VOL. 132 | NO. 210 | Monday, October 23, 2017
Elvis Items to Hit Celebrity Auction Block on Nov. 11
By Michael Waddell
Elvis collectors and fans will soon have the chance to own a piece of history when a variety of items once owned by the King become available.
GWS Auctions is auctioning off 150 celebrity items in an online event on Nov. 11, with an impressive array of memorabilia from Elvis, Hugh Hefner, Marilyn Monroe, Whitney Houston, JFK, Jackie O, Michael Jackson and more.
“This is by far the best celebrity auction we’ve ever been lucky enough to have,” said Brigitte Kruse, GWS Auctions founder, owner and fifth-generation auctioneer. “What we’ve noticed is these items seem to be a great investment. Many go up astronomically in value.”
The Presley treasures that will showcased include a property and shotgun house in Tupelo, a private jet, a restored 1957 pink Cadillac, a Chris Craft boat named “Hound Dog,” and a two-bedroom mobile home purchased for his Circle G Ranch. Elvis and Priscilla Presley actually stayed in the mobile unit when visiting the ranch property, and it is still in his name.
Among some of the quirkier auction items are a television from Lisa Marie’s Graceland bedroom that was shot out by Elvis to express his displeasure for a TV program, and a teddy bear he gave to a pregnant fan with the promise that she would give it to her baby, which she did.
“Everybody loves Elvis,” Kruse said. “I would say his popularity is stronger than ever. It’s amazing the profound effect he keeps having on each generation. These types of sales are the most difficult auctions to put together because these incredibly rare finds are hard to come by.”
The auction includes a 16.5-acre property of Elvis’ grandparents in Tupelo where a shotgun house built by the singer’s father Vernon and uncle Vester was located. The home is identical (and was originally next door) to the city’s Elvis Presley Birthplace Museum, before it was moved across the street around 1942. Elvis played, hunted and swam in a creek on the property, and his initials are carved into one of the trees.
“I’m just really thrilled that the property is coming up for auction, and I hope that it can be developed to further his memory here in Tupelo,” said Charlene Presley, who was married to Vernon’s first cousin. “Elvis went to school right across the street, and it’s just a beautiful area where he was discovered.”
Also available on Nov. 11 will be rarely seen Elvis photos; a reel-to-reel cut of “Paradise Hawaiian Style;” never-before-released raw concert footage; and an approximately 15-hour audio documentary.
While the auction is not tied to Elvis Presley’s estate, Kruse says one of her career goals is to one day work with the estate and Lisa Marie Presley.
“It’s amazing the fan base that Elvis has worldwide,” Kruse said. “Because of Colonel Parker, he never really traveled internationally. It makes you wonder the things he could’ve done if he had extended his career outside of just the U.S.”
Other music-related celebrity items in the auction include Whitney Houston’s one-of-a-kind, see-through Plexiglas piano built for her by Schimmel Piano, a matching custom-designed glass coffee table and chairs, as well as personal gowns and a suit owned by the singer.
There will also be personally owned items from JFK (a radio from the White House) and Jackie Kennedy, Marilyn Monroe hats and dresses, a Michael Jackson fedora and gold lamé outfit, a 1993 Jaguar owned by Anna Nicole Smith, and a 1973 BMW once owned by the recently passed Playboy mogul Hugh Hefner.
Movie memorabilia buffs will have the chance to bid on a Julie Andrews umbrella from “Mary Poppins” and a complete uniform worn by Tom Hanks in the Pentagon scene from “Forrest Gump.”
Other cinema finds up for auction include a plaid shirt and corduroy pants worn by Russell Crowe in “Beautiful Minds;” Sandra Bullock clothing from “The Blind Side;” a checkered shirt worn by Robin Williams in “Toys;” Aiden Quinn’s mechanic’s jumpsuit from “Benny and Joon;” Christina Ricci costumes from “Mermaids;” slippers worn by Geena Davis in “Thelma and Louise;” Reese Witherspoon apparel from “Legally Blonde;” and Leonardo DiCaprio’s ticket used to get him aboard “Titanic.”
The auction will take place online at www.gwsauctions.com beginning at 10 a.m. Pacific Standard Time (noon Central Time) on Saturday, Nov. 11.