Published Jul 21, 2010In case your fandom goes beyond collecting rare records, signed merchandise and other conventional methods of capturing a performer's essence, you might be interested in something a little closer to the performer. It doesn't get much "closer" than this: next month, a Chicago auction house will put the autopsy tools used on the deceased Elvis Presley up for bidding.
As MSNBC points out [via The Daily Swarm], an auction happening on August 12 at Chicago's Leslie Hindman Auctioneers will see all the tools used in the King's autopsy go up for bidding, including rubber gloves, forceps, lip brushes, a comb and eye liner, needle injectors, an arterial tube and aneurysm hooks.
All of the tools, the auction house promises, were used only once, including a toe-tag marked "John Doe," which replaced the Presley original after it was stolen by a fan long ago.
The collection was saved for years by a senior embalmer at the Memphis Funeral Home who wishes to remain anonymous.
"The mortician, who prepared the body, retained this tag and the instruments, along with the preparation room case report, the case sheet, dry cleaning tags, the hanger to the singer's suit and tie and the coffin shipping invoice, which are marked 'Elvis Presley,'" said Mary Williams, a spokeswoman for Leslie Hindman Auctioneers.
The items will be sold in two lots, which the auctioneers estimate will go for $6,000 to $8,000 and $4,000 to $6,000, respectively.
The auction, which Williams admits is controversial, follows the sale of a lock of the King's hair, which sold last year for $18,300.
"It's really about owning a piece of the celebrity themselves... and how much closer can you get than the actual embalming instruments?" Williams told Reuters.
Short of digging up his grave, you mean?
UPDATE: As the Associate Press reports, the authenticity of Presley's embalming tools has now come into question.
The items were withdrawn from the auction table after Memphis Funeral Home president E.C. Daves told The Commercial Appeal newspaper in Tennessee there was no way to definitively say whether or not the tools are authentic.
The collection, which was saved for years by a senior embalmer at the Memphis Funeral Home, is now being said to have possibly been sterilized since being used on the King. They may also have been used since, making their connection to Presley much less desirable.