Elvis Presley’s jewelry at auction after 50 years


Written by Megan C. Hills

From sparkling jumpsuits to diamond-set rings, Elvis Presley loved all things sparkly, and so did collectors of his memorabilia. But much of the jewelry given by the singer to his manager, Colonel Tom Parker, has long been considered lost.
Now, decades after the items were last seen, a California auction house has found dozens of jewels ahead of a major sale.

The glitzy gifts given to Parker include an 18-karat gold Corum watch, which features a 130-year-old $20 coin on the dial, and a pair of Presley’s personalized cufflinks reading ‘rock’ and ‘roll’ on their underside.

The auction also includes items Presley had custom-made for Parker, the man often credited with making him a star. They include a pair of diamond and ruby ​​snowman-shaped cufflinks, which the singer bought for his manager to commemorate the success of the historic “Aloha From Hawaii” satellite broadcast in 1973. (According to the catalog of the auction, Parker was nicknamed the “Snowman” and his snowmen adorned with cufflinks are depicted smoking cigars.)

A pair of jeweled snowman cufflinks that were custom made for Colonel Tom Parker by Elvis Presley. Credit: Kruse GWS Auctions

Brigitte Kruse, founder and CEO of Kruse GWS Auctions, said she spent nearly 10 years trying to source Parker’s personal collection and market it.

“I was told (in 2014) by a great collector and someone in the business for 30 years that ‘the greatest collection of Elvis jewelry of all time is here and up for grabs,'” she said. told CNN via email.

After years of dead ends in the search for the “lost” collection, Kruse said he learned of a financial dispute that kept the objects out of public view for nearly five decades. Eventually, one of the auction house’s customers negotiated a price for the items and purchased them, she said.

A pair of gold "rock and roll" cufflinks that the singer gave to his longtime manager.

A pair of gold “Rock and Roll” cufflinks the singer gave to his longtime manager. Credit: Kruse GWS Auctions

“It was…a collection that we (had) all ‘heard of,'” she added. “It was truly a myth and a legend until we got our hands on it.”

The jewelry will be joined on the auction block by various other Elvis-related memorabilia from Parker’s collection, including items marking the singer’s return residency at the Las Vegas Hilton. Among them are a Baume & Mercier watch, given to Parker by the hotel, and a jewel-encrusted ring given to him by its owner, Barron Hilton,

The auction house also acquired other jewelry that belonged to Presley, such as a ring marked “TCB” (or “Taking Care of Business”), the name of his support group.

Priscilla Presley, who helped design some of the jewelry, helped the auction house organize the sale. Many of the items are sold with letters from the star’s ex-wife, in which she shares insight into the items’ history.

Priscilla Presley reviews a selection of jewelry featured in the auction.

Priscilla Presley reviews a selection of jewelry featured in the auction. Credit: Aude Guerrucci/REUTERS

Priscilla, who divorced Presley in 1973 but remained a close friend, told Reuters that working on the sale “brings back memories”. She expressed hope that her participation in the auction would help combat the sale of fake Elvis memorabilia, adding: “I want to be sure it goes to someone who will take care of it, love it. “

The auction, which ends later this month, also includes a glass of champagne and tray from the couple’s wedding, Presley’s “Speedway” jumpsuit and the last limo the singer ever bought.

“Elvis deserved to have this collection found and displayed to preserve his legacy,” Kruse said in a press release. “Fans also needed to know about this collection after 50 years, and all the stories attached to each piece.”


Cnn

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