Elvis' hair leaves the building -- sold for $18,300

Mon Oct 19, 2009 7:30am EDT
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters Life!) - A pile of hair believed snipped from Elvis Presley when he joined the U.S. Army in 1958 sold for $18,300 on Sunday, according to a Chicago auction house.

The King's hair was one of up to 200 items of Elvis memorabilia collected by the late Gary Pepper, who was the president of the Tankers Fan Club set up for Elvis fans.

The top price of $62,800 was paid for a cream collared cotton shirt with the monogram EP that came with a magazine showing the King wearing the shirt, or at least one similar. It had been expected to sell for between $2,000 and $4,000.

A red ultrasuede shirt, which was also expected to sell for between $2,000 and $4,000, and was also believed to have been worn by Elvis sold for $34,000.

Chicago-based Leslie Hindman Auctioneers posted the results of the auction on its website, saying the lot of hair sold for $18,300 which topped the expected price of between $8,000 and $12,000. All prices on its website included the buyer's premium.

The auction house said the hair was given to Pepper to mail to Presley fans. No DNA test was carried out on the hair but the auctioneer quoted "an expert in celebrity hair authentication," John Reznikoff, saying it matched the Elvis hair he has in his collection.

No details of the winning bidder were immediately available.

Elvis died in 1977 at the age of 42.

(Writing by Belinda Goldsmith, Editing by Sugita Katyal)

<p>Elvis Presley is pictured in his United States Army uniform in this undated publicity photograph. REUTERS/Handout</p>