The Auction at Graceland•Elvis Week•August 13, 2019
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 8/13/2019

In 1955 when Elvis’ musical career was in its infancy, his manager, Bob Neal, sent him 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. Elvis was hesitant at first but complied, and the outcome was five shirtless shots of a playful and dreamy Elvis. It was not often that stars in the 1950s were captured in non-formal attire, especially in a private setting, so the offered black-and-white Polaroid personal snapshot is quite unique. The relaxed photo portrays a young, shirtless Elvis gazing directly into the camera with tousled hair, wearing shorts while frolicking in a yard. Based on identifying the cars in the background, one of which dates to 1956, late 1955 is the earliest this photo could have been taken, but it is likely from 1956. This is a Polaroid original, which is technically “printed” in the camera and develops when exposed to the light. This amazingly personal snapshot captures a youthful Elvis in an incredibly intimate and casual pose with his magical gaze fixed directly on the viewer! The reverse of the photo has the unnecessary handwritten notation “Elvis,” since this handsome young man could be mistaken for no one else. The photo measures 5 by 4 inches (12.7 x 10.16 cm) and is accompanied by a letter of authenticity from Graceland Authenticated.

The photo presents with few major defects, aside from a very mild roller mark (from the Polaroid photographic mechanism) running lengthwise from top to bottom. Excellent to Mint condition.
Original 1956 Photograph of Elvis Presley with His Shirt Off!
Current Bidding (Reserve Has Been Met)
Minimum Bid: $500.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $1,125.00
Estimate: $1,000 - $2,000
Number Bids: 10
Auction closed on Tuesday, August 13, 2019.
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