This May Rock Island Auction Company will be auctioning off two of Elvis Presley’s revolvers and other significant pieces of memorabilia in its Premiere Firearms Auction. A Colt Python and a Smith & Wesson Model 19, both exquisitely engraved and adorned, will make their way to the auction block, along with the King’s honorary Shelby County sheriff’s badge, the contract he signed when purchasing Graceland, and much more.
This elaborate, exhibition-grade .357 magnum revolver from Smith & Wesson was once part of Elvis’s personal collection. It is accompanied by a mountain of documents and receipts establishing its direct and unbroken line of provenance. This gun was licensed to Presley by serial number on Nov 6, 1970. He then had it sent to Friedrick Wilhelm Heym Co. in Germany for custom embellishment.
They clearly spared no expense, slathering the little K-frame revolver with relief leaf-and-scroll engraving, gold- and silver-inlaid borders, and five incredible raised-gold North American game animals—an expected sight on a fine big-game rifle, perhaps, but a rare and opulent touch for this small Smith & Wesson.
Such exquisite work also extends to the staghorn grips, which have been elaborately engraved in a similar vine-and-scroll pattern and feature two engraved game animals of their own. Not a square inch of this gun was left undecorated, a feat not unsurprising to those familiar with Elvis’s style during that time.
It’s no secret that in recent years the popularity, and resultant prices, of Colt Python double-action revolvers has skyrocketed. Add to that the ever-present demand and the consistently high prices of Elvis memorabilia and you’ve set the stage for a bidding war at auction. This Colt Python was also owned by Presley and is accompanied by its original registration to the King. Even as early as 1973 it was featured in Guns magazine, so while it has been in the public eye for some time, it has not been available for public sale since Elvis himself bought it. Until now.
As can be seen, it is decorated in the same style as the Smith & Wesson Model 19-2, with the work again performed by Friedrick Wilhelm Heym Co. This sumptuous snake gun was presented by Elvis to Richard Grob, the director of Security and Operations for Elvis Presley Enterprises. Grob worked for Presley from 1967 until his death in 1977, and in that time became a close personal friend and confidant. He advised the King on many of his firearm purchases and frequently accompanied him to firing ranges.
This Colt Python enjoys 95 percent coverage of the same masterfully executed relief leaf-and-scroll engraving that was ordered on Elvis’s Model 19. Silver and gold inlays abound, often serving as borders, and again five raised-gold North American big game animals make their presence known around the frame. The scrimshaw-esque grips are a perfect complement, with their sweeping scrollwork framing a leaping stag on one side and a pouncing mountain lion on the other.
Along with the revolvers will be priceless Elvis memorabilia, including the contract Presley signed when he purchased Graceland, his honorary Shelby County sheriff’s badge, and much more.
These pieces are only the beginning of an incredible firearms auction that takes place May 5–7. The three-day event will include more than 2,800 lots with spectacular, one-of-a-kind Winchesters, 100+ Class III items, remarkable Colts, and an unmatched selection of sporting arms.
To see previews of the sale and learn more about Elvis’s firearms, click here.