The Auction at Graceland•Elvis Week•August 12, 2018
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 8/12/2018

In the mid-70s Elvis commissioned Apollo Designs, a trophy and engraving shop in Los Angeles, to create identification cards for him to give to his inner circle, close friends and band members in order to allow them backstage access during the shows. These special metallic badges each had the recipient’s name engraved along with a “title.” For example, the one given to Ed Parker listed his title as “Master Kenpo Karate.” The gold badges further stated that the recipient “is a member of the ELVIS PRESLEY SHOW,” and each badge contained a facsimile Elvis Presley signature in the lower right and TCB logo to the left, along with “S.O. Kim” designer initials.

The offered gold metal badge was the one that Elvis gave to his friend Muhammad Ali with the engraved title “THE CHAMP.” Elvis and Muhammad Ali shared a great friendship, admiration and affinity for each other and this was not the only gift that Elvis bestowed upon his champ. In February 1973 before Ali’s bout with Joe Bugner, Elvis presented Ali with a bejeweled robe emblazoned with “The People’s Champion” on the back. And the gift-giving was reciprocal, as Ali bestowed a pair of his boxing gloves upon Elvis with “You’re the Greatest” written on the left and “To Elvis, my main man, from Muhammad Ali” on the right glove. These two celebrity icons certainly shared a special relationship.

This extraordinary badge given by one superstar to another comes with two letters, a snapshot of Vernon and Ali (with Joe Esposito in the background), and a copy of a color image of the King and the Champ, Elvis and Ali. One letter, from Joe Esposito, states in part, “Elvis first presented boxing legend, Muhammad Ali with a magnificent jeweled robe in the early 70s. Their friendship blossomed and they exchanged several gifts over the years. This gold id badge was originally designed by Sang Kim of Apollo Designs in Los Angeles. Elvis gave these badges to both band members and Memphis Mafia members for backstage access. This gold id badge states, Muhammad Ali, ‘Champ.’ Ali sent Elvis several gifts over the years including an autographed photo and a pair of signed boxing gloves.” The second letter is from Jimmy Velvet and states, “This gold identification badge was made by Apollo Designs for the Elvis Presley Show which Elvis later gave to boxing legend, Muhammad Ali. Elvis designed these badges in 1974 for his personnel and band to have access backstage before, during and after a performance. Elvis and Ali first met in February of 1973 and exchanged gifts several times over the years. This badge has MUHAMMAD ALI engraved at the top, with ‘THE CHAMP’ at the bottom of the card. The card was later given to Lamont Reese by Ali.” This incredibly special badge measures approximately 2 1/4 by 3 1/2 inches (5.72 x 8.89 cm) and is accompanied by a letter of authenticity from Graceland Authenticated.

The card shows moderate signs of wear including scuffing and scratching on the front and back as well as adhesive or tape residue on the back. Excellent to Mint condition.
1970s Elvis Presley Gold ID Badge Given to Muhammad Ali
This lot has a Reserve Price that has not been met.
Current Bidding (Reserve Not Met)
Minimum Bid: $5,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $0.00
Estimate: $10,000 - $12,000
Number Bids: 0
Auction closed on Sunday, August 12, 2018.
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