Rare items in upcoming Artifacts of Hollywood and Music auction

Art Daily
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Three-Time Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Eric Clapton-Owned 47.5m Luxury Superyacht. Photo: Kruse GWS Auctions.
Three-Time Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Eric Clapton-Owned 47.5m Luxury Superyacht. Photo: Kruse GWS Auctions.

LOS ANGELES, CA.-GWS Auctions has announced the “Artifacts of Hollywood and Music” auction event to take place Saturday, November 28, 2020 beginning at 10:00 a.m. P.T. The auction is the largest entertainment memorabilia auction in the company’s history. Over 300 items will be offered, many for the first time. In the world of memorabilia, the auction represents the biggest names ever.

The first “TCB” ring Elvis Presley designed and which he gave to J.D. Sumner on stage in front of 14,000 people after years of wearing it himself, is one of the most extravagant and sought-after pieces in the auction. Elvis Presley’s mantra, “Taking Care of Business,” was created when he returned to the concert circuit in 1969. This coveted ring also includes sketches of the original design and audio of Elvis talking about the ring on stage.

The Elvis Presley “TCB” ring is a custom made 9.81ctw Diamond Solid 14K Yellow Gold ring. The ring is decorated with the raised “TCB” letters lined with diamonds, along with large lightning bolts on each side which are also lined with diamonds. Above the TCB logo is the original 7.56 GIA certified VS2 brilliant round cut diamond, surrounded by a halo of diamonds, bringing the total carat weight to 2.25 carats of round cut diamonds including the accent diamonds on the lightning bolt and is designed with Elvis’ preferred nugget motif. No other ring has ever brought such fascination with Presley and has such a profound history attached. The opportunity to buy this famous ring is unprecedented.

Elvis Presley’s 1975 FLH 1200 Harley Davidson, driven by him around Graceland, comes with a very interesting tale.

In the mid-1980s, a local Harley Davidson dealer, his daughter and their mechanic met up with Elvis Presley’s lawyer in a Howard Johnson hotel room in Cleveland, Ohio. For several months, they had received phone calls from the man inquiring as to their interest in purchasing the motorcycle. The well-known Harley Davidson dealership owner has been credited with creating the “Motorcycle Mile” in Cleveland. The meeting took place at a Cleveland Howard Johnson’s Motel room where the bike was parked at the end of the bed. The transaction took place in the modest hotel room and the rest is history.

Since then, “The Kings” full dress 1975 FLH 1200 Harley Davidson motorcycle has been on display at the Cleveland Ohio dealership for 45 years. The motorcycle comes with the original title signed by Elvis Presley and in Elvis’ name. It has never been transferred or changed. Photos from September 1975 show Elvis riding the motorcycle at Graceland with his cousin Billy Price on the back.

Presley’s love of Harley Davidson motorcycles has been well-documented and often the dealership in Memphis would present him with a selection of motorcycles prior to any public sale.

Personal contents of Elvis Presley’s Hollywood home will also be auctioned including furnishings, art, glassware, figurines, clothing, games, poolside accessories, bed linens and many other personal items.

The archive of 700+ hours of master recordings of Woodstock were uncovered in a Los Angeles storage locker where they’d sat for over a decade. The collection belonged to producer Eric Blackstead who oversaw the compiling, mixing and sequencing of the original two Woodstock albums. The recordings include legendary performances from Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, The Who, The Grateful Dead, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Arlo Guthrie, Johnny Winter, Joe Cocker, Richie Havens, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Sly and the Family Stone and others. The recordings also include songs by artists never before released. The master recording audio tapes come in the original shipping boxes. This collection has never been available for sale before.

In February of 1983, Eric Clapton made a trip to Strings and Things Music Store in Memphis, Tennessee. He was there to see the new Strings and Things Custom guitar line. He was so impressed he commissioned Strings and Things to build the first Eric Clapton signature model guitar. A contract was drafted by Clapton’s manager, Roger Forrester and Clapton’s bassist, Donald “Duck” Dunn, brought the prototypes to Clapton on the road. Clapton suggested changes after playing them and final modifications were made. Strings and Things released ads in trade magazines but failed to garner approval from Clapton and Forrester for photograph usage. Clapton’s manager cancelled the deal causing one to call it the biggest guitar blunder in the history of celebrity endorsed musical instruments. This Eric Clapton guitar is the rare prototype 00002 which was sent back to the company via Duck Dunn from Clapton who kept the prototype with serial number 00001. The prototype headstock logo says “Strings and Things Custom.” After Clapton and Forrester cancelled the deal the guitar company name was changed to “St. Blues” and the Eric Clapton Model was renamed the “Blues-Master.” Very few were made with the “Strings & Things” Custom headstock logo adding to the guitars rare status. The guitar comes with extensive documentation and correspondence included the original signed contract.

