In a remarkable event that celebrated the allure of rock and roll history, auction house Henry Aldridge & Son, nestled in the picturesque town of Devizes, Wiltshire, UK, achieved a resounding feat by successfully auctioning off Elvis Presley’s legendary leather and mink coat. The gavel came down at an astounding final bid of more than $163,000 (£128,000), ultimately securing this iconic piece of clothing for a passionate collector hailing from the United States. The pre-auction estimations had placed the coat’s value between £10,000 to £15,000, but the fervor of the bidding surpassed all expectations.
The spotlight of this auction was undoubtedly the custom-made leather and mink coat that once adorned the shoulders of the rock-and-roll legend himself. This stylish garment, measuring an impressive 47 inches in length, held a special place in the history of popular culture, as it was worn by Elvis in the year of his untimely demise in 1977. This exquisite piece had been a gift from Mike Alden, the brother of Ginger Alden, who was not only Elvis’s fiancée but also a figure intricately connected to the singer’s life.
An intriguing twist in the coat’s journey came to light as it was revealed that it found itself in the possession of a single mother of four. After being donated to a nationwide raffle in 2006, this extraordinary piece of attire emerged as the coveted prize, dramatically altering the life of its unsuspecting winner. This anecdote lends an emotional layer to the coat’s history, transforming it from a symbol of rock-star glamour to a relic of shared human stories.
Auctioneer Andrew Aldridge, in an interview with Bloomberg News, captured the essence of the coat’s significance by stating, “For me it encapsulates the glamour of 1970s Vegas, Elvis in a mink coat.” This sentiment resonates deeply, as the coat not only embodies the extravagance of a particular era but also symbolizes Elvis’s larger-than-life persona that continues to captivate generations.
The authenticity of this prized possession was solidified by the presence of two letters of authentication, one from Ginger’s sister Rosemary Alden Starkey and another from Graceland Authenticated. Alongside these testimonials, a press clipping featuring Mary Hill, the fortunate winner of the coat, accompanied the listing. The photograph of Mary Hill adorned in the leather and mink coat serves as a poignant testament to the journey and impact of this remarkable article of clothing.
In addition to the mink coat, the auction showcased a range of other notable Elvis Presley memorabilia, adding to the excitement of the event. These items included a meticulously crafted pewter cigar box, a Sainte Anne De Beaupre medallion and chain adorned with gold, diamonds, and rubies, a captivating owl-shaped ring bedecked with gold, diamonds, and sapphires that garnered £14,000, and even seat belts from his 1960 MGA sports car.
The culmination of this auction not only underscores the enduring appeal of Elvis Presley’s legacy but also affirms the growing prominence of rock and roll memorabilia in the realm of collectibles. As these iconic pieces find new homes, they continue to bridge the gap between eras and evoke a sense of nostalgia that is cherished by both ardent fans and historians alike.
In conclusion, the sale of Elvis Presley’s leather and mink coat at the Henry Aldridge & Son auction stands as a testament to the power of music, celebrity, and cultural resonance. The journey of this coat, from its creation to the grand auction stage, mirrors the journey of Elvis himself, from a young and ambitious artist to an enduring icon of pop culture. As this coat changes hands, it carries with it the stories of its wearers, the dreams of its admirers, and the everlasting impact of the man who made it legendary.