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Last Updated: Tuesday, 8 July, 2003, 09:42 GMT 10:42 UK
Elvis tooth goes on sale
Elvis Presley
Presley's hair was shorn off when he joined the army

It is the tooth that bit into 1,000 burgers - a molar said to belong to rock'n'roll legend Elvis Presley is to go up for sale on Tuesday.

The tooth will be sold on the internet as part of a collection including a lock of the singer's hair and a gold-plated copy of the hit single Love Me Tender.

The group of items will start with a minimum bid of $100,000 (60,000).

Anthony DeFontes, a spokesman for the collection, said the tooth was originally in the possession of Elvis's former girlfriend, Linda Thompson.

It was then given to the Elvis Presley museum before it was auctioned off to a private collector.

DeFontes said the lock of hair was cut off when Presley joined the US Army and was given to talk show host Joe Franklin as a present from the singer.

But there is some doubt over the authenticity of the items.


Todd Morgan, a spokesman for Elvis Presley Enterprises which manages Presley's estate, said the tooth and hair could be genuine but added that the company does not certify purported Elvis memorabilia as genuine.

A spokesman for website eBay, who will host the auction, explained that the site usually bans the sale of body parts but made no comment on the Presley sale.

DeFontes said the owner of the tooth had been made an offer from an unnamed European firm that had been interested in extracting DNA from the tooth for cloning but they were refused.

"To him, there will only be one Elvis," DeFontes said.

The items have been on display in a hair salon called the Yellow Strawberry in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, since 1992.

DeFontes said the owner was selling partly because of the cost of insurance and security.

It is not the first time Presley's hair has been sold on the internet.

A clipping, about the size of a cricket ball, was sold at auction for $115,120 (70,000) last November.

The bidder was anonymous and beat competition from 32 other bids.

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