Although his mainstream career only spanned seven years, Stevie Ray Vaughan is considered to be one of the most iconic and influential musicians in the history of blues music and one of the greatest guitarists of all time.

The legendary blues rocker’s stage played 1985 Tokai AST-56 Electric Guitar from International Music Corporation, the distributor for Tokai Musical Instruments, is an extraordinary, historical guitar offered in the auction. The guitar was played by Stevie Ray on stage in Worcester, Massachusetts on March 24, 1985. Vaughan was also featured with the guitar in a photoshoot for the Tokai 1985 catalog and large poster. Vaughan is often credited for the blues revival of the 1980s. Tragically he and four others were killed in a helicopter crash in 1990. He has sold over 15 million albums posthumously and is revered by musicians and fans worldwide. The Stevie Ray Vaughan Tokai guitar is a very rare offering and one of monumental historical significance.

“This is the biggest entertainment memorabilia auction we have ever done and includes the most coveted ring in Elvis Presley history. He designed it, he wore it, and it was the first! His motorcycle, contents from his Hollywood home, and many personal items are all part of this massive collection. We also have an extremely rare collection of master audio tapes from Woodstock, a Van Halen MTV Music Award, Stevie Ray Vaughan’s guitar, Eric Clapton’s prototype guitar, and personal items of Marilyn Monroe, Robin Williams, The Rolling Stones and so much more. Car and Film enthusiasts are going to be excited about the vehicles we will have for sale from the Fast and Furious along with other famous blockbuster cars. I am over the moon with excitement. We look forward to seeing everyone on November 28th for what we believe will include many history making moments. – Dame Brigitte Kruse

Additional highlights include a rare stage backdrop used during The Rolling Stones 1978 “SNL” appearance and signed by all four members of the iconic band; a Van Halen MTV Music Award; a Johnny Cash songbook with handwritten lyrics to Elvis; The Beatles 1967 “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart Club Band” 1st album cover with melded signatures; Elvis Presley’s 1956 Biloxi, Mississippi family vacation film; Marilyn Monroe’s personal Louis Vuitton trunk that she gave to Arthur Miller with typewriter and Muhammad Ali’s Omega watch engraved “Ali 10/30/1974” commemorating his victory of George Foreman in the Rumble in the Jungle.

Also a rare Led Zeppelin 1977 North American tour pass; Elvis Presley’s favorite “Zippin Pippin” Libertyland car; Linda Ronstadt’s personal jogging shorts; a Charles M. Schulz signed comic book and original doodle; the personal Army gloves of Elvis Presley and photo of him wearing them; Robin Williams’ rainbow suspenders from the TV Hit “Mork and Mindy and a crystal encrusted Michael Jackson glove designed by Bill Witten and used on the 1984 Victory Tour.

Car and motorcycle lovers will be astounded by the plethora of icons Film and Television related vehicles to be offered. Movie jaw droppers from the “Fast and Furious” film series include the 1968 Dodge “Ice Charger” from the “Fate and the Furious;” the matte grey 1980 Dodge Charger that Vin Diesel’s character drives in “Fast Five;” the 1985 Chevrolet Caprice used by Ludacris and Tyrese in “Furious 7” and the real U.S. Army Tank used by Ludacris in the “Fate and the Furious.” Other classics include the NBC Knight Rider car complete with NBC title and license plate; “The Van” from HBO’s “The Sopranos;” The 1985 Cadillac Eldorado driven by actor David Harbour in the Netflix hit “Stranger Things;” the cult-classic “Stair Car” from “Arrested Development;” the classic black Dodge driven in the FOX/Netflix series “Gotham” and many others.

Eric Clapton’s Superyacht is also hitting the auction block. This outstanding yacht, a VA BENE, is a stunning, stylish 47.5m (155.8ft) superyacht built by Kees Cornelissen in The Netherlands. After cruising the Mediterranean waters with friends in the summer of 2005, and having a special affinity for the breathtaking backdrop of Bonifacio, VA BENE was acquired by the legendary thrice-inducted rock and roll hall of famer and can accommodate up to 14 guests in 6 luxuriously appointed staterooms.

Additional highlights include a Johnny Cash & Elvis Presley Univox Electric guitar used in recording sessions which is a sensational piece of rock and roll history and example of the early days of Sun Records; Prince’s Purple Rain tour stage worn white lace ruffle blouse; The original Batman Adam West’s signed 1980 Academy of Television Arts & Sciences membership card; James Hetfield’s Metallica guitar; a collection of ephemera from Merle Haggard’s historic White House performance in 1973; Tanya Tucker’s stage worn black beaded sleeveless top and a collection of other stage worn clothing and many more items celebrating the greatest moments in television, music and film.