Elvis' jewellery, outfits fetch surprisingly high bids

NEW YORK (AFP) - Outfits and jewellery from Elvis Presley fetched higher than expected bids at the latest auction of memorabilia from the King of Rock 'n' Roll.

The auction at the annual "Elvis Week" fan gathering at the late music great's Graceland estate in Memphis racked up US$950,000 (S$1.3 million) in sales of 160 items, all from outside collectors, the estate said Friday.

One of the most surprisingly high bids was for a racquetball shirt worn by Elvis, which sold for US$32,000, well above the estimate selling price of US$4,000 to US$6,000.

Other sales included a custom-made leather and mink coat, movie costumes and jewellery.

A gold and diamond necklace which Elvis had given to fellow entertainer Sammy Davis Jr. - inscribed with the initials "TCB," for "Taking Care of Business," as Elvis called his band - sold for US$40,000, twice the estimated price.

More than 40,000 fans were estimated to have converged on Graceland for Elvis Week, a major tourist draw that takes place around the anniversary of Presley's 1977 death.

Marking the occasion, the US Postal Service released a new postage stamp of Elvis, with a black and white photo of the late singer.

An Elvis stamp released in 1993 became one of the most talked-about stamps ever, after the USPS allowed the public to vote on which image to choose.

A photo of a dashing young Elvis won after then-presidential candidate Bill Clinton, a professed fan, voiced his support for it.