Wiltshire

Elvis 'If I Can Dream' boots fetch £29,500 at auction

Elvis boots Image copyright PA
Image caption The boots are being sold with an Elvis Presley Museum certificate of authenticity signed by museum founder Jimmy Velvet

A pair of white boots worn by Elvis Presley during arguably his most famous TV performance have been bought by a UK collector for £29,500.

The King wore the size-11 Verde boots while singing If I Can Dream during his '68 Comeback Special, broadcast on NBC.

Elvis recorded the song two months after the assassination of Martin Luther King and the lyrics include quotes from the civil rights leader.

The boots went under the hammer at Henry Aldridge auctioneers in Devizes.

Image copyright AP
Image caption The show was a few months after the birth of Elvis's daughter Lisa-Marie

Elvis wore a black leather outfit for most of the famous performance before changing into a white suit and shoes for the finale.

Auctioneer Andrew Aldridge said Elvis had recorded the song "in several incredibly passionate takes".

He said: "To show producer Steve Binder his performance was so staggering it seemed almost like a religious experience.

"Out on the floor with a hand mic, Elvis fell to his knees. For a moment, it appeared like he was back in church, singing the gospel songs of his youth.

"These boots represent a tangible link to this truly iconic moment in showbusiness history.

"If I Can Dream was the closing number of one of the greatest moments in entertainment history and is regarded by Elvis collectors as one of the 'Holy Grails'."

Image copyright EPA
Image caption The white suit Elvis wore with the boots was on show at the Elvis Exhibition at the O2 in London, where his widow Priscilla posed alongside it

The boots were sold along with a handwritten letter from stage director Charlie Hodge, who appeared with Elvis on the NBC show.

Mr Hodge wrote in his letter: "These white Verde brand boots are the boots that Elvis wore on stage on his 1968 NBC TV special.

"He wore these in the closing number of the show, If I Can Dream, while he was wearing a white suit. Elvis later gave me these boots."


Some of Elvis Presley's belongings that have previously sold at auction:

Elvis's pink 1961 Cadillac sold for £21,000 in 2006

A strand of Elvis' hair, saved by his personal barber, fetched £1,055 in 2009

His bible sold for £59,000 in 2012

Presley's record player sold for £4,400 in 2013

The first record Elvis ever made sold for £198,000 in January

And two items that failed to sell:

A pair of soiled underpants with a reserve price of £10,000 in 2012

A tooth said to have been pulled out of Elvis's mouth after an injury also failed to sell on eBay in 2003


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