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|LATE PHOTOGRAPHERS ELVIS SNAPS GO TO AUCTION
August 03, 2016 - The Lee County Courier / Elvis Express Radio
|Elvis lives. At least he’s still around within the market for Elvis Presley memorabilia.
On Saturday, August 13, at Graceland in Memphis, a huge auction will be held at 2 p.m. in the Graceland Archives Studio behind the mansion. It is one of two auctions per year –
one in January around Birth Week and the other in August around Elvis Week – that have been held for the past seven or eight years.
For the coming auction, Tupelo’s history with Elvis will be well represented since Peggy Wood has decided to put some of her late husband’s photographic negatives on the auction
block. Terry Wood was hired in 1956 to be Tupelo’s official photographer for the famous Elvis Presley Homecoming Concert at what was then the fairgrounds and is now Fairpark.
Few people have not seen the iconic photos of Elvis performing in front of an adoring, screaming crowd of fans standing below the stage. Now, someone will own those images – 29
medium- and 14 large-format film negatives – and all the rights to them after the auction is over.
According to a catalog produced by the Graceland organization, the negatives could fetch $15,000-$20,000. Of course, that sale could be more or less depending on the value
placed by bidders. The auction opened online on July 25; to see the Wood negatives and the other 196 lots ranging from posters, records, documents, clothing, jewelry and photos
to an electric guitar, see the items at HYPERLINK "http://auction.graceland.com/catalog.aspx" http://auction.graceland.com/catalog.aspx. The electric guitar appears to be a Gibson
knockoff of a Les Paul guitar that may bring $20,000-$30,000.
Incredibly, one of the items estimated to bring one of the highest prices is Elvis’ American Express card, complete with his signature on the reverse. Its estimated price?:
$40,000-$60,000. Even more incredibly, Elvis’ official birth certificate and that of his stillborn twin brother, Jessie, are estimated to sell for $80,000-$100,000.
“You wonder where all this stuff comes from,” said Peggy Wood. The items likely come from private collections and some may be items won in previous auctions that owners hope
have appreciated in value.
Wood said her decision to offer the negatives at auction was not an easy one. She only did it after Woods’ two sons from a previous marriage said they were not interested in the
“It was very hard to let go of it,” said Wood. She said her husband sold packages of eight 8x10 prints of eight negatives “all over the world” for $80. Through the years, however,
“sales dwindled” so the decision to auction was fairly easy from an economic standpoint. Wood said Terry made his own prints in his darkroom but as digital photography became
more common, finding a quality photo printer of the now old and large negatives became more and more difficult.
Among some of the other items on the block are one of Elvis’ pistols, a 1971 Colt .357 magnum that is estimated to go for $25,000-$35,000. His karate gi (uniform) with an
accompanying liquor decanter of Elvis in the gi is expected to fetch $20,000-$30,000. A diamond studded gold TCB (Taking Care of Business) given to J.D. Sumner (gospel singer,
songwriter, and music promoter) may bring $20,000-$30,000.
Of course there are many items that are estimated to bring far less, as low as $400. The catalog contains 173 pages of available items.
Wood said she will receive the bulk of the sale price of the negatives.
“I will be left with a few Elvis Presley pictures,” she said. “It’s just amazing that all this stuff pops up (in the auction).”