $12,500, and there is no doubt that it is the one I’d spend my money on. It is 14K gold, historically significant, and rare.

“Elvis was known for gifting TCB (“Taking Care of Business”) necklaces to the men of his entourage and TLC (“Tender Loving Care”) to the women in his life. The offered necklace was one of only two of these necklaces made by a Beverly Hills jeweler for Elvis and this example was gifted by Elvis to Barbara Klein, wife of George, who was a member of Elvis’ entourage. The lightning bolt affixed to the TLC is marked “14k” on the reverse and the pendant is connected to a gold rope chain. The necklace measures approximately 18 inches long and the TLC pendant measures approximately 1 3/4 inches long.”

.

16MM Film of Elvis Presley in Chicago, 1957:

16MM Film of Elvis Presley in Chicago, 1957

The pre-auction estimate sounded like a bargain at $1,500-2,000, but it turned out to be embarrassingly low. This film had 36 bids, more than any other item, and it topped out at $11,875. I hope the buyer puts it on a DVD and markets it, because that means someday it will be on YouTube. I would love to see footage of Elvis performing in 1957. And all those screaming fans.

Elvis on stage 1957

“Offered is a 16MM reel of Elvis Presley in Chicago in 1957. The film contains black-and-white footage of the end of Elvis’ concert in Chicago and is 5 minutes 15 seconds in length. Elvis, wearing a gold lamé suit, is singing to a packed house in the first 15 seconds of the film and then again for an additional 23 seconds around minute 1. The remainder of the film documents the phenomena of the physical reactions of fans to the King of Rock and Roll. The film pans to the first aid area of the arena and features a girl who fainted being whisked to first aid and revived by police. The film continues to feature female fans overcome with emotion, some crying, some waving, and many smiling and joyful. Several seconds of the film show the Colonel smoking a cigar and signing autographs. Many of the fans can be seen wearing large “I Like Elvis” buttons on their lapels. A fantastic peek into the raw emotions of fans after an Elvis concert. The film has no sound track and is contained in a period round metal container with a fabric tape label.”

 

Elvis’ First Driver’s License, 1952

Elvis' Driver's License

I knew this would bring big bucks, but it came in lower than I expected, and less than the $15-20,000 estimate. Still, $11,875 is nothing to sneeze at. I’ll bet the new owner puts it in a proper display frame. Wonder why the previous owner didn’t. He could have gotten more money for it.

“This significant document is the Tennessee operator’s (driver’s) license that Elvis obtained on March 24, 1952. It is accompanied by a completed form listing the same information. Both documents are signed by Elvis Presley. The license number is 1688827, with No 0197445 on the reverse, which lists no violations. The paper license (with no photo) was issued by the State of Tennessee and expired July 1, 1953. Both documents list his date of birth as 1-8-35, eye color as blue, weight as 153, occupation as student, hair color as “Bro” and height as 5’11 1/2”. The name is printed on the form and typed on the license as “Elvis Aron Presley.” The original typed address on the driver’s license is 185 Winchester, at the Lauderdale Courts public housing development in Memphis where the Presley family once lived. Penciled in next to that is an updated address of 698 Saffarans Avenue in downtown Memphis.  The operator’s license measures approximately 3 1/2 by 2 1/4 inches.

“Condition: The operator’s license is in fair condition with several tears expected from a paper document likely carried in a teenager’s wallet. The license also exhibits paper loss at edges, most notably under the “Presley” portion of the signature (leaving approximately 60% of the signature intact). The license has been covered in tape, which has caused the document to discolor severely.”

 

Next week we will look at the few losers that didn’t receive the minimum bid.

 

© 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.

 

Elvis’ Fabulous Rings — Part 4

I don’t know how many rings Elvis owned in his lifetime, but ElvisBlog has reported on 33 of them so far in the first three parts of this series.  Here are nine more. 

Horse Head/Horseshoe Ring

Elvis' Horse head-Horse Shoe Ring

This gold and diamond ring sold for $18,800 at a Christie’s auction in 2001.  According to the auction website information, Elvis acquired this ring in 1956 and wore it on May 1, 1967 when he married Priscilla.  Sometime later he gave it to Memphis Mafia member Alan Fortas.

