Thursday, July 22, 2010

Embalming Elvis

You may have heard the news this week - as reported by the Chicago Sun-Times, Reuters, BBC, Time, and many other media outlets - that the tools used to autopsy Elvis Presley (1935-1977) are being auctioned off. Quigley here to clarify the terminology for her readers: these are not autopsy tools, but embalming tools - as the Associated Press and the Chicago Tribune correctly trumpet in their headlines. