Elvis Presley Documents and Star War Collectibles Auctioned at Philip Weiss

. May 1, 2010

Several property documents signed by Elvis Presley – to include the original contract to purchase Graceland in 1957 – plus Star Wars collectibles combined to lead the charge at a huge three-day multi-estate sale held Apr. 23-25 by Philip Weiss Auctions. The sale was held in the firm’s spacious gallery facility, located at #1 Neil Court in Oceanside.

Internet bidding was facilitated by Proxibid.com. All prices quoted include a 13 percent buyer’s premium.

The Elvis documents sold for an aggregate of $52,410. Chief among them (and the top lot of the sale) was the Graceland contract, which brought $28,250. It was the purchase and sale agreement (and settlement sheet) for the legendary home in Memphis that Elvis purchased from Ruth Brown Moore in 1957. The iconic document was signed by Elvis and both of his parents.


Document top detail pictured – Document extends to 2-3 pages

Also sold was the contract to acquire the home Elvis bought in Memphis, at 1034 Audubon Road, before acquiring Graceland ($8,775). That document was also signed by all three Presleys. It detailed the purchase price paid and terms. When Elvis purchased Graceland, he turned the Audubon Road property over to Ruth Brown Moore as part of the sale agreement.

A third contract, which sold for $5,085, was the document for Elvis’s purchase of the Circle G Ranch (then known as Twinkletown Farms), located south of Memphis, in Mississippi. It is there that Elvis and Priscilla honeymooned in 1968. All of the Elvis material was consigned by a gentleman who worked for a law firm in Memphis that helped negotiate all of the deals.

The Star Wars collectibles were the surprise hit of the auction. Highlights included a Bobba Fett auction figure on card ($847.50), a lot of five Star Wars action figures on cards ($5,367.50), a lot of two Star Wars utility belts, in the original boxes ($1,808) and a Star Wars Ice Planet Hoth adventure set ($2,486). “The Force was with us,” Philip Weiss deadpanned.

“Overall, it was a fairly busy three-day sale,” Mr. Weiss remarked. “As always, the good material brought great prices.” The first day of the auction featured vintage trains, with names like American Flyer, Lionel and other makers. Also offered were toys, wind-ups, cast-iron and pressed steel trucks. The top lot of the session was a J. & E. Stevens panorama bank ($9,040).

Day two featured Part 1 of the Edward Ryan Collection of paper and toy soldiers, as well as French military items. “I would say this session was solid and steady, with strong Internet bidding to go along with a small but determined in-house contingent,” Mr. Weiss said. “There weren’t any real highlights to speak of, but overall we saw solid prices paid throughout the day.”

The last day of the sale featured the Elvis documents, plus other rock ‘n’ roll and pop culture items, to include material pertaining to the Beatles, Buddy Holly & the Crickets and others. A highlight was a signed Eric Clapton “Blackie” Fender guitar ($2,825). Among the vintage rock ‘n’ roll concert posters, a top lot was a 1970 Janis Joplin Syracuse poster ($2,599).

Philip Weiss Auctions’ next big sale will be another three-day event, slated for May 21-23. Things will kick off Friday afternoon, at 4 p.m. (EDT), with a fresh-to-the-market estate auction, featuring pottery, porcelains, bronzes, rugs and paintings by noted artists such as Walter Lofthouse Dean, Pandolfo Reschi, Gustave Baumann, George Braque, Eric Slater, Treva Wheete, George Roualt, Allen Lewis, Aaron Bohrod, Emilio Sanchez, E.D. Luca and others.

The Friday session will also include a collection of paintings from an untouched storage room. These include important and high-quality works of art from the 17th-19th centuries. Also offered will be a collection of Baccarat, Lalique, Armani figurines, high-end silver, a George Nelson/Herman Miller bedroom set, Japanese woodblocks, Meissen and additional merchandise.

Saturday, May 22, will be dedicated mainly to trains (Lionel, American Flyer, Marklin and other makers) and toys (including baby boomer toys from the Rathkopf Collection). The day will also feature cookie jars, a collection of unpunched paper doll books, lunch boxes, tin litho toys, battery-operated toys, toy trucks and vehicles, wind-ups, toy soldiers and other material.

The third and final day of the sale (May 23, 10 a.m. EDT) will have stamps, coins, stock certificates and historical memorabilia. The stamps and coins category will have better U.S. singles with certificates, a Columbian Exposition set, a Trans Mississippi set, first day covers, more than 30 gold coins, a $50 1863 note, a $20 1882 gold note and a $20 1880 silver certificate.

The day will also feature an original Edison stock ticker, a group of Civil War generals cartes-de-visites (identified), an original Annie Oakley target disc, rare Napoleonic-era military hats, Shako plates, Civil War rifles and pistols, Native American material, a 1924 Christy Mathewson signed baseball contract, baseball and non-sports cards, signed balls and bats, a large single-owner lifetime autograph collection (many from the 1920s-1960s), and vintage uniforms.

Philip Weiss Auctions is always accepting quality consignments for future sales. To consign an item, an estate or a collection, you may call them at (516) 594-0731, or e-mail them at phil@prwauctions.com. To learn more about Philip Weiss Auctions and its calendar of upcoming auctions, to include the May 21-23 weekend event, click on www.prwauctions.com

Category: Antiques News

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