Elvis' Horse head-Horse Shoe Ring - Wearing

 Horseshoe Ring - Elvis Wearimg

It is 14k gold with fourteen single-cut diamonds around the surface in the shape of a horseshoe.  Elvis must have liked this design concept, because he had another one we looked at in Part 1 of the series.  This later design had 20 diamonds and a larger horse head facing front and containing two of the diamonds.

 Elvis' Horse Head Ring from Part 1

 

 

41-carat Ruby and Diamond Ring:

 Elvis' 41-carat ruby and diamond ring

This ring was shown in a November 29, 2013 Associated Press online article about a new Elvis memorabilia exhibit opening at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  The only information given was that Elvis bought it in 1975, and that it has a 41-carat ruby surrounded by fourteen diamonds.

 

Gold Ring with Diamonds and Citrine:

 Elvis' Gold Ring With Diamonds and Citrine

Elvis owned this one in the 70s when he seemed to prefer big showy rings.  It sold for $15,000 at the August 2014 Heritage Entertainment and Music Memorabilia Auction.  The auction website calls the ring a “stunner” because it weighs 20.9 grams and contains 11 full-cut diamonds and an 8 x 6 mm citrine set in 14k gold.

The ring’s history is interesting.  In 1973, Elvis was hospitalized for three weeks.  During his stay, girlfriend Linda Thompson stayed with Elvis 24/7, and her brother (and Elvis’ bodyguard) Sam Thompson visited the hospital every day.  Near the end of the stay, Elvis took the ring from his finger and gave it to Sam in appreciation of his friendship and loyalty.

 

Gold Ring with Diamonds: 

 Elvis' Gold Ring with Diamonds - Side View

 Elvis' Gold Ring with Diamonds

This ring and the next one sold at another Heritage entertainment memorabilia auction in April 2014.  It is 14k gold with 28 full and single-cut diamonds weighing a total of approximately 2.25 carats. Overall the ring has a gross weight of 44.5 grams.  The winning bid was $12,500, which seems like a bargain for a ring this stunning and with a notable history.  Elvis was supposed to wear it on June 26, 1977 in Indianapolis, his final live performance.  This is another ring with a Sam Thompson connection, and here is his story:

“Backstage, in the dressing room just before he went onstage, Elvis was having Band Aids applied to his fingers to keep this ring from coming off and the Band Aids became uncomfortable. Irritated, he removed the ring from his hand and it was placed on a table in his dressing room. As we left the dressing room for the stage, I put the ring in my pocket for safekeeping. It was the only concert I remember where Elvis wore no rings while he performed onstage. Later, back in Memphis at Graceland, I offered the ring back to him. He just smiled and said it looked good on me and told me to keep it.”

The auction story mentions two Elvis websites with photos of the concert confirming he wore no rings for his last appearance on stage.

 

Hawk’s Eye Quartz 14k Gold Ring:

 Elvis' Hawk's Eye Quartz 14k Gold Ring

Yet another Sam Thompson ring.  It is rather small by Elvis standards and sold for just $4,062 at the auction.  Thompson frequently travelled on tour with Elvis, and enjoyed the unique benefits that came with it. Elvis loved jewelry, but he may have loved giving it away even more. After Sam admired this ring, Elvis gave it to him, saying he had gotten it in Hawaii during the time he performed the Aloha from Hawaii special.

 

One More Sam Thompson Ring:

 Sam Thompson's Elvis Ring

On February 1, 2013, an Elvis website showed this picture and accompanied it with a short article.  Sam Thompson said, “I just found this gold nugget pinky ring that Elvis gave to me that I had forgotten I had.  I found it in an old jewelry box of mine.  It’s the real deal and I’ve had it since 1977.  Between June and August of 1977, while at Graceland, I admired the pinky ring Elvis was wearing.  He took it off and said ‘It’s yours” and handed it to me.”  Thompson was thinking about selling the ring for $4,000.

 

Turquoise and Citrine Ring:

 Elvis' Turquoise and Coral Ring

Someone from ElvisArtifacts.com recently placed a comment on an ElvisBlog article.  I clicked on their URL and found out they have three Elvis rings for sale – the next three of this article.

 Turquoise and Citrine Ring -- Elvis Wearing

Ownership of this ring has passed from Elvis’ barber, Homer Gilleland, to his Optician, Dennis Roberts, to his eyeglass technician, Artie Dadyan, and finally to Elvis Artifacts.  It is currently offered for sale at $35,000.

