Elvis Presley's American Eagle Cape Up for Auction

By: Feb. 19, 2014

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.

The Beatles made their legendary first live appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show on February 9, 1964-in the New York Times the day before, Thomas Buckley described George's ailment: 'Mr. Harrison, who is known as the quiet Beatle, awoke yesterday with a sore throat. He was treated by Dr. Jules Gordon, used a vaporizer and rejoined his colleagues at the studio late in the afternoon.

Dr. Gordon was the house doctor at the Plaza Hotel from 1942 until 1985. In his appreciation, Mr. Harrison gave, Dr. Gordon, a Meet the Beatles album containing the signatures of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and himself.

A rare fully-signed first UK pressing of the band's debut EP, Twist and Shout, obtained in August of 1963 by a Disc magazine contest winner backstage at the Gaumont Cinema.

Pair of Lennon's iconic wire-rim eyeglasses originally presented to Victor Borge.

The registration for John Lennon's famous psychedelic 1965 Rolls Royce - Phantom V Limousine.

The Marvels of Modern Music auction, from New Hampshire based RR Auction will feature more than 800 items. The auction is set to begin on Thursday, March 13, and end on the evening of Thursday, March 20. More details can be found online at www.rrauction.com.


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