Elvis is still the King. Kruse GWS Auctions, the entertainment memorabilia auction house specializing in celebrities, sold a key piece of his career at a Saturday auction for more than a million dollars.
The Elvis Presley Eyelet Jumpsuit and Cape from his 1972 Madison Square Garden performances in New York has sold for $1,012,500, with the auction house reporting it as a world record price, albeit without noting any details on what record it beat.
The ensemble, designed by Bill Belew, became one of the most-photographed and iconic costumes of Elvis’s career. The show where he wore it was his first live performance at Madison Square Garden. The eyelet jumpsuit and cape has been in a private collection for more than 30 years prior to it going to auction.
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Other Elvis memorabilia also was a hit at the weekend auctions. Highlights include an Elvis Presley Jar of Hair with extensive documentation, sold for $72,500; Elvis Presley’s racing helmet from the film Viva Las Vegas, sold for $23,750; the Elvis Presley tuxedo tailcoat from the film Frankie & Johnny sold for $75,000; Elvis Presley’s personal and stage-worn boots sold for $28,750; Elvis Presley’s ’68 Comeback Special Sheet Music sold for $15,000; Elvis Presley’s Schick electric razor sold for $3,000; and an Elvis Presley Custom Eagle Belt made by Mike McGregor sold for $25,000.
“We are thrilled to have hosted such an exciting auction this weekend where fans and collectors from around the globe bid on extraordinary memorabilia from the life and career of Elvis Presley,” said a statement from Brigitte Kruse, rounder and lead auctioneer of Kruse GWS Auctions “The outstanding sale of his iconic 1972 Madison Square Garden eyelet jumpsuit and cape represents not only a world record price, but is a true testament to the legendary reverence and love people still feel for him.”
Elvis performed four sold-out concerts at Madison Square Garden, the only New York City arena shows of his career (he was on stage for several TV broadcasts in 1956-7, including The Ed Sullivan Show).
The shows spawned a live album, Elvis: As Recorded at Madison Square Garden, It peaked at No. 11 on the Top 200 US Billboard Top Pop Albums chart, and was certified triple platinum in 1999 for sales of more than three million units. It ranks as one of the best-selling live albums of the 1970s.