 

Gold Nugget and Diamond Ring:

 Elvis' Gold Nugget and Diamond Ring

Elvis owned and wore this 14k gold ring and later gave it to his uncle William Earle Pritchett (husband of Vernon’s sister Nasval).  Over the years, Elvis gave many items to them, including a concert cape.

 Gold Nugget and Diamond Ring - Elvis Wearing

The ring is missing one diamond, which the Pritchetts never replaced because that is the way it was received from Elvis.  If you want to buy an Elvis ring with a missing diamond, this one is for sale at $25,000.

 

7 carat Diamond Ring:

Elvis' 7ct Diamond Ring

This seven carat diamond ring was worn by Elvis in various photographs in the early to mid 1970s. It is featured on the cover of the album His Hand in Mine, as well as shots taken of Elvis backstage before a show modeling various jumpsuits.

7ct Diamond Ring --Elvis  Wearing

It can be yours for $35,000.

 

Elvis’ Fabulous Rings — Part 1

Elvis’ Fabulous Rings — Part 2

Elvis’ Fabulous Rings — Part 3

©  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.

 

Elvis Auction Items That Don’t Sell

Mis-Pressed 45 Sun Single Milkcow Blues Boogie

Since 2010, ElvisBlog has posted features on twenty-one different auctions containing significant offerings of Elvis memorabilia. Typically, we look at the items that bring in the most money, but this time we will look at some items that nobody chose to bid on. Like the Sun Records 45 pictured above, offered at the recent Heritage Entertainment and Music Memorabilia Auction in New York.

 

Mis-Pressed 45 Sun Single “Milkcow Blues Boogie” (Sun 215, 1955)

I never thought this record would have any trouble getting the minimum starting bid of $1,200. Of the five Elvis Sun releases, “Milkcow Blues Boogie” is the rarest and most valuable. In Near-Mint condition, a copy of this record should bring between $1,200-1,800, according the collectors price guides. However, this copy is graded VG5, several notches down the scale.

On the other hand, it has two features that make it extremely rare oddity and therefore worth more. First, the labels are mismatched. The “Milkcow Blues Boogie” side actually plays “You’re a Heartbreaker,” and vice versa. The other anomaly is that the big 45-size hole did not completely punch out. You can see the mark where the punch started but didn’t go through. According to the auction website, they contacted Elvis experts, but none had ever seen a similar specimen before.

If I owned this rare Elvis record, I’d keep offering it for sale on EBay or at auction. Someday, a well-healed collector of Elvis records will want this for his collection and will pay the $1,200.

 

Blue-Wash Denim Suit:

Elvis-Worn Blue Washed Suit

There were three Elvis suits offered at this auction, and two of them didn’t sell. He wore this leisure suit in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and the condition is very good. It features a large pointed collar and wide bell-bottoms. However, it failed to attract the minimum opening bid of $4,000.

This supports the theory advanced here before that you won’t get top dollar selling Elvis clothing unless you provide a photo of him wearing it. I’m sure the owner thought the Letter of Authenticity from Ed Parker, Elvis’ friend and Karate instructor, would be enough to justify the price. Plus the inside suit pocket has a Tony Alamo label that says, “Custom Tailored for Elvis Presley.”

Elvis Blue Washed Denim Suit Label

But without a picture of Elvis wearing this suit, bidders shied away. My suggestion is that everyone wishing to sell an item like this should join TOO MUCH MONKEY BUSINESS: The Elvis Forum. Then post a photo of the item and ask if anyone has ever seen a picture of Elvis wearing it. Some of the guys in this forum are like detectives and have incredible resources to find stuff. They seem to love the challenge and will probably come through, but if not, one more Elvis fan will be introduced to this incredibly interesting site.

 

Indian Head Ring:

Elvis-Gifted Indian Head Ring

There were also three Elvis rings included in this latest auction, but the one above did not sell. I’m not surprised. The reason – Elvis never wore it. For the other two rings, the titles of the item descriptions say “Elvis Owned and Worn“, but this ring was just “Elvis Owned” The description notes that the ring was given to Elvis by Felton Jarvis, who produced most of Elvis’ records from the mid-1960s until his death in 1977. But perhaps Elvis thought the ring with an American Indian design featuring polychrome enamel was ugly. I do. Anyway, it must not have meant much to Elvis, who then gave the ring to Sheila Ryan, a girl he dated for a while (who later married actor James Caan).

