A King’s ransom: Elvis memorabilia still hot

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 Seems a little too dusty and rundown to be fit for the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, but in its heyday, this 1967 Lincoln Continental limo was the royal carriage for the Presley family. It sold at auction for $165,000. Images courtesy of Mecum Auctions

Seems a little too dusty and rundown to be fit for the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, but in its heyday, this 1967 Lincoln Continental limo was the royal carriage for the Presley family. It sold at auction for $165,000. Images courtesy of Mecum Auctions

When he wasn’t under the bright lights of a Las Vegas stage, chances are Elvis Presley was behind the wheel of one of his cars. An avowed car connoisseur, Elvis owned more than 100 in his lifetime, some of which are on display at Graceland.

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One of these vehicles, his 1967 Lincoln Continental limousine, sold on Aug. 17 at Mecum Auctions in California for $165,000 — dust and all, as its state of disrepair did not make it look like something fit for the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll.

Mecum said Elvis’ manager, “Colonel” Tom Parker, gave him the Lincoln as a wedding gift when he married Priscilla Beaulieu in 1967. In Los Angeles, where the couple had a second home, it served as something of a royal carriage for the Presley family, who also included young daughter, Lisa Marie.

The whereabouts of the limo had been unknown for many decades, until it was discovered in the private collection of James Petrozzini in the 1980s. According to Mecum, Petrozzini enjoyed picking up his son and friends from school in this limo while wearing a chauffeur’s hat and white gloves; he also drove it to impress clients when transporting them to and from the airport.

Even though Elvis died more than 42 years ago, the market for Elvis-related memorabilia remains solid. Here are some other items that have been selling this summer :

 This Omega wristwatch smashed the auction record in 2018 for a piece of Elvis memorabilia, when it sold at Phillips in Geneva for $1.8 million. Philips said that Elvis was originally given the watch by RCA in 1960 to celebrate the sale of a remarkable 75 million records worldwide. But despite the personal significance, Elvis wasn’t sentimental about the watch and gave it to a fan he met in a restaurant, after the gentleman casually mentioned that he liked his watch, and Elvis offered to swap it for the diamond-studded Hamilton he was wearing. The gentleman later passed the watch down to his nephew, who consigned it to auction – and Presley’s legendary generosity ended up changing the life of one of his fans, more than 40 years after his death. Image courtesy of Phillips

This Omega wristwatch smashed the auction record in 2018 for a piece of Elvis memorabilia, when it sold at Phillips in Geneva for $1.8 million. Philips said that Elvis was originally given the watch by RCA in 1960 to celebrate the sale of a remarkable 75 million records worldwide. But despite the personal significance, Elvis wasn’t sentimental about the watch and gave it to a fan he met in a restaurant, after the gentleman casually mentioned that he liked his watch, and Elvis offered to swap it for the diamond-studded Hamilton he was wearing. The gentleman later passed the watch down to his nephew, who consigned it to auction – and Presley’s legendary generosity ended up changing the life of one of his fans, more than 40 years after his death. Image courtesy of Phillips

 In Elvis’ biggest box office success, “Viva Las Vegas” (MGM, 1964), the King plays down-on-his-luck Grand Prix race car driver, Lucky Jackson, who travels to Vegas to raise money so he can compete in an upcoming race. Along the way, he woos the vivacious Ann-Margret and becomes a Las Vegas sensation. This large-format poster, 80” x 79”, sold for $1,200. Image courtesy of Heritage Auctions

In Elvis’ biggest box office success, “Viva Las Vegas” (MGM, 1964), the King plays down-on-his-luck Grand Prix race car driver, Lucky Jackson, who travels to Vegas to raise money so he can compete in an upcoming race. Along the way, he woos the vivacious Ann-Margret and becomes a Las Vegas sensation. This large-format poster, 80” x 79”, sold for $1,200. Image courtesy of Heritage Auctions

 Always at the forefront of trends and fashion, Elvis embraced the 1960s and ’70s trend of Native American turquoise jewelry and accessorized his jumpsuits and himself with pieces, such as this silver cuff bracelet, with large center turquoise stone. The bracelet measures 2-3/4” x 2-1/4” and the turquoise stone measures 1-1/4” x 1”. It sold at Graceland Auctions on Aug. 13 for $22,500 - far above the estimate of $8,000-$10,000. Image courtesy of Graceland Auctions

Always at the forefront of trends and fashion, Elvis embraced the 1960s and ’70s trend of Native American turquoise jewelry and accessorized his jumpsuits and himself with pieces, such as this silver cuff bracelet, with large center turquoise stone. The bracelet measures 2-3/4” x 2-1/4” and the turquoise stone measures 1-1/4” x 1”. It sold at Graceland Auctions on Aug. 13 for $22,500 - far above the estimate of $8,000-$10,000. Image courtesy of Graceland Auctions

 This large preserved butterfly perched atop a twig in a 5” x 5” x 5” clear acrylic case was previously owned by Elvis and displayed in Graceland’s Pool Room. From the accompanying notarized letter of provenance from Memphis Mafia member Richard Davis: “I was in Elvis’ Pool Room at Graceland one day with several of the Memphis Mafia as I was delivering some records Elvis wanted. Everyone was playing pool with Elvis. I had drunk a few cocktails and kept picking up one of the butterfly cubes with a large brown butterfly inside. Elvis said, ‘Man, you sure are staring at that thing, you better take it home,’ which I did. It has been with me ever since.” This sold at auction for $1,000. Image courtesy of Heritage Auctions

This large preserved butterfly perched atop a twig in a 5” x 5” x 5” clear acrylic case was previously owned by Elvis and displayed in Graceland’s Pool Room. From the accompanying notarized letter of provenance from Memphis Mafia member Richard Davis: “I was in Elvis’ Pool Room at Graceland one day with several of the Memphis Mafia as I was delivering some records Elvis wanted. Everyone was playing pool with Elvis. I had drunk a few cocktails and kept picking up one of the butterfly cubes with a large brown butterfly inside. Elvis said, ‘Man, you sure are staring at that thing, you better take it home,’ which I did. It has been with me ever since.” This sold at auction for $1,000. Image courtesy of Heritage Auctions

 Elvis Presley’s “King” chair, a 1960s period-piece yellow leather chair, once resided in Graceland. It was part of a set that Elvis kept in his rec-room, where he was unofficially crowned the “King of Rock ‘n’ Roll” by a founder of one of his first fan clubs, Joyce Gentry. Along with the chair are two photographs of Elvis on that day, with the chair in the background in the photo at bottom left, and Joyce “crowning” Elvis as he sits on a matching yellow leather ottoman in the photo at bottom right. The chair, approx. 34” x 33” x 32”, sold at auction for $3,250. Images courtesy of Heritage Auctions

Elvis Presley’s “King” chair, a 1960s period-piece yellow leather chair, once resided in Graceland. It was part of a set that Elvis kept in his rec-room, where he was unofficially crowned the “King of Rock ‘n’ Roll” by a founder of one of his first fan clubs, Joyce Gentry. Along with the chair are two photographs of Elvis on that day, with the chair in the background in the photo at bottom left, and Joyce “crowning” Elvis as he sits on a matching yellow leather ottoman in the photo at bottom right. The chair, approx. 34” x 33” x 32”, sold at auction for $3,250. Images courtesy of Heritage Auctions

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