Elvis memorabilia auction shows the King remains popular in death

Fri Aug 14, 2015 4:08pm EDT
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By Tim Ghianni

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Reuters) - An auction at Elvis Presley's Graceland mansion showed the King of Rock 'n' Roll remains as popular in death as he was in life.

About 150 bidders attended and thousands more participated online in the auction, which ended late on Thursday and generated nearly $1 million.

They bid on 160 items belonging to the late singer, including a gold-and-diamond necklace with the letters "TCB" - meaning "taking care of business" - that was a gift from fellow Las Vegas entertainer Sammy Davis Jr.

The necklace fetched $40,000, well above the pre-sale estimated value of $20,000 to $30,000, while a racquetball shirt Presley wore to play on his private court sold for $32,500, easily topping the estimated value of $4,000 to $6,000.

Also selling for $32,500 was a 1960s jacket and leather pants ensemble that was estimated before the auction to be worth up to $8,000.

"There were some nice surprises ... and we were thrilled," Jeff Marren, consignment director for Graceland Auctions, said on Friday.

Those who attended paid $20 to bid on items spanning Presley's career on screen and stage. The auction was part of the festivities in Memphis for Elvis Week, which annually brings thousands of fans to the city to celebrate the life of Presley, who died Aug. 16, 1977, in his bathroom inside the mansion.

All the auction items were from third-party collectors and not from Graceland archives, the auctioneers said.   Continued...

The jacket which Elvis Presley wore in the film "Viva Las Vegas" during his legendary dance scene with Ann-Margret, expected to go for an estimated $30,000 to $50,000 at auction, is seen in a photo provided by Elvis Presley Enterprises in Memphis, Tennessee August 13, 2015. REUTERS/Elvis Presley Enterprises/Handout