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Lot 118: TLC Necklace Given by Elvis Presley to Girlfriend Sheila Ryan
29 October 2016
Memphis, TN, USALive Auction
Elvis was known for gifting TCB ("Taking Care of Business") necklaces to the men of his entourage and TLC ("Tender Loving Care") versions to the women in his life. The offered necklace was one that he gave to his girlfriend Sheila Ryan (Caan), whom Elvis dated after Linda Thompson. Sheila, an October 1973 Playboy cover girl, met Elvis in Las Vegas and was introduced to him by Joe Esposito. Sadly, Sheila passed in 2012.
This gift from her relationship with Elvis is marked 14k on the reverse of the yellow gold "TLC" pendant with the lightning bolt. The pendant is connected to a gold rope chain with clasp, which measures 21 inches (53.34 cm) in length. The pendant measures 1 3/4 inches (4.44 cm) in length. The necklace, with a total weight of 15.3 grams, comes with a letter from the consignor describing how the necklace was acquired and it reads:
Over the years at times it has been necessary for me to team up with other individuals to reach my goals, even when it comes to collecting Elvis items. One of these individuals was a John Castillo from the Fresno, CA area. John had started talking to Elvis' entourage and band members almost immediately following Elvis' untimely death. Somehow he had gotten to know Sammy Davis, Jr's widow, Bill Belew and his partner, as well as one of Elvis' several 1974/75 girlfriends named Sheila Ryan (later Sheila Ryan Caan after she married actor James Caan, of The Godfather fame). With John's help I was able to acquire some fantastic Elvis items from Sammy's widow and Bill Belew's significant other, including Sammy's multi-diamond TCB and Bill Belew's single-diamond TCB. We had a working relationship based on mutual trust and a shared desire to unearth and acquire as many Elvis items as possible, especially Elvis' jewelry which was a passion for both of us. At some point in or around 2008 John started telling me that Sheila Ryan had spent months living at his place while she was writing her book a couple of years earlier. When she was finished and her book was sent to the publisher, she handed him her TLC necklace and said it was his to keep as a small token for all his generosity and kindness. Unfortunately some misfortune had befallen one of John's family members, and he decided to offer Sheila's TLC necklace to me. Over the years I had acquired some TCB necklaces, but I did not yet have a TLC as they appear to be much harder to find. I was most happy to purchase Sheila Ryan's TLC necklace from John, and I asked him if Sheila had given him any kind of letter of authenticity with it. He told me the circumstances of Sheila gifting the necklace to him did not lend themselves to asking for an accompanying letter, which was understandable as it had been a gift rather than a purchase. I have enjoyed owning this rare item for several years, and now that my life is taking a different direction I hope it will go to someone who appreciates it as much as I do.
The necklace is accompanied by two modern prints of photos showing Elvis and Shelia Ryan and a letter of authenticity from Graceland Authenticated.
Condition Report: The necklace is in excellent condition overall.