Tag Archives: Elvis clothes

Bull Market in Elvis Memorabilia is Back

Just like the stock market, the values for Elvis collectibles stormed upward in 2013. But they didn’t need the Fed to pump billions into the market to make it happen. Elvis collectors willingly bid big bucks to secure certain primo items at Heritage Auctions Entertainment and Music Memorabilia Auction last month.

Guitar Elvis Played at 1976 Concert in Denver, CO:      $31,250.00

NBN-Guitar-Elvis-Used-in-Denver-CO-1976.jpg

Who knows how many guitars Elvis had during his lifetime, but every one of them has value as Elvis collectibles. However, it’s hard to believe someone would pay $31,250 (including 25% buyer’s premium to auction company) for a guitar Elvis played briefly during just one concert. It is a limited edition 1976 Model #0014 Mahogany acoustic guitar made by NBN, a manufacturer of fine stringed instruments. Two of the owners of NBN presented the guitar to Elvis on his 41st birthday while he was vacationing in Vail, CO. Three months later, Elvis used it a bit at his April 23, 1976 performance at the McNichols Sports Arena in Denver. For some reason there is no photo available showing Elvis holding the guitar on stage, but it did come with multiple Letters/Certificates of Authenticity.

 

Case for Guitar Elvis Played at the Denver Concert:     Did not sell

NBN Guitar Case

Here’s an example of greed or stupidity, or both. Instead of including the case along with the NBN guitar, the owner tried to sell it separately. The minimum bid was $1,000, but bidders passed.

 

King Creole Screenplay and Wardrobe Continuity Script:     $30,000

 King-Creole-Screenplay-and-Wardrobe-Continuity-Script.jpg

Copies of screenplays for Elvis’ movies are seldom seen up for bid at auctions, so they should command pretty high prices. Even rarer is one that also has wardrobe continuity notes and photographs inserted, like the one shown above. It is the 130 page screenplay for King Creole with numerous colored script changes marked throughout.

Wardrobe-Continuity-Script-from-King-Creole-2.jpg

This is one of the inserted wardrobe continuity pages showing what Danny (Elvis) wears in scenes 2 through 17. Handwritten entries list his shirt, t-shirt, pants, shoes and socks.

Wardrobe-Continuity-Script-from-King-Creole-3.jpg

This page shows Danny in scenes 148 and 149. The additional wardrobe items listed here include coat, tie, belt and jewelry. There are over 20 never-before-seen, small, black and white photographs of Elvis in costume glued or taped to the individual pages. The pre-auction estimate was $6,000 and up. Obviously, well-healed Elvis collectors found it to be worth way more than that.

 

Handmade Silver Turquoise Bracelet, 1971:     $6,875

Handmade-Silver-Turquoise-Bracelet-1971.jpg

The prices for Elvis’ jewelry got soft after the 2008 financial meltdown, but they have gone up considerably in the past two years. If this bracelet had been worn by Elvis and been accompanied by a photo of him wearing it, the top bid would have been much higher. However, the auction website said it was a gift Elvis gave to his friend and backing vocalist J.D. Sumner. That meant it had been touched for a few minutes by Elvis – enough for it to be worth almost $7,000 to somebody.

 

Army Jacket, Circa 1950s:     $6,875

 Army-Jacket-Circa-1950s.jpg

This is yet another item of clothing that Elvis gave to his double-cousin Patsy Presley. She provided a letter of authenticity, and that plus the accompanying photo of Elvis wearing the jacket resulted in the selling price coming in double the $3,000 estimate.

 Elvis-Wearing-Army-Jacket-2.

 

Striped Shirt, Circa 1960s:      $22,500

 Elvis-Striped-Shirt-Circa-1960s.jpg

When I saw the pre-auction estimate of $1,000 (and up), I said “No way. This will go much higher.” Apparently ten bidders thought the same thing, as they ran the price up to $22,500. It is cotton blend with blue, gray, and black stripes, long sleeves, six button front closure and French cuffs

 Elvis-Wearing-Striped-Shirt-on-Promo-Shot.jpg

The auction offering also included a well-known publicity shot of Elvis wearing the shirt.

Close up of EP on Striped Shirt

Finally,  the desirability of the shirt is boosted by the “E. P.” monogram on the pocket. This is a great Elvis collectible with everything going for it, and it is indicative of the new market values for these quality articles.

 

Monogrammed Shirt:     $56,250

Elvis' EP Monogramed Sweatshirt

Here’s another item with a ridiculous estimate of $1,000. Instead, we ended up with the highest price I have ever seen paid for an article of Elvis clothing, except for jumpsuits (and some of them have gone for less than $56,000). Sixteen bidders fought it out for this white cotton, zip-up collar shirt, with a large “EP” stitched in black on left breast. The letter of authenticity says Elvis appeared on the cover of Life magazine wearing the shirt. I Googled it and couldn’t find the cover, but I guess it is true. The LOA also stated that Elvis is shown in the movie Tribute to Elvis wearing the shirt while playing football.

Elvis in Monogrammed Sweatshirt with Anita Wood

However, this accompanying picture of Elvis wearing the shirt with girlfriend Anita Wood to his right probably was the clincher for the bidders. There is an interesting story about how the owner of the shirt happened to get it. Maudie Hayes was the wife of the co-owner of a car dealership in Memphis. She said Elvis borrowed a station wagon to transport his football team to a playing field. When he returned the car, he left the shirt in it. When Mrs. Hayes told Elvis about it, he told her to keep the shirt.

 

Unused Concert Ticket:     $5,625

Ticket for Elvis concert in La Crosse, Wisconsin, 1956

How about this — a $1.50 Ticket for Elvis’ 9:30 pm performance at the Mary E. Sawyer Auditorium in La Crosse, Wisconsin, May 14, 1956 that sold for over $5,600.

.

Jailhouse Rock Promotional Poster, 1957:      $5,937.50

Promotional Poster for Elvis in Jailhouse Rock

The top bid on this 24” X 38” in-store display really surprised me. Although the auction website says it is a rare early promotional poster, it also admits that the poster is in poor condition with numerous wrinkles and yellowing throughout, Scotch tape residue on the front, and the entire backside covered in masking tape. I thought one of the basic tenants of collecting Elvis memorabilia was to buy only items in excellent condition.

 

© 2013 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.

 

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.