The Auction at Graceland•January 7, 2017
This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 1/7/2017
Bob Neal, Elvis’ manager early in his career, sent his fledgling star to Memphis photographer William Speer to have some publicity shots taken that could be used to promote the singing career of this new musician at Sun Records. Speer took 11 different images that day, which is more than he anticipated when the newbie talent came to his studio with only the clothes he was wearing. It was Speer’s wife who suggested that in lieu of changing outfits, Elvis simply remove his shirt for additional photographs. These images have become the gold standard for Elvis promotional photos. The offered lot was one of those 11 shots taken that day and likely the first and most widely used to promote the budding career of this young artist. This early example, depicting Elvis with folded hands wearing a wristwatch, is signed on the reverse “love ya Elvis Presley” in bold blue ink with enough pressure to leave trace indentations on the front of the photo. On the front, “Elvis Presley” is printed in the lower left margin and “160 Union Ave, Memphis, Tenn” in the lower right margin. The photo measures approximately 10 by 8 inches (25.4 x 20.32 cm) and is accompanied by a letter of authenticity from Graceland Authenticated.
The photo has pin holes in the corners with a slight tear at the pin hole in the upper right corner, fold creases in the upper left and lower right corners, minor creases to the right side of the photo and a 1/8 inch tear on the left edge. Some discoloration around the edges on the reverse, otherwise in very good condition overall.