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

Elvis’ fascination with religion and spirituality evolved throughout his life and while he continued to educate himself on the subject, his faith never wavered. As an extension of his beliefs, gospel music was near and dear to Elvis’ heart, and in 1971 he hired J.D. Sumner and The Stamps Quartet as his backup band. Often Elvis would sing and practice gospel hymns in his time off, and even on stage he was known to sing a gospel song with J.D. and The Stamps Quartet. Elvis maintained a special and close relationship with J.D. Sumner, who was often the recipient of Elvis’ generosity on many occasions.

Not only giving to his friends, Elvis was as thoughtful to his fans as well and would accept tokens of appreciation from audience members during live performances. Offered is a diminutive Holy Bible from Cambridge University Press that was gifted to Elvis by fans Kathleen Slayton and Patricia Berry in May 1975. The pair have inscribed the liner pages with two separate notes that read, “May the love of God bless and keep you in His care! Kathleen” and “Your spiritual songs have been the rock in the troubled sea of my life. God richly bless you for the beauty you have brought to so many.” The hardcover reddish-brown leather bible with gold typeface comes with a letter from Shirley Sumner Enoch in which she describes in detail the acquisition of the “small personal bible belonging to Elvis Presley”:

Elvis’ love for gospel music was his real link to his earliest years, which also provided constant support throughout his demanding career. His passion for Southern style gospel music formed the foundation for his long, personal relationship with J.D. Sumner. As a teenager, Elvis considered J.D. his hero, by the end, J.D. had discovered the feelings were mutual. Elvis was a very spiritual person, and his fans knew this very well. He would regularly include gospel music in his performances, and would often times stop the show cold, and ask J.D. Sumner and the Stamps Quartet to sing a song or two, right in the middle of his concert. Every now and then, a fan would give Elvis a religious item, during his performances. Once in May of 1975, two fans presented Elvis with a small brown leather bible. Inside the bible, they wrote their names, the date and a personal message from them to Elvis that said: “Your spiritual songs have been the rock in the troubles sea of my life. God richly bless you for the beauty you have brought so many.” Elvis was touched by the kind gesture, and took the bible with him, reading it in his suite for the duration of the tour. At the end of the tour, Elvis gave the bible to his friend and bass singer, J.D. Sumner. J.D. thought it important enough that he held on to it for many years thereafter. Years after Elvis’ death, in the 1980’s, I was going through a personal crisis in my life, and my father, J.D., gave me the bible to carry with me because he wanted me to be comforted by God’s word. Also, it was a small bible, and was easy for me to carry with me. Because it was owned and read by Elvis in 1975, I have held on to it for all of these years.

The letter is dated January 6, 2016. An additional inscription was later added in March of 1983 (one can assume by Shirley who likely had the bible at this time), “May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of the almighty God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with us today and always. Amen.” This very special token represents a shared passion between not only fans and Elvis, but Elvis and J.D., and J.D. and his daughter, and illustrates how that message of devotion can be imparted. This petite bible measures 6 x 4 1/2 inches (15.24 x 11.43 cm) and is accompanied by a letter of authenticity from Graceland Authenticated.

The bible presents with few defects other than the writing described above. Near Mint condition.
1970s Elvis Presley’s Holy Bible with Elvis’ Name Written Inside – Given to Elvis by Two Fans, Later Gifted to J.D. Sumner
Current Bidding (Reserve Has Been Met)
Minimum Bid: $1,500.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $3,250.00
Estimate: $3,000 - $4,000
Number Bids: 13
Auction closed on Sunday, August 12, 2018.
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