Rare Elvis concert film leads Graceland auction



2016-01-08 11:23:02

A rare Elvis concert film was the star lot of a special auction, held as part of the King's annual birthday celebrations at Graceland.

The headline lot of the sale, Presley's guitar played during the 1973 Aloha from Hawaii concert, failed to find a buyer with an estimated price of $300,000-$500,000. However, the majority of lots were snapped up by eager collectors, with many items soaring above their estimates.

Top of this list was a highly rare concert film of Presley performing at the Memorial Auditorium in Buffalo, NY, on April 5, 1972. The full-length, black-and-white show footage was filmed by Robert Abel, who also directed the feature film Elvis on Tour, and marks one of the very few times Elvis was recorded performing on stage in any format.

The hour-long show, filmed on two separate video reels and later digitally transferred, features Elvis performing classis songs such as C.C. Rider, Blue Suede Shoes, Don’t Be Cruel, Bridge Over Troubled Waters, Love Me Tender, Suspicious Minds, An American Trilogy and Can’t Help Falling In Love.

Capturing Presley at the height of his powers as a stage performer, and offered with the copyright to the footage, the film smashed its estimate of $25,000-$35,000 to sell for $137,500.

Further lots which surpassed all expectations included a pair of Presley's iconic gold Nautic Neostyle sunglasses, complete with his personal "TCB" logo, which realized $27,500 against an estimate of $12,000-$15,000; a collection of 10 original photo negatives from an Elvis performance in Texas in October 1956, which almost quadrupled their top estimate of $3,000 to reach $11,875; and the RCA Award presented to Colonel Tom Parker for making Presley’s 1956  song Hound Dog a million seller, which more than doubled its high estimate to sell for $22,500.

Further top lots included a letter written by Elvis to his friend Alan Fortas, while stationed in Germany with the Army in 1958, which sold for $35,000; and a gold-toned microphone and cord used on stage in 1969 at the International Hotel in Las Vegas, which realized $15,000.

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