Lot 13: Elvis Presley-Owned WWII German Army Bayonet Brought Back from the Army in Germany
29 October 2016
Memphis, TN, USALive Auction
Bayonets were knife or sword-like weapons that commonly attached to the muzzle of a musket or rifle and were typically used in close combat. During his Army service in the late 1950s, Elvis was stationed at the heart of World War II, so it's no surprise that he would come home with a relic from the war that changed the world. The souvenir he chose was a 1943 fze (Holler) German bayonet. This bayonet with scabbard and leather frog is marked on the blade with "5982 k" and "43 fze," and marked twice at the base below the Bakelite handle "4519." The scabbard is marked "5955" (although not matching, certainly close). This intrepid artifact comes with a letter from Sam Thompson which states in part, "While visiting at Graceland, I admired a German bayonet Elvis had on a rifle rack in his office. Elvis told me he had acquired it when he was stationed in Germany in the Army. He then picked it up and gave it to me."
With ties to both his military service and the country in which he was stationed, it's no doubt that the bayonet was cherished by Elvis. The bayonet measures 15 1/4 inches (38.73 cm) in length, the blade measures 9 15/16 inches (25.24 cm) in length, the scabbard measures 10 1/2 inches (26.67 cm) in length and the leather frog measures 8 3/4 inches (22.22 cm) in length. This historic artifact is accompanied by a letter of authenticity from Graceland Authenticated.
Condition Report: The blade is heavily patinated with evidence of wear and use. The scabbard is also heavily patinated with some dents from age and use. All three are overall in used but excellent condition.