Elvis Presley’s hair saved from floor by barber to be auctioned for £6,000

A lock of Elvis Presley's hair is expected to get fans all shook up when it goes under the hammer – with an estimated price tag of up to £6,000.

The black strands from the King's famous quiff were swept up by his barber Homer Gilleland who flogged the cuttings to fans following Elvis' death in 1977.

He mounted the locks on a card which stated: "This card contains a lock of hair from the King of Rock and Roll as cut by Mr Gil of Memphis, memories of which in future years yours they will always be – Elvis 1935-1977'."

Life-long British fan Tom Unwin snapped up the hair in 2010 to add to his collection of memorabilia which also includes the King's racquetball racquet he bought in 2002.

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The 75-year-old retired building site manager, from Kidsgrove, Stoke-on-Trent, is now selling the hair and racquet which are expected to fetch around £12,000 in total.

He said: "I bought the hair about ten years ago and the racquet in 2002 from a man who was running an Elvis fan club I belonged to.

"I have been a huge Elvis fan since I was 15. I've collected memorabilia all my life – everything you can imagine to do with Elvis.

"I've been to his home in Graceland, Memphis, Tennessee, a few times and met members of his band and his wife Priscilla Presley. She was fantastic.

"I'm selling now because I've had so much enjoyment from showing my Elvis memorabilia to friends over the years. I would like others to experience that same enjoyment."

According to a letter of provenance with Elvis' hair, Mr Gilleland, known as Mr Gill or Gil, got to know Elvis in the early 1950s. He used to cut Elvis' mother Gladys Presley's hair at Goldsmith's department store in Memphis.

The letter states: "Mr Gill cut Elvis's hair on tour, movie sets and at Graceland.

"When Mr Gill went to Graceland to cut Elvis's hair, he would wrap up the towel with this hair and, when he got home, he would take the hair and place it in a plastic bag.

"Over the years Mr Gill collected a sizeable amount of hair. After Elvis passed away, he would give a few strands to fans taped to a card. When Mr Gill couldn't work anymore, he began to sell it."

The letter, which explains the chain of ownership of the hair, says a baseball sized amount of Elvis' hair sold for $125,000 (£94,833).

The lot also includes a copy of Mr Gilleland's Air Travel Card International, showing both his name and that of his employer, Elvis.

The racquetball racquet, which also has a guide price of £4,000- £6,000, comes with a letter of provenance from Lamar Fike, a member of Elvis' famed inner circle called the 'Memphis Mafia'.

Mr Unwin said: "When I first bought the racquet, I realised its letter of provenance was a copy and, after raising this with the seller, received a message to call Lamar in America.

"He was really kind and sent me a personal letter which states that the racquet was given to him by Elvis' father the day after the star died in August, 1977.

"Lamar said Elvis had played many a match with it. He had a racquetball court at Graceland.

"Back in the mid-1950s we just had crooners like Perry Como then, boom, Elvis came along and changed everything – hair, fashion, dance and music."

The hair and racquet are being sold by Hansons Auctioneers on November 19.

Claire Howell, music memorabilia valuer, said: "Hair has always been a wonderful keepsake as it lasts forever.

"For any Elvis fan, here's an opportunity to own a little piece of the legend more than 40 years after his premature death at the age of 42.

"His hair had an impact on the world, too. He was renowned for paying great attention to his famous locks, which were actually blond.

"At a time when men didn't dye their hair, he used gel, hairspray, colour – whatever it took – to achieve his rockabilly look.

"The girls swooned and, thanks to Elvis, a hair salon for men opened in Hollywood, unheard of back then. He was a ground-breaker in more ways than one."

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