Elvis Presley's beloved Graceland piano estimated to bring $1m at auction

Elvis collectors across the globe will have the date of August 14 circled multiple times in their diaries in preparation for the Ultimate Elvis Auction, in Memphis Tennessee.

Going under the hammer are a number of items that were very personal to the King, including memorabilia from his Graceland home, iconic pieces of jewellery, historic documents and rare acetate records.

But the undisputed starring lot in the sale is Presley's beloved White Knabe Grand Piano and Bench, which was a central fixture in Graceland between 1957-1969.

What's more, a fascinating story surrounds the piano (serial number 70545) which begins with the question: 'Why did Elvis choose this used piano, when he could easily have afforded a new one?'

Elvis photographed at home with his prized piano

The answer can be found in the piano's origins, on the stage of the Ellis Auditorium in Memphis. As a poor white teenager living in a public house, Elvis often attended the Gospel "Sings" that took place there with his mother.

Later, on June 3, 1953, Elvis walked across the Ellis Auditorium's stage himself. The occasion was his graduation from Hume High School - a proud moment, as he was the first member of his family to accomplish that feat.

Another, sadder, memory of the Auditorium was on July 2, 1954, when Elvis attended - with his girlfriend, Pixie Lott - the funeral for RW Blackwood and bass singer Bill Lyles, after both were killed in a plane crash.

Elvis Presley, Scott Moore and Bill Black would record their first hit, That's All Right, for Sun Records just three days after the funeral service.

The next year, Elvis finally performed on the hallowed Ellis Auditorium stage himself - on February 6, 1955, fourth on the bill below Faron Young, Ferlin Husky, and Martha Carson.

A number of historic one-of-kind Elvis items will feature in Heritage's sale

Refinished in white with gold trim per Elvis' personal specifications and under his direct supervision in 1957, this exceptional piano - easily among the most remarkable of Elvis Presley memorabilia items ever to appear at auction - is estimated at over $1m. Bidding opens at $500,000.

Other highlights in the sale will include Elvis Presley's and his parents' signed Graceland purchase agreement - not the first time his Graceland paperwork has auctioned recently - a 1976 Triumph TR-6 Convertible gifted to his lover Ginger Alden, and his iconic and instantly-recognisable Custom Gold-Framed Sunglasses.

Watch this space for more news on the sale, which is being organised by Heritage Auction Galleries. Online bidding is also available.


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