It didn’t mean much to Elvis memorabilia collectors either, and they passed on the minimum opening bid of $3,000.

 

Rare “Old Shep” Promo Mailing Envelope (1956):

Elvis Old Shep Promo Mailing Envelope

This item really caught my eye when the auction items were first shown. This is not a picture sleeve for the 45 single titled “Old Shep.” It is a mailing envelope. In 1956, RCA produced a one-sided promo-record and sent copies out to radio stations on December 21, 1956. So far, this is the only mailing envelope known to survive. However, that did not make it worth the minimum bid of $2,000.

According to the record collectors’ price guides, the “Old Shep” 45 inside is worth $700 to $800, so maybe $2,000 is a bit rich for the mailing envelope alone. So, the seller should offer this again at a more reasonable price – or get a copy of the record and see what the whole package would bring.

Elvis Fans know “Old Shep” was significant as the first song Elvis performed in public as a 10-year old in 1945. It was never commercially released as a single. However, it was part of the four-song EP Elvis, Volume 2, and it received enough airplay to reach #47 on the Billboard charts.

 

Custom-Made Metal Scrapbook (1969):

Elvis Metal Scrapbook - Cover

Several Colonel Parker items have appeared in the lots of Elvis auction items, but they never seem to do very well. When I saw the minimum bid price of $2,500 on this scrapbook commissioned by Col. Parker, I said “no way,” and I was right.

Elvis Metal Scrapbook -Inside

Sample Inside Pages

Here’s what the auction description had to say about it. “This large (12″ x 22″) scrapbook was one of only four that Colonel Tom Parker commissioned as an in-house display to promote and commemorate Elvis’ triumphant return to live performances on the heels of his legendary NBC-televised “Comeback Special” of 1968. It features a custom-made metal cover with Elvis’ image and logo, with 17-pages chockfull of press clippings from an exciting, pivotal era in The King’s career. In 1969 Presley began a series of sold-out concerts at the International Hotel in Las Vegas.”

The seller would be lucky to get $500 if he puts this collection of newspaper clippings back on sale someday.

 

 

Silk-Rayon Shirt:

Elvis Silk-Rayon Shirt

This long-sleeved shirt with a Sy Devore label had a modest minimum bid price of just $1,000, but it still did not sell. The item description says “Elvis Owned,” not “Elvis Owned and Worn.” Elvis probably did wear the shirt, but there is no photo showing him wearing it to support this.

Also, there is a LOA from David Turner, a man who bought the shirt from the Salvation Army after Vernon donated a number of Elvis’ wardrobe items. Turner never saw Elvis wear the shirt, so of course he couldn’t verify that Elvis ever wore it.

 

UK version of the EP Loving You:

Elvis UK EP Loving You

 In addition to a twelve-song album titled Loving You, Elvis had two 45 RPM EPs (Volumes 1 and 2) with the same title and cover picture. The EPs each had four songs. But RCA did something unusual with the UK version of the EP. They put all eight songs on a 10’ disc that played at 33-1/3. Who knows why they didn’t just put all twelve songs on a 12” record and issue it as the standard album?

So, we have a rarity that seemed like it would bring the $400 minimum bid, but it didn’t. Possibly the reason is that it graded VG-6, a couple of notches down from the preferred Near Mint grade.

 

 Suit Worn at Frontier Hotel Shows:

Suit Elvis Wore at Frontier Hotel Performances

The results on this suit really surprised me.  It seemed like it had so much going for it that bidding would blow past the minimum bid of $10,000 and go for much more.  First, the suit is historically significant – Elvis wore it during his 1956 performances at the New Frontier Hotel in Las Vegas.

 Frontier Hotel Suit - Elvis Wearing

Second, there are numerous photos of Elvis wearing the suit, including one of the cards in the 1956 Topps Elvis series.

Elvis in Frontier Hotel Suit

And finally, the suit bears the famous Lansky Bros. label plus a special one:

Elvis Frontier Hotel Suit - Custom Label

I can’t figure out why no Elvis collector bid $10,000 for this suit. Even excluding jumpsuits, there have been many Elvis clothing items going for more than this (including a coat at this auction that sold for $30,000). If the seller brings this suit back at auction again, I think he will get his price.

