Graceland Auctions has announced it will step away from the world of Elvis memorabilia later this year to host an unprecedented sale of Muhammad Ali memorabilia.
The company has become the exclusive auction house and authenticator for Muhammad Ali, and is set to present the auction in the U.S in Fall 2016.
Starting in 2014, the company has established itself as the world’s leading authority on Elvis memorabilia with a series of auctions conducted at Presley’s famous former home in Memphis.
Major sales so far have included the unique copy of Elvis’ first-ever acetate recording, made at Sun Studios in 1953 when he was just 18, which sold for $300,000 – then the highest price ever paid at auction for a record.
Graceland Auctions is now seeking consignments of important items relating to the life and career of Ali, considered by many to be the greatest athlete of the 20th century.
Those pieces chosen for sale will then feature in the new exhibition ‘I Am The Greatest: Muhammad Ali at The O2’, which opened on March 4 and runs until August 31. The exhibition at the London venue follows similar lines to the Elvis exhibition which attracted more than 200,000 visitors back in 2015.
“We want each and every visitor to come away feeling they have spent time in the company of and become friends with this singular and extraordinary man," Ali exhibition co-curator David Miller told The Guardian earlier this year.
“I don’t think anything has been done quite like it. It is not going to be a museum experience, we want it to scowl and bark at people the same way Ali might. We want people to laugh and cry and I hope we can pull it off.”
The current auction record for a piece of Muhammad Ali memorabilia was set in 2012, when the gloves he wore during his 1965 title fight against Floyd Patterson sold to UFC co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta for $1.1 million.