Elvis Presley sunglasses sell for $159,900 at worldwide auction

Elvis Presley sunglasses sold for $159,900 (GSW Auctions, Texas Elvis Presley Fan Club archives)

One of Elvis Presley’s last pair of glasses has sold at a Los Angeles auction for a record-breaking $159,900.

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The 14K, chrome and plastic custom sunglasses, personally owned by the most iconic entertainer in history, was reportedly the highest price ever paid at auction for a pair of the Presley’s spectacles.

Collectors and Elvis fans from around the world bid online and by phone to the Legends of Hollywood & Music Auction.

“To our knowledge and research, this is the highest price ever paid at auction for a pair of Elvis Presley’s glasses,” said Brigitte Kruse, owner and lead auctioneer at GWS Auctions, the organization who managed the sales. “Our bidders from around the world made this one of the most exciting auctions we have ever held.”

Elvis Presley on his new Harley-Davidson in 1976. (Photo by Jack Dennis)

One Presley item that has never before been offered at an auction was his autographed Army notebook from 1958, selling for $3,300.

A comb and mirror set owned by Marilyn Monroe sold for $23,985, while Liberace’s custom diamond and white/yellow gold piano ring sold for $23,370. Steve McQueen’s Persol 714 folding sunglasses went for $18,450 and Michael Jackson’s electric ride-on train from his Neverland Ranch sold for $30,000. Jackson’s Florsheim Moonwalk loafers signed ‘Love Michael Jackson’ went for $17,000.

Prescription pill bottles that belonged to Carrie Fisher, Marlon Brando and Frank Sinatra all sold for $475 each while a Evel Knievel’s went for $900.

Two and a half years ago Presley’s famous 24-carot gold plated piano was won for $600,000 by Hard Rock International. It is considered the most important piano in Presley’s history. Other items auctioned during the that Nov. 7, 2015 event was John Lennon’s Gibson acoustic guitar for $2,410,000, Whitney Houston’s credit card application, a lock of Nirvana singer Kurt Cobain’s hair, and a sweater worn by Cobain.

Hard Rock is famous for their priceless collection of invaluable memorabilia pieces including handwritten lyrics, clothing and instruments from new and legendary music stars like Taylor Swift, Imagine Dragons, The Beatles, Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Jimi Hendrix and many more.

Elvis Presley

“Elvis Presley’s iconic gold piano has now become a cornerstone addition to our world-famous collection, and we couldn’t be happier to celebrate such a milestone with The King’s prized possession,” said Hamish Dodds, Chief Executive Officer at Hard Rock International. “Hard Rock has been curating its priceless music memorabilia collection and sharing with guests around the world for more than 43 years, and Elvis’ piano is an important piece of music history that we can’t wait to share with our guests.”

Elvis first bought the grand piano as a gift for his mother in 1955 from the Dixon Myers Auditorium (now known as the Cook Convention Center) in Memphis, Tennessee. The original finish was walnut and the piano was so large, it would not fit in the Presley’s apartment. It was moved into the family’s new home on Audobon Street and later delivered to Graceland when Elvis bought the home in 1957.

In 1958, Elvis was drafted into the Army and was stationed in Ft. Hood, near Killeen, Texas for basic training. While his parents, Vernon and Gladys came to live nearby while he was training, she soon became ill and was sent back to Memphis for treatment. After her death in August, Elvis had the piano moved out of the music room at Graceland and placed in storage.

Elvis was later transferred to Germany and met his future wife, Priscilla Beaulieu, then a 14-year-old. After an eight year courtship the couple married in 1967. For their first wedding anniversary gift to Elvis, Priscilla had the piano taken out of storage and adorned with 24 karat gold-leaf. It was placed back into the music room at Graceland where Elvis enjoyed it until his death on August 16, 1977.

 

Graceland

Sun Studio, Memphis, TN

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