 

Fantasia Fiberoptic Lamp:

Elvis-Gifted Fantasia Fiberoptic Lamp

This is just stupid. Elvis gave this spikey lamp to Al Strada, one of his security guys in the 70s. It is unlikely that Elvis even paid for it, because a plaque at the bottom states, “Las Vegas Hilton Elvis Presley August 1975”. When I saw the minimum opening bid of $1,000, I laughed. Try $100 next time and maybe it’ll sell.

We will take a look at the big winners at the Heritage Entertainment and Music Memorabilia Auction next week.

 

© 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.

 

ElvisBlog Mini-Nuggets – #18

We haven’t done Mini-Nuggets in over two years, so I’m glad to have enough stuff in the files to do another one.

The ELVIS:

The Elvis Waffles with peanut butter, bananas, candied bacon, chocolate and caramel sauce  Superchefs in downtown Columbus 9.99.
My son took this photo before he polished off the stack of waffles with peanut butter, bananas, candied bacon, chocolate and caramel sauce. Offered by the Superchefs restaurant in Columbus, Ohio, this tempting stack of pure indulgence is called The ELVIS. Just $9.95. Can’t you see Elvis chowing down on one?

.

Britney Spears to be Wed at Graceland – Don’t Bet On It:

Globe article - Britney Spears Wedding at Graceland

I haven’t seen Elvis’ face on a supermarket tabloid in years, so this one caught my eye. After a little checking, I think the outraged Elvis fans can probably cool it. This thing about Britney Spears getting married at Graceland is just hype.

David Lucado and Britney Spears inside Graceland

For one thing, she’s not yet officially engaged to boyfriend David Lucado. Plus, she has not asked EPE or Lisa Marie if the wedding could take place at Graceland. And finally, would they even say yes to such a request. According to a source at www.dailymail.co.uk, “Britney wants to get as much attention and money for pictures with her third wedding as she did for her second.” Looks like the self-promotion has started early.

Britney and David Outside Graceland

I learned two things researching this piece. Britney Spears is now 32, and she sure looks fine in an Elvis jumpsuit.

Britney Spears in Elvis Jumpsuit

 

ElvisBlog Now #1 and #2 in Crummy Elvis Shit:

Crummy Elvis Shit

ElvisBlog was number 1 in ‘Crummy Elvis Shit’ in 2008 and again in 2012. Now in 2014, ElvisBlog takes the top two spots in Google’s results. The scary thing is that they found 1,080,000 results for ‘Crummy Elvis Shit.’ To find out why ElvisBlog gets these results, click here.

.

Elvis’ TCB Ring Located:

TCB Ring  An 11.5-carat diamond solitaire  two lightning bolts make up the edges. cost $35,000 in 1974

Back in 2012, the second installment of Elvis’ Fabulous Rings showed this picture and the following comment:

“This has to be the most expensive ring Elvis ever had special-made for him, or at least in the top three. It contains 56 diamonds, including an 11.5 carat solitaire. Elvis paid $35,000 for it in 1974, which would be $163,000 in today’s dollars. So far, I have been unable to find if it has ever been sold at auction.”

Well, now we know why it has never shown up at an auction. It has been on display at the Graceland exhibit Elvis… Through his Daughter’s Eyes, that ended its two-year run on February 13. To celebrate the event, EPE created a 27 minute video of Lisa walking around the exhibit and reminiscing. And look what was inside a glass display case:

From Lisa Exhibit - 11+half c Solitare, 16c in Total Diamonds

Man, that’s a whole bunch of diamonds.

.

Alice Cooper and Elvis:

Alice Cooper - Love's a Loaded Gun

Here’s another Elvis-related story from a British tabloid website. According to www,mirror.co.uk, this story happened in 1971 at the Las Vegas Hilton:

“He had the penthouse – this was when he was at the top of his game. I had always been a fan as a kid, so I jumped at the chance to go upstairs and meet him. When I got to the lift I found it was me, Liza Minnelli and the porn actress Linda Lovelace.

“Arriving at Presley’s suite, the unlikely group were frisked for guns by the King’s security team. “I don’t know why they bothered – when we got inside the place was full of guns,” Alice recalls.

