- An unidentified collector of Elvis Presley memorabilia agreed early Saturday to pay $115,000 for a small jar filled with what is purported to be the late singer’s hair, collected by his barber.
The winning bid is proof, observers say, of the growing, if macabre, popularity of hair collecting–and that Elvis Presley is still the King.
“I kind of thought it had a chance for six figures,” said Brian Marren, vice president of acquisitions for MastroNet Inc., the Oak Brook-based company that conducted the Internet auction.
MastroNet officials have not released the winning bidder’s name, citing confidentiality agreements. But Marren said the person was a “big Elvis collector” who fought a last-minute bidding war before typing in the winning bid about 2 a.m.
“I have no idea what they intend to do with it,” Marren said.
The black hairball, which had been up for auction since Oct. 28, was purportedly saved by Homer “Gill” Gilleland, Presley’s barber for more than 20 years. Gilleland, who traveled with the singer to shows, would color the King’s sandy-blond hair black, then cut it into a towel around Presley’s neck.
Friends of the barber said he bundled up the towels with the hair inside and took them home. He then put the hair in a plastic bread bag, where it stayed until Presley died in 1977. Shortly after, friends said Gilleland began selling strands of the hair in a souvenir shop across the street from Presley’s Memphis home, Graceland.
….Reznikoff said the six-figure price tag for the Elvis locks “shows that hair collecting has really come into the 21st Century.”
Some have speculated the hair could be resold, strand by strand, for a profit. In an auction, MastroNet sold a strand of John F. Kennedy’s hair for about $3,000. A strand of Abraham Lincoln’s hair recently sold for $811 on eBay.
Auction officials did not count how many strands of Presley’s hair are in the jar, but they have said there are hundreds, if not thousands.
Bidding on the hair opened at $10,000 and started slowly but picked up steam over the 20-dayauction, ending with a frenzy of activity early Saturday. Marren said there were several bidders until the price hit roughly $50,000, when all but three dropped out.
The winner went back-and-forth with the two others before agreeing to pay $100,105, plus a 15 percent commission to MastroNet.
Seriously, this is going to become a huge collector area for one reason: cloning. I’m serious: with hair you have DNA in abundance, and with DNA, when the technology comes around, you will be able to make your own Elvis, store him in your closet, and bring him out for parties and whatnot.
I’m not the first person to think of this: there is already an Americans for Cloning Elvis website where you can sign a petition requesting the return of the King. But armed with hair, you can do it yourself. I’m serious.