10 Incredible Auction Lots From The Elvis Graceland Sale
Here are ten amazing pieces of Elvis history set to cross the auction block in Memphis on January 8...
January 8 will mark the 80th birthday of the King of Rock and Roll himself, Elvis Aaron Presley. To celebrate the date, Graceland Auctions - the official company based at Elvis' former Memphis home Graceland - are hosting a sale of rare and historic Presley memorabilia.
We've taken a look through the auction catalogue, and picked our own ten favourite lots set to go under the hammer on January 8... - - - - - -
10) Blue Police Siren
Elvis was well-known to be obsessed with law enforcement, and held numerous honorary police badges from across the U.S. He also held the official position of Captain in the Memphis Police Force, with the right to make arrests, and often drove around with a blue police siren mounted on his car. Legend has it that the King would pull drivers over, and then give them an autograph instead of a speeding ticket. This Elvis-owned police siren is expected to sell for $1,500-$2,500. - - - - - -
9) Used 1956 Concert Ticket
In July Elvis appeared on The Steve Allen Show, singing 'Hound Dog' to a real-life Bassett Hound in what he later referred to as the most ridiculous performance of his career. Days later he performed live in Russwood Park, Memphis, at a concert hosted by Variety Club's Home for Convalescent Children. "You know those people in New York are not going to change me none" Presley told the crowd. "I'm gonna show you what the real Elvis is like tonight." Untamed by television, he gave his longest concert to date and even gave away a diamond ring as a door prize. This used ticket stub from the historic concert is estimated at $2,000-$3,000. - - - - - -
8) Army First Aid Kit
This canvas Army first aid kit was used by Presley during his military service from 1958 until 1960. The Red Cross bag is marked with his Army service serial number '53310761', and stamped "SP1 ELVIS PRESLEY - US53310761, 1st Med Tank Bat. 32nd Armor 3rd Div. APO 33 PM N.Y.N.Y." Also bearing Elvis's initials and signature, the bag is valued at $4,500-$5,500. - - - - - -
7) Signed Job Application Form
Dating from 1952, the employment application form features Elvis' hand-written personal details and employment history. It lists past jobs including those at Loew's State Theatre and Precision Tool Co., from which he was fired for being under age. The application form is for the position of labourer at the Upholstery Specialties Company, which he began in August 52'. A year later he would walk into Sun Studios and his life would change forever. This early insight into Presley's life pre-fame is estimated to sell for $5,000-$7,000. - - - - - -
6) Autographed copy of 'That's All Right'
Presley's first official recording on Sun records was his groundbreaking cover of 'That's All Right', which changed the course of popular music forever. This copy of the record was signed by Elvis and dedicated to his close friend Ed Leek soon after it was released. Bearing the inscription "To a good pal, Elvis Presley", this signed 45' single is expected to realize $10,000-$15,000. - - - - - -
5) Elvis' First Driver's License
Here's the first driver's license ever issued to Elvis at the age of just 17. It features both a previous address of 185 Winchester at the Lauderdale Courts public housing development, and the updated address of 698 Saffarans Avenue in downtown Memphis. Although the paper license doesn't include a photograph, it does list details including his date of birth as '1-8-35', his occupation as 'student', his hair colour of 'brown', eyes as 'blue' and height of '5'11'. This rare original document is estimated to fetch $15,000-$20,000. - - - - - -
4) Ring gifted to Sammy Davis Jr.
This 14-karat gold and diamond ring, designed as a bar of music with a diamond-encrusted treble clef, was gifted by Elvis to his close friend, legendary Rat Pack performer Sammy Davis Jr. Elvis was often seen in the front row of The Candyman's concerts, during which the singer and comedian would hilariously imitate Presley in a performance of Hound Dog. Davis was once quoted as saying "on a scale of one to ten, I would rate Elvis eleven", and the pair remained friends throughout their careers. The ring was treasured by Davis Jr. for the rest of his life, and comes with an estimate of $20,000 - $25,000. - - - - - -
3) Matching TCB and TLC necklaces
Amongst the countless gifts that Elvis gave to his friends throughout his life were necklaces bearing the now famous designs: 'TCB' (Taking Care of Business) for his male friends and 'TLC' (Tender Loving Care) for his female friends, each adorned with a diamond lightning bolt. This pair of matching necklaces, each made of 14 karat gold with 12 inset diamonds, were given by Elvis to friends Tish and Tommy Henley, respectively his personal nurse and his security guard. Together they're expected to sell for $35,000-$40,000. - - - - - -
2) Second Louisiana Hayride Contract
This contract, dated September 8, 1955, committed Elvis to perform every Saturday for one year at the Louisiana Hayride, a nationally broadcast live music radio (and later television) show dedicated to Country and Western music. Presley's first-ever television appearance was on the show in March 1955, but ironically the growing popularity of rock and roll led to less interest in country music and the show began to struggle. In 1956 Colonel Tom Parker bought out the contract after Presley signed with RCA and Paramount films. Signed by Elvis, Gladys and Vernon Presley, this original contract is estimated at $30,000-$50,000. - - - - - -
1) 1953 original 'My Happiness' Acetate
This unique record is described as the "Holy Grail of artifacts in rock 'n' roll history". In June 1953 Elvis paid $4 to a Memphis studio to record two songs as a gift to his mother, 'My Happiness' (Side A) and 'That's When Your Heartaches Begin' (Side B). Elvis then had to take the acetate to friend Ed Leek's house to listen to it, as his own family didn't have a record player. He became so excited at hearing his own singing voice recorded for the first time, he left the acetate at Leeks home and completely forgot to give it to his mother. But the record marks the start of a career which changed popular culture, and is coming to auction for the first time since Elvis recorded it more than 60 years ago. This unique piece of music history is estimated to sell for $75,000-$100,000. - - - - - -
(All images: Graceland Auctions, 2014) - - - - - -
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