Elvis Presley’s ‘Comeback’ Hagstrom Viking II fetches $500,000 at auction

The iconic instrument sold for double its auction estimate.

Elvis Presley onstage hagstrom viking ii

Photo: Michael Ochs Archives / Getty

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Elvis Presley’s iconic Hagstrom Viking II, which appeared in the 1968 Comeback Special, has sold for $500,000 at auction.

The guitar was listed last month on Kruse GWS Auctions’ Artifacts of Hollywood & Music auction with a starting bid of $250,000.

Presley famously played the Cherry Red semi-hollow during his Comeback Special, which marked his return to music after seven years in the movie industry. The concert was broadcasted on national television in the US.

The guitar also graced the cover of The King’s 1969 album From Elvis In Memphis and appeared in a Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame exhibition.

The guitar’s original owner, Al Casey, was a musician in Presley’s band for the special. According to a letter he provided Kruse GWS auctions – which was included in the sale – he let Presley borrow his guitar after producers said it would look good on camera.

While the specs of the guitar are unclear, Hagstrom Viking II models from the era had maple bodies and necks, a rosewood fingerboard, two stock humbuckers and a lyre tailpiece. Hagstrom currently sells a vintage reissue instrument, the ’67 Viking II, equipped with H-52 mini-humbuckers.

In August 2020, another of Presley’s iconic guitars, his ‘Sun Sessions’ Martin D-18 sold at auction for $1.3 million. It fell short of the auctioneer’s $2million estimate.

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