It's often said that memorabilia gives you a chance to get closer to a celebrity. And one auction house is hoping that collectors will want to get very close indeed when it auctions the post mortem and embalming tools used on Elvis Presley, next month.
Items being sold in the sale include Elvis's toe tag - marked "John Doe," after the original was stolen by a fan at the hospital - the instruments used in the post mortem, the preparation room case report and case sheet, dry cleaning tags, Elvis's suit and tie, and a coffin shipping invoice.
The collection will be sold by Leslie Hindman Auctioneers in the US, on August 12. Other items in the sale include rubber gloves, forceps, lip brushes, a comb and eye liner, needle injectors, an arterial tube and aneurysm hooks.
The macabre memorabilia is on the market for the first time, after reportedly being saved for years by a senior embalmer at the Memphis Funeral Home who has chosen to remain anonymous.
According to reports, the collection will be sold in two lots which are estimated to sell for between $6,000-8,000 and $4,000-6,000 respectively (totalling $14,000).
Collectors can take part online at Leslie Hindman's website, with bids opening at $2,000 for the post-mortem kit and at $3,000 for the embalming kit.
While the auction house has admitted that the sale may be "controversial" to many, it at least offers an opportunity for these artefacts to be owned by a collector or institution with a genuine interest in preserving the King's legacy.
Leslie Hindman's sale is the latest in a long line of successful posthumous auction appearances made by Elvis over the past 12 months. Last year, for instance, a lock of the King's hair sold for $18,300.
Decades after dying from drug-related causes in 1977, Elvis Presley remains one of the top earning dead celebrities. According to research by Forbes, The King's estate netted $55 million in 2009. In comparison, Michael Jackson's estate has appreciated to more than $1bn since his death last year.
Items from The King's post mortem are also for sale ($4,000-6,000)
Jackson is another celebrity whose hair has appeared for sale on the market: a lock salvaged from the Beat It singer's notorious accident when his hair caught fire during the filming of a Pepsi drinks commercial, back in 1984.
The hair is currently on the market and available to buy, and set to join other famous celebrity hair strands - including those of Elvis and first man on the Moon, Neil Armstrong - which have appeared on the market priced at thousands of dollars.
For more information on Michael Jackson's hair, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone +44 (0) 117 933 9500.
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