Elvis' Aloha from Hawaii guitar set for Graceland auction
A guitar played by Elvis Presley during his famous 'Aloha from Hawaii' television special is heading for auction at Graceland in January.
The guitar will be the star lot of the forthcoming sale, held as part of the King's annual birthday celebrations at his former home in Memphis.
Elvis played the 1969 Custom Gibson Ebony Dove guitar during dozens of concerts between 1971 and 1975, including those featured in the documentary concert film Elvis on Tour.
However, its most famous appearance came on January 14, 1973 during Presley's Aloha from Hawaii Via Satellite television special, aired in over 40 countries around the world.
The show was the most expensive TV entertainment special ever made, with a cost of $2.25 million, and producers claimed it was seen by around 1 billion viewers worldwide. Described as "one of the most culturally-significant and celebrated guitars in music history", the instrument is expected to sell for $300,000 to $500,000.
The current record price for a piece of Elvis memorabilia currently stands at $600,000, set in November 2015 when the gold piano from his Graceland music room sold at Julien's Auctions in Beverly Hills.
Another leading lot from the sale is a highly rare two-page letter, written by Elvis in 1958 to his close friend Alan Fortas while stationed in Germany on military service, which comes with an estimate of $30,000-$50,000.
Further highlights from the 126-lot sale will include a gold-toned microphone used on stage by Elvis at the International Hotel in Las Vegas in 1969, valued at $10,000-$15,000; an original reel-to-reel recording of the Louisiana Hayride show in which the famous phrase "Elvis has left the building" was first spoken, estimated at $10,000-$15,000; a gold, diamond and rock crystal quartz ring gifted by Elvis to girlfriend Linda Thompson, priced at $15,000-$20,000; and a pair of Elvis' 1970s "TCB" prescription sunglasses estimated at $12,000-$15,000.
The Auction at Graceland takes place on January 7, 2016, kicking off three days of events to celebrate what would have been Presley's 81st birthday.
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