By Tim Ghianni
NASHVILLE Tenn. (Reuters) – A library card signed by Elvis Presley in seventh grade is expected to be among the hottest items at an auction of the late singer’s possessions at his Memphis mansion next month, Graceland officials said on Wednesday.
The card, which contains Elvis’ earliest known authentic signature, is one of 72 items featured at Graceland’s Aug. 14 auction, according to Angie Marchese, Graceland director of archives.
“It takes us back to a time where we can identify with Elvis,” Marchese said of the card. “We were all kids, and we all signed our library cards.”
Other treasures of the “King of Rock’n’Roll” include a script for his “Love Me Tender” 1956 movie debut and a gold lion’s-head pendant, encrusted with 24 diamonds, two emeralds and a ruby, that Elvis wore on his famous Oval Office visit with President Richard Nixon in 1970.
Fans can start perusing items at the Graceland.com/auction site on Aug. 1 and make early bids. The auction will be live-streamed.
The items are not part of the Graceland collection but belong to a private Australian collector, Greg Page, a founding member of “The Wiggles” children’s music group. Marchese said she has authenticated that every item did indeed belong to Elvis, and the estate may make its own bids.
The auction is the first on Graceland’s grounds, and it will be part of “Elvis Week,” which this year runs from Aug. 9-17. Thousands of fans visit Memphis every year to mark the anniversary of Presley’s death on Aug. 16, 1977.
Other items up for auction include a maroon-and-silver 1976 Cadillac Seville, the last-known Cadillac purchased and driven by Elvis; a 1969 written agreement for the singer to be paid $100,000 a week for shows at the old International Hotel in Las Vegas; and a 1975 Martin D-28 acoustic guitar.
(Reporting by Tim Ghianni; Editing by Mary Wisniewski and Eric Beech)