Jewelry, guns, photos net big numbers at Elvis auction

MEMPHIS — Clothes, credit cards, guns and jewelry all belonging to or given away by the King were up for sale Saturday.

The Auction at Graceland was part of Elvis Presley Enterprises annual Elvis birthday weekend festivities. The event was the sixth official sale from Graceland Auctions — whose authentication service was launched in 2014 — featuring Presley-owned and connected items from various personal collections and estates.

Held at the theater inside the Guest House at Graceland, the auction saw some 160 pieces of Elvis memorabilia go under the hammer. Bidding — which took place live and via telephone and Internet — went for two-plus hours, generating a total of $330,531 in sales.

The bidding started with a 1953 Humes High School yearbook signed by Presley that sold for $4,000. But the focus was on a series of bigger ticket items, especially a collection of jewelry Presley gifted to his longtime friend and aide Charlie Hodge.

A gold and diamond “Lion Head” ring given to Hodge netted $37,5000, tripling its pre-auction estimate and become the top-grosser of the sale. Two other pieces owned by Hodge — a gold and sapphire ring and a 1911 “Indian Head” gold coin ring — each brought in $9,375. Another gold and diamond “Pyramid Ring” sold for $8,125.

Beyond jewelry, another favored gift of Presley’s — firearms — figured in the day’s sale, with a “Police Positive Special” .32 caliber pistol, given to his bodyguard Richard Grob, doubling its pre-auction estimate with a final sale price of $10,625.

Images of Elvis were also a hot item on Saturday, with a selection of Terry Wood photos chronicling Presley’s September 1956 concert in his hometown of Tupelo, Miss., earning $8,125.

Original 35mm negatives of a Presley jam session with guitarist Scotty Moore, who died last year, went for $6,250 on a pre-auction estimate of $2,000. A archive of photos from Trude Forsher — Presley’s and manger Colonel Tom Parker’s personal secretary — went for $6,250 on a $1,500 estimate.

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Interest was also strong for a mix of items owned and used by Presley personally, including a diamond cluster cocktail ring ($13,750), a platinum album award for “Aloha from Hawaii” ($9,375), a blue suede jacket ($4,750), a 1970s Union 76 credit card ($3,375), and a card certifying him as a sixth-degree black belt in karate ($2,375).


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