Elvis Presley's American Eagle Cape Up for Auction
Elvis Presley's American Eagle concert cape, custom made for the 1973 Aloha from Hawaii satellite performance will be auctioned next month by New Hampshire based, RR Auction.
The one-of-a-kind full-length cape, designed by Bill Belew, measures almost five feet long, is heavily inlaid with semi-precious stones on the reverse in a grand and colorful American eagle surrounded by stars, and weighs in at an impressive 12 pounds.
Presley had wanted a full-length cape to hide behind at the opening of the show, intending to drop the cape and reveal himself to the anxiously awaiting crowd.
He worked closely with Belew on the design of the eagle, wanting to express his patriotism for his country. However, when Presley tried on the cape during rehearsals, the weight almost pulled him over backwards, and it was decided that a smaller version was needed. Belew had less than 24 hours to create the replacement, and this cape was sent back to Graceland where it remained until a charity auction in 1999.
"One of the ultimate Presley collectibles, this was the original design for one of his most significant live performances ever," says Bobby Livingston, VP at RR Auction.
The concert was broadcast live via satellite on January 14, 1973, and took place in what is known today as the Neal S. Blaisdell Arena. It was the most watched broadcast by an individual entertainer in television history, and aired via Globecam Satellite in over 40 countries across Asia, Australia, the Far East, Europe, and South America (some receiving the telecast the next day, also in primetime) even parts of Communist China supposedly tuned in. Viewing figures have been estimated at over 1 billion viewers worldwide and the show was the most expensive entertainment special at the time, costing $2.5 million.
Among the museum quality items in the auction:
Beatles signed album up for sale- gifted to Doctor for treating George prior to Ed Sullivan Show appearance.