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Lot #806
Elvis Presley: Graceland

The first contract for Graceland

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The first contract for Graceland

DS, signed by Elvis’s father, “Vernon Presley,” one page both sides, 8.25 x 13.75, March 17, 1957. The first contract for the purchase of what would become the most hallowed ground in rock and roll history, Graceland. In part: “Received of Elvis A. Presley, Vernon E. Presley & Gladys L. Presley the sum of One Thousand and no/100 Dollars as earnest money and in part payment for the purchase of the following real estate, situated in the City of Memphis, County of Shelby, and State of Tennessee, to-wit: The property known as Graceland, more particularly described as 3764 Highway 51 South, and being approximately 13 1/2 acres…which I (We) have this day sold and agree to convey to Above purchasers or any person they may designate…This offer is subject to approval by Elvis Presley, not later than 8 p.m., March 19, 1957.” Signed at the conclusion in fountain pen by Vernon Presley, and countersigned by the seller, Ruth Brown Moore, and real estate agent Virginia Grant. Brown added a few additional lines to the terms of the agreement in her own hand, initialing the document three times. In fine condition, with expected document wear. Accompanied by a photo of two unidentified gentlemen in front of the mansion.

On Saturday, March 17, 1957, Vernon Presley called local Memphis real estate agent Virginia Grant and asked her what properties she had that they could look at on behalf of his son Elvis. Grant showed two properties that day including an estate called Graceland; by six o’clock that evening they had the provisional sales agreement in place, and Vernon left the thousand dollar deposit as specified in this contract. Elvis and his parents met with Grant at Graceland two days later and he signed the deal on the spot, closing on March 26, 1957. The seller Ruth Brown Moore, who signed this document along with Ms. Grant and Mr. Presley, had inherited the property and named it after an aunt who had once lived there. Little did she know that the house at 3764 Highway 51 South—officially renamed as Elvis Presley Boulevard in June 1971—would become synonymous with the king of rock and roll as well as the second-most visited home in the United States after the White House. A truly historic document significant not only in music history but in Americana and pop culture as a whole. Pre-certified REAL.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Fine Autographs and Artifacts
  • Dates: #453 - Ended June 17, 2015