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Elvis boots fetch nearly £30,000 at auction

Published 14/11/2015

The boots were worn during The King's 1968 TV special
The boots were worn during The King's 1968 TV special

A pair of iconic boots worn by Elvis Presley during his 1968 performance of If I Can Dream have sold at auction for almost £30,000.

The white Verde boots went under the hammer at specialist auctioneer Henry Aldridge and Son, and went for £29,500.

If I Can Dream was recorded by Elvis two months after Martin Luther King was assassinated. It formed part of Elvis's comeback special broadcast on NBC shortly before Christmas that year.

The performance is regarded by fans of The King as one of his "Holy Grails".

The song was written by Walter Earl Brown and was notable for its direct quotations of the civil rights leader.

Auctioneer Andrew Aldridge said: "Elvis Presley is one of the most iconic figures in music history."

Mr Aldridge said the song was significant because the TV show for NBC was to be a Christmas special and If I Can Dream was not a Christmas song and the producers thought Presley would not want to perform it.

"Elvis recorded If I Can Dream in several incredibly passionate takes. To show producer Steve Binder, his performance was so staggering it seemed almost like a religious experience," Mr Aldridge said.

"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'."

The boots were sold with an Elvis Presley Museum certificate of authenticity hand-signed by Jimmy Velvet, who founded the Elvis Presley Museum, and a handwritten letter of authenticity from Charlie Hodge, who appeared on the NBC special with Elvis.

Also sold at the auction in Devizes, Wiltshire, was a collection of telegrams and letters that helped bring infamous murderer Dr Crippen to justice, fetching £20,000.

Mr Aldridge said: "They are quite simply one of the most important of their type known and represent a watershed moment in the history of police and crime-fighting - the first time a criminal was apprehended as a direct result of wireless telegraphy."

The archive comprised 13 Marconi signals and chronicles the dramatic transatlantic chase that resulted in Crippen's arrest in Canada. After a trial at the Old Bailey in 1910, he was hanged.

:: All sale prices included buyer's premiums.

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