Lot 125: Complete Set of Elvis Presley's Fingerprints on 1970 Beverly Hills Police Department Application for Permit to Carry a Concealed Weapon
October 29, 2016
Memphis, TN, USALive Auction
On October 22, 1970, Elvis flew into Palm Springs for the weekend. Sometime after landing, Elvis headed to the Beverly Hills Police Department to be fingerprinted for his application for a permit to carry a concealed weapon. This pristine fingerprint card contains the original fingerprint for every single one of Elvis' 10 digitsâboth hands, twiceâand his bold blue ink signature. This amazing artifact was held in the files at the Beverly Hills Police Department for seven years before being transferred to microfiche, and the original fingerprint card was given to the officer who took the prints, Richard Clason. The card was treasured and framed by Clason and is being offered direct from his family.
The card, numbered 73808 and dated October 22, 1970, lists Elvis' occupation as singer, place of birth as Tupelo, Miss. and date of birth as 1-8-35. The last letter in "Elvis" at the top was corrected with whiteout. Elvis signed the card "Elvis A. Presley," and the signature remains bold in blue ink. The fingerprint card is offered with a letter from Richard Clason's son Kenneth in which he recounts in detail the circumstances of his father's meeting with Elvis to take his fingerprints that day. This precise accounting mentions in part, "So it was on October 22, 1970, that my father was called into Police Chief B.L. Cork's office to meet an individual who was applying for such a permit and would need a set of prints taken right away. Imagine my dad's surprise to se [sic] none other than the King of Rock 'n Roll standing there in front of the Chief's desk! Officer Clason was quite accustomed to interacting with celebrities, including some who were rather full of themselves, people who seemed to believe their own PR as my dad would say. But he recalled Elvis as being very soft spoken and polite, just a regular guy. As he walked Elvis to the fingerprint room, my father asked him why he felt he needed to carry a concealed weapon. Elvis told him there had been threats on his life and that sometimes when he was on stage with the house lights blinding his eyes, he would feel particularly vulnerable." Between his love of firearms and karate, Elvis was certainly capable of self-protection should the need arise. This fingerprint card, measuring 8 by 8 inches (20.32 x 20.32 cm), is the pinnacle example of the most complete set of the King's unique identifier - all 10 of his fingerprints! The fingerprint card is accompanied by a letter of authenticity from Graceland Authenticated.
Condition Report: The front of the card is devoid of distresses, while the reverse shows only three small areas of tape removal. The card was file-stored for a long period, protecting it from most age-related wear. Pristine, near mint condition.