“Elvis took me into the kitchen, opened a drawer, and pulled out a loaded pistol, telling me to put it to his head. I recognized it straight away, a snub .32. I didn’t know what to do. “I had this gun in my hand and was expecting one of his security to come in any second, see me holding a weapon and shoot me dead.
“A little voice in my left ear was telling me, ‘Go on, this is history, kill him, you’ll always be the guy who killed Elvis’. In my other ear was another voice saying, ‘You can’t kill him, it’s Elvis Presley – wound him instead, you’ll only get a few years.’

“A fraction of a second later Elvis did a flying kick on the gun, and sent it flying, before tripping me and pinning me to the ground by my neck, announcing, ‘that’s how you stop a man with a gun.’”

If this really happened, I’m glad Elvis showed his moves before Alice Cooper could listen to the voice in either ear. Elvis saved him from becoming the most hated person in America.

.

Linda Thompson – Song Writer:

I recently saw a bio on Elvis’ girlfriend Linda Thompson. It said she was a songwriter who had been nominated for an Oscar and a Grammy, and who won an Emmy. My first reaction was “Really. I didn’t know that.” Turns out that she has been a prolific writer of song lyrics, collaborating with a number of significant songwriters.

 whitney-houston-i-have-nothing-arista

“I Have Nothing” was sung by Whitney Houston in the 1992 motion picture, The Bodyguard. Linda and collaborator David Foster (also her husband from 1991 to 2005) wrote the song and were nominated both for the Academy Award for Best Song in 1993 and the Grammy Award for Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or for Television in 1994.

World Children's day

Linda and Foster did win the 2003 Emmy for Outstanding Music and Lyrics for “Aren’t They All Our Children” for the 2002 TV special The Concert for World Children’s Day.

Well, good for Linda Thompson. I will never again think of her as just an Elvis girlfriend with a pretty face.

 Linda Thompson See-Through Dress

 

© 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.

 .

Curious Results at Recent Elvis Auction

Gotta Have It concluded their “Rock and Roll Pop Culture Auction” on September 27.  It contained 41 Elvis items, and the offerings were much like those covered here in previous posts.  Of course, there was clothing Elvis had given to his buddies, plus jewelry, autographs, and rare photographs.  However, the expectations listed on the auction website for the winning bids on some items were questionable, and several results were curious.  For example, look at what has to be the most inflated minimum bid I have ever seen.

1957 Concert Poster:

1957 Multnomah Stadium Concert Poster

This 11″ x 14″ cardboard poster for concert in Portland, Oregon on September 2nd, 1957, shows Elvis in his western outfit from the movie Loving You.  And it truly is very rare.  According to the auction house, there is only one other known surviving copy of this poster.  They say there are few remaining posters from any of Elvis’ 50s concerts, and most of them don’t have Elvis’ picture on it.  Elvis wore his famous gold lame jacket for this show and at stops in Vancouver, BC, and Tacoma, and Seattle.  Elvis mania was in full swing, and a near-riot occurred.  This poster comes from a radio DJ’s wife who actually attended the concert and saved it for over 50 years!

Okay, it was a historic concert, the poster was one of the few with Elvis’ photo on it, and it is extremely rare.  But, where did they get the idea to set the minimum bid at $35,000?  When I saw that, I knew it would go unsold.  For that kind of money you could get several articles of Elvis’ clothing, accompanied by photos of him wearing them and/or letters of authenticity from the folks Elvis gave the clothes to.  If you had $35,000 to spend on Elvis collectibles, wouldn’t you much rather have some cool shirts, pants and coats?  I’m curious to see how much lower the minimum bid will be on this poster when it shows up at auction again.

 

Brown Suede Jacket and Pants: 

 Brown Suede Jacket and Pants With Scarf

There is nothing surprising about the results on this set of Elvis clothing. The minimum bid was $8,000, and the winning bid was $14,174 included the buyer’s premium charged by the auction house.  Like three other lots in this auction, it was a gift from Elvis to Alan Fortas, who provides Letters of Authenticity on all.  Elvis bought this brown suede jacket and flared slacks combo in 1968.  No history is offered for the scarf that accompanies them.  This is an example of a good investment in Elvis collectibles – three article of his personal clothing for just over $14,000.

 

Beaded Fringe Suede Vest:

 Beaded Fringe Suede Vest

This was a very good deal if your budget can’t handle the bigger ticket items.  Elvis’ beaded, fringed suede vest had a projected sell price of $4-6,000, but it went for just the minimum bid of $2,000 plus buyer’s fee.

