Elvis shooting target from personal shooting range sells for over $30,000

WASHINGTON (AFP) - A paper target riddled with bullets fired by Elvis Presley at his personal shooting range sold for US$27,500 (S$34,253.70) at the first auction of Elvis artifacts hosted by his estate.

It was the surprise turn at the inaugural Auction at Graceland, a highlight of the ongoing Elvis Week in Memphis, Tennessee marking the 37th anniversary of Presley's death at age 42.

Seventy-two authenticated items from third-party collectors were on the block at Thursday night's auction, including the last Cadillac that Presley bought for his personal use - a maroon and silver 1977 Seville that sold for US$81,250.

A gold and diamond lion's head pendant that Presley wore to numerous events, including a White House meeting with president Richard Nixon, fetched US$82,500, well above its estimated value of US$25,000 to US$35,000.

But the paper shooting target raised eyebrows by going for 27 times its estimated value.

Presley had shot at it with friends in the small brick "smokehouse" that served as a personal shooting gallery at his Graceland residence.

Also unexpected was the US$4,750 paid for a cast iron kitchen skillet from the 1960s with a receipt signed by Presley's mother, said Elvis Presley Enterprises, which oversees the King of Rock 'n' Roll's estate and rich musical legacy.

Many of the artifacts came from Greg Page, a founding member of the Australian children's band The Wiggles, who is among the world's leading collectors of Elvis memorabilia.

"I never considered these my 'things,' and while it was difficult to part with these treasured items, I'm pleased that so many of the artifacts found great homes with like-minded Elvis fans," he said.

Thousands of Presley fans were to gather Friday evening for the climax of Elvis Week - an annual candlelight vigil outside the gates of Graceland.