Fashion: Is it worth it? Return to sender

Fancy making a few bob? Write to someone you think will be the next Elvis, wait for a reply, then flog it

What price a personal note from Elvis? Well, pounds 3,700 actually. That's the estimated value of a birthday note penned by The King in 1960 to a young Karen Golz in Oberhausen, Germany.

The handwritten letter in blue ink was sent to his young fan in reply to an earnest promise of marriage from the 11-year-old. Sadly, Elvis never delivered the note, off-loading the task instead to his landlady. She forgot to post it, and the letter remained undiscovered until she died and her dutiful heirs recently posted the letter with a new stamp.

Given that the missive works out at about pounds 200 per word, they are no doubt ruminating on their decision. However, little Golz (or rather big, now that she's all grown-up) must be delighted. Although the sentiment may be a little late, she has reason to feel proud. After all, it's not every day that you write a hormonally prostrate love letter to a pop demigod, ask him to marry you, and end up getting pounds 3,700 for your trouble.

Giles Moon, rock rpecialist at Sotheby's, is not surprised by the price tag on Golz's letter, which is far from overpriced. "The Elvis market has been extremely popular since it began in the early Eighties - from very early material from before he was famous, through his Vegas days, right up until his death," he says. "Some collectors even specialise in memorabilia from one particular Elvis era." Frank Skinner memorably bought an Elvis shirt for around pounds 20,000, only to discover finally, after trekking all around America, that it was a fake.

Manuscript material is apparently very much sought- after at the moment, lyrics being the most desirable, fetching top prices of pounds 15,000, while letters to his girlfriends back in America in the early- Sixties, when he was stationed as a soldier in Germany, he considers, can fetch between pounds 4,000 and pounds 6,000. If only Karen's feelings for Elvis had been reciprocated, she'd be sitting on a goldmine. "The `girlfriend' letters are more personal," says Moon, "which is why the price sounds high." Hard luck, Karen.

Mr Presley's birthday wishes certainly can't claim the same sort of historical importance as can, say, the guitar he recorded his first hit on. Given this, perhaps only the serious anorak-wearing collector, desperate for even the humblest Presley pickings, should shell out. Alternatively, Kate Moss, with her dream of a one 2 one with Elvis, might want to get all shook up by buying the birthday greeting. But only if it's for the right reasons, warns our Sotheby's expert. "At the end of the day I always advise people to buy not for profit," he says, "but for the pleasure."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives - OTE £60,000

    £25000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about Custom...

    Recruitment Genius: Care Workers Required - The London Borough of Bromley

    £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This homecare agency is based in Beckenh...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives - OTE £50,000

    £25000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about Custom...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives - OTE £50,000

    £25000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about Custom...

    Day In a Page

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

    Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

    The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
    Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

    Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

    The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
    Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

    The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

    Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
    La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

    Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

    The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
    10 best high-end laptops

    10 best high-end laptops

    From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
    Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

    Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

    The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
    Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

    Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

    The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
    Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

    'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

    After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
    Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

    Homeless Veterans campaign

    Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
    Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

    Meet Racton Man

    Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
    Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

    Garden Bridge

    St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
    Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

    Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

    An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
    Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

    Joint Enterprise

    The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
    Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

    Freud and Eros

    Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum