Auction Results

Elvis’ blue suede shoes sell just shy of £100,000. Mercury shoes double estimate


Elvis Presley on the Steve Allen show

A pair of literal blue suede shoes worn by Elvis on a famous TV appearance have sold for £95,000 (excluding fees and taxes) at auction.

The shoes were sold in an auction hosted by Henry Aldridge & Son in Wiltshire on Friday.

The lace-up shoes are size 10.5 and were bought by the singer after he had performed the song, Blue Suede Shoes, written by country and rock ‘n’ roll pioneer Carl Perkins.

Auctioneer Andrew Aldridge described the shoes as “as iconic as they can be,” to the BBC before the sale.

Presley gifted the shoes to friend Alan Fortas at a party to mark his call-up into the US Army in 1958.

They were verified as authentic by Jimmy Velvet, a leading Presley authority and a friend of the singer and have been in a Presley museum for many years.

The Presley shoes today. Their colour was lost in the black and white of 1950s TV. Image courtesy of Henry Aldridge & Son.

The singer wore the shoes in public, including on a performance on the Steve Allen show on July 1, 1956.

Presley mentions the shoes, which can clearly be seen in stills from the performance, in dialogue with his host.

The TV performance is now much discussed by fans of the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll.

There had been calls to ban Presley from TV and even from any public stage after his “suggestive” dancing on previous television appearances.

Allen, a TV comic, cast him as the foil in a double act. To some Presley fans, he robbed their hero of his rock ‘n’ roll edge and even of his dignity. Dressed in bow tie and tails Elvis sang Hound Dog to an actual hound on a pedestal, playing everything for laughs.

“You know, those people in New York are not gonna change me none,” Presley told a home town crowd a couple of days later. “I’m gonna show you what the real Elvis is like tonight.”

Also performing well at the auction were items connected with Freddie Mercury, whose star is rising with collectors.

A pair of winkle pickers worn by the Queen singer in the video for I’m Going Slightly Mad rushed past their estimate to sell for £55,000 (excluding VAT and fees).

In total Mercury items realised £197,000 including fees at the sale.

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