 Beaded Fringe Suede Vest -- Wearing

Not only does it come with a photo of Elvis wearing it, it also comes with a LOA from Elvis’ cousin and Graceland gate guard, Harold Loyd, whom Elvis gave it to one day while cleaning out his closet.  I can’t believe only one person bid on this vest, but that person must certainly be thrilled with their bargain-priced Elvis collectible.

 

Mint Green Munsingwear Pajamas:

 Mint Green Munsingwear Pajamas

Now let’s look at a really bad deal.  These pajamas were one of several items in the auction originally given to Charlie Hodge by Elvis.  The minimum bid was $2,000, and just one person bid on them.  For some inexplicable reason, this person bid $8,000, four times more than necessary to get on the board.  Why?  Pretty stupid.

 

North Beach Leather Pants with Whip Stitching:

North Beach Leather Pants With Whip Stitching

These custom made cream leather pants with red whip stitching came with a LOA from Charlie Hodge, but no photo of Elvis wearing them.  Perhaps that is why the minimum bid was only $1,000, low enough to bring in the most spirited bidding of all offerings.  The winning bid came in at $2,600.

 

Diamond & Gold Nugget Ring:

8 ct. Diamond & Gold Nugget Ring

This14k gold ring was by far the most valuable item of the auction, but also a big loser for the seller.  It is set with 16 round brilliant cut diamonds and three emerald cut diamonds totaling 8.05ct.  The minimum bid was $20,000, which seems kind of low, and the projected sell price was $110-120,000.  It brought in $57,000, but unfortunately it had been purchased at Affiliated Auctions in December 2009 for $107,500.  Somebody took a huge loss.

A very interesting story behind this ring is told on the auction website: “At this 1975 concert in North Carolina, Elvis threw his black Gibson guitar into the audience and two men in the front row grabbed for the guitar and wrestled for it briefly. One man ended up with the guitar, and Elvis called the other man over to the front of the stage where he met him, took this ring off his finger and gave it to him. Elvis walked back across the stage saying into the microphone, “Ah, what’s $16,000.” The man’s name was Lloyd Perry, and the ring comes with a letter of provenance from him as well as newspaper articles and photographs.”

 

Long Sleeve Shirt, Pants and Belt:

 Long-Sleeved Shirt, Pants and Gold Belt

Here is another lot containing three Elvis clothing items.  It went for $12,865, double the minimum bid and above the projected winning price.  Elvis gave Charlie Hodge this flowery print shirt, black flared bottom slacks, and gold metal stretch belt with a lion buckle in 1970, when he was cleaning out his Palm Springs house.

Upside down sunglasses

Although no mention is made on the auction website listing, the shirt sure looks like the one Elvis wore during the rehearsal filming for the movie Elvis – That’s the Way It Is.

 

Custom Made Pink Gabardine Shirt:

Custom Made Pink Gabardine Shirt

Considering that this shirt was custom-made for Elvis, it has to be one of the most conservative shirts he ever wore.  It has a LOA from Alan Fortas, but for some unknown reason, it is accompanied by a photo of Elvis wearing a “very similar shirt.”  Other than being pink, it looks substantially different, so what value does the picture add?

Custom Made Pink Gabardine Shirt -- wearing

In addition to the LOA, one other thing should have made this shirt desirable to bidders.  It is the Lansky Bros. “Styled for Elvis Presley” label inside the collar.  Still, the shirt topped out at only $2,929, a bargain in my mind.

Label on Custom Made Pink Gabardine Shirt

“Aloha From Hawaii” Transparency Slides:

 Aloha From Hawaii Transparency Slides

This set of 11 original slides from 1973 show Elvis arriving in Hawaii for his “Aloha From Hawaii” TV special.  It brought in $1,952, just about what was expected.

 

Two Sets of Four Original 8 x 10 black and white photographs of Elvisley, each signed by photographer Alfred Wertheimer:

Al Wertheimer Set 1

 Al Wertheimer Set 2

In addition to Alfred Wertheimer’s signature of the back of each photo, he also hand-wrote his photo titles, a description of the shot, and the location and date.

Alfred Wertheimer Signature and Notes on Back

What’s curious is why the first set had 10 bids and went for $1,433, while the second had only 3 bids and topped out at $803.  I can’t figure it out.

 

©  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.