The Auction at Graceland•January 7, 2017
This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 1/7/2017
The offered ring emanates from Charlie Hodge. It was purchased in the early 1980s along with 11 other rings and the original box in which Elvis kept them when he gave them to Charlie. The letter that accompanies details our consignor’s acquisition of the incredible group of rings and reads, in part:
At one point in the very early 1980’s there was an event in Antwerp, organized by the Belgian fan club, that featured Charlie Hodge as the headliner. He was one of the very first people who had known Elvis up close to come to Europe to speak at an Elvis event. I found Charlie in one of the hallways at one point and talked to him for about twenty minutes. He was a bit shocked to hear a teenager asking if he had any of Elvis’ stuff for sale, but I convinced him that I was very, very serious about expanding my Elvis collection with as many personal items as possible. He told me he was going to do an event in Paris next, but to visit him at his hotel the next morning. He showed me a small black box full of rings, and said Elvis had asked him to hold on to them at some point in the early 70’s and then had never asked for them again afterwards. He said this kind of stuff would happen all the time, because Elvis would go through a lot of rings and other jewelry all the time. He asked me if there was any ring I liked best, that I was most interested in buying from him. I could not take my eyes off the box and immediately knew I wanted the entire thing! Within minutes we agreed on a price for all 12 rings that were in the box. I was short so I borrowed some money from my parents, and we left with a dozen of Elvis’ rings!
This 14-karat yellow gold men’s lion head ring has diamond eyes that each measure 1.3 mm and weigh 0.01 carat, a diamond in the lion’s mouth that weighs approximately 0.05 carat and measures 2.3 mm, and is exquisitely designed in a size 9. The ring, which weighs 20 grams, is marked “14k” and “Baumi” on the interior band. Elvis had a fond appreciation for the symbolism of the lion and often wore jewelry with the figure of a lion’s head for important occasions, such as a lion’s head ring in the film Elvis: That’s The Way It Is and a lion’s head pendant necklace with his meeting with President Nixon. The lion, representing strength and courage, was a perfect choice for Elvis during this period of his career. A receipt, dated 3/1/71, for the purchase of a lion head ring with three diamonds is archived in the private Graceland Archives collection and may refer to the offered example. The ring is accompanied by a letter of authenticity from Graceland Authenticated.
The lion head ring is in Excellent condition overall.