AGOURA HILLS, Calif. — A 72-lot trove of Elvis Presley-related and -owned items is the lead group of consignments in GWS Auctions‘ Artifacts of Hollywood and Music sale on Saturday, December 2. The catalog is now available for bidding at LiveAuctioneers.
Elvis Presley (1935-1977) was legendary for his loyalty, often manifested through the thousands of items he gave to those around him, particularly those in his inner circle of the so-called “Memphis Mafia.” In the early 1970s, after the release of the Bachman Turner Overdrive single Takin’ Care of Business, Elvis adopted the phrase and modified it to Taking Care of Business in a Flash, symbolized by a logo featuring the letters TCB and a lightning bolt. Elvis had necklaces made with the design, and awarded them to those who had gained his favor.
Elvis gave this necklace to Denver Police Department officer Ron Pietrafeso, whom he had befriended while performing in the Mile High City in 1969. Though initially without diamonds, Elvis later decided Pietrafeso had “earned” the precious stones, and instructed road manager Joe Esposito to have it upgraded with one carat’s worth affixed to the letters. This lot is one of only seven known to be outfitted with diamonds, and comes with letters of authenticity from Pietrafeso and Priscilla Presley. It is estimated at $200,000-$225,000, and is the top lot in the sale.
Michael Jackson (1958-2009) memorabilia continues to climb in popularity, despite there being precious little of it in the market. This rehearsal-worn glove festooned with crystals from Austrian glass cutters Swarovski was designed to generate spectacular lighting effects when targeted with stage illumination, dazzling the audience. It was created for Jackson prior to his embarking on his third and final world tour, HIStory, in 1996-1997. It carries an estimate of $50,000-$55,000.
William Wyler’s 1959 biblical epic Ben Hur was a huge blockbuster and helped cement Charlton Heston’s (1923-2008) career as a box office winner. Playing the leading role of Judah Ben Hur, Heston’s portrayal of the Jewish prince turned Roman slave had more than 100 costume designers working around the clock to clothe some 10,000 cast members and extras. Western Costume created this caftan worn by Heston in the production, and it comes with a certificate of authenticity from Profiles in History, the now-shuttered house that drove several world records for Hollywood memorabilia. The costume is estimated at $20,000-$23,000.