Elvis Presley’s ’68 Comeback Special guitar is heading to auction this month

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Elvis Presley’s ’68 Comeback Special guitar is heading to auction this month

Words by Will Brewster

The starting bid for the iconic Hagstrom Viking II is set at $250,000.

The electric guitar used by Elvis Presley throughout his historic ’68 Comeback Special live show is set to head to auction later this month.

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The guitar, a Swedish-made Hagstrom Viking II from the late ’60s, will go under the hammer via Kruse GWS Auctions’ Artifacts of Hollywood & Music auction on Saturday March 27, which also features items like Michael Jackson’s sequinned glove and a prototype guitar made for and played by Eric Clapton.

Deemed to be one of the most iconic televised performances of all time, the ’68 Comeback Special marked Presley’s return to music after spending seven years in the film sector, resulting in a ratings smash and hurling Elvis back into stardom as a singer.

Although Elvis played a number of different guitars throughout the special, including a Gibson jumbo acoustic and an electric ES-175 guitar, it’s the Hagstrom Viking II that many tend to associate with the show.

The unique contours of the semi-hollow guitar, as well as its bold Cherry Red finish, have helped the guitar attain iconic status among Elvis fans, who’ll undoubtedly jump at the opportunity to get their hands on it when it heads to auction in the coming weeks.

As it stands, offers for the Hagstrom Viking II are set to kick off with a starting bid of $250,000 (just over $320,000 AUD). Considering that one of the King’s other old guitars – the historic ‘Sun Sessions’ Martin D-18 – sold for $1.3 million back in August 2020, there’s every chance that this Hagstrom could go down as one of the most expensive guitars in history – we’ll have to wait and see how it all pans out next fortnight.

Find out more about the Hagstrom here and check out other items listed in the Artifacts of Hollywood & Music Auction.