Sorry, too late. You had your chance last weekend at the huge Elvis memorabilia auction in Beverly Hills, CA. They even gave it a fancy name: The Elvis Empire Auction. Everything up for bid came from the private collection of superfan Jim Curtain, and it cleared him over $2 Million. This interesting man deserves an Elvisblog article in a week or so, but space today permits only a discussion of the items up for sale.
Regency-Superior, the auction company, has a website which as of this moment still contains pictures and descriptions of all 1213 lots and the expected range the bidding would reach for each. Surely, at some point, they will end this link to a completed auction, so if you would like a look at all the Elvis goodies Jim Curtain amassed, don’t wait too long to click on: www.liveauctioneers.com/catalogs/8507-50.html.
And be prepared to spend a lot of time as you scroll down through the incredible selection of Elvis memorabilia. You will be tempted to click on many of the items to see a much larger picture. Even better, there are detailed descriptions of each item written in a pleasant conversational manner. You will be tempted to spend hours on the site. I sure did.
On the very first page you will find the two Elvis jumpsuits that were sold. Have you ever heard of the “Nail Mirror Suit,” so named for the 1500 brass and mirror disks that adorn this creation? It had an estimate of $250-300,000 but went for a mere $125,000. The other jumpsuit is a two-piece dark blue outfit that I don’t think I have ever seen in photos before. I’m not sure why, but the estimate was much less at just $150-200,000, and it sold for only $50,000.
News reports gave the selling price of just one other item: two ticket stubs from the October 28, 1956 Ed Sullivan Show, Elvis’ second appearance on the program. They are nicely displayed in a frame with a background picture of Ed Sullivan (but not Elvis) on stage. They went for $19,000. Wow! If I had that kind of money, I’d spend it on some stuff autographed by Elvis. The auction included all sorts of things signed by him, and the estimates ranged from $500 to $2000.
One reason I spent so much time on the auction website is because I was hoping it included a bootleg Elvis album I own: “The Burbank Sessions.” This is the audio recording from the famous unplugged pit session of the ’68 Comeback Special, and I have never known what it’s worth. The good news is that it was there and estimated at $450-500. The bad news is that I have only Vol. 1 of a 2-volume set, it is not still sealed, and it no longer contains the bonus souvenir book. Oh, well.
One last note. As you scroll down through the Elvis records, you might think it is just records from there to the end because there are a ton of them. Wrong. If you don’t scroll on past the records, you will miss a lot of cool items.
© 2006 Philip R Arnold www.elvisblog.net