The Wikicollecting Top 10 Most Expensive Elvis Presley clothes ever sold
Elvis Presley never needed an introduction – to millions around the world he was simply ‘The King’. Almost 35 years after his death he remains one of the world’s most popular and successful artists, with sales of more than 1 billion records to date.
A Harris poll conducted in 2002 suggested that ten percent of all Americans have visited Graceland, and nine percent Elvis memorabilia. He may be gone, but his legacy remains – and it seems we still all want a piece of The King to call our own.
On September 9, 1956 Elvis made his first groundbreaking appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show. It was watched across American by an audience of more than 60 million people, and was pivotal in his meteoric rise to the top.
To celebrate this anniversary, the users of Wikicollecting.org, the open-source collectibles encyclopaedia, have compiled their list of the most expensive items ever sold from the King’s wardrobe.
10. 1970’s purple robe – $5,445
A 1970’s Elvis-worn purple terrycloth robe, monogrammed with “EP”, sold for $5,445 at a Gotta Have Rock and Roll auction in July 2011.
9. US army shirt – $5,069
A US army shirt worn by Elvis while on military service in Germany during the 1950’s achieved $5,069 at July 2011’s Gotta Have Rock and Roll auction. It bears a stamp of his name on the inside, as well as a Spearhead squadron badge.
8. 1950’s Lanksy Bros shirt, waistcoat and trousers – $13,798
A 1950’s Lanksy Bros shirt, waistcoat and trousers combination made $13,798 at a Gotta Have Rock and Roll auction in July 2011. It is accompanied with publicity photographs showing Elvis in the get-up.
7. Lanksy Bros suit and shirt – $25,725
A Lanksy Bros suit and shirt, which Elvis was pictured wearing on the back of the 1956 Elvis Presley album, produced by RCA, realised $25,725 at a Gotta Have Rock and Roll auction in July 2011. The items all included the “Lansky Brothers Memphis TN” label.
6. Promotional RCA photo red shirt – $28,000
A red shirt sported by Elvis in a giant pin up picture released by RCA in 1963, achieved $28,000 at a Leslie Hindman Auctioneers sale in October 2009.
5. Mohair suit with Verde boots and scarf – $36,722
A stage worn International Costume Company mohair suit, with a scarf and Verde boots, was sold for $36,722 at a Gotta Have Rock and Roll auction in July 2011.
The garments were worn by Elvis during his long run at the International Hotel, Las Vegas, between 1969 and 1976.
The comparatively sober items suggest that they come from the earlier portion of his return to the stage, as his outfits became increasingly flamboyant in later years.
4. 1974 buff-colour North Beach leather suit – $47,000
A 1974 buff-colour North Beach leather stage-worn suit, worn by Elvis during 1974, made $47,000 at a Regency Superior sale in January 2006. The bell bottomed trousers feature an American football style fly, while the jacket includes sweat stains.
3. Sweat stained 1975 dark blue suit – $105,000
A dark blue International Costume suit, worn by Elvis at a number of concerts in 1975, sold for $105,000 at a Regency Superior sale in January 2006.
It comes complete with sweat stains courtesy of the King.
2. 1974 North Beach Leather suit – $120,000
A two piece bespoke custom leather suit, worn by Elvis at gigs at the Las Vegas Hilton during the summer of 1974, achieved $120,000 at Heritage Auctions in October 2008.
The cream suit, one of four very similar outfits produced by North Beach Leather for Elvis, features bloodstains from where he received B-12 vitamin shots before going on stage.
1. Elvis’s nail mirror jumpsuit – $175,000
A 1974 nail mirror jumpsuit worn by Elvis at a number of shows during 1973 and 1974 made $175,000 at a Regency-Superior auction in January 2006.
Elvis wore the suit at his largest ever concert, to 44,000 fans at the Houston Astrodome on March 3, 1974.
If Elvis’s two Aloha jumpsuits from his Hawaii concerts were ever sold by the Graceland museum, they could well exceed this figure.
Wikicollecting.org is an online, open-source encyclopaedia written by collectors, for collectors. It features information, how-to guides and listings for every type of collectible, from art and antiques to trading cards and memorabilia. Anyone can create a page, and it’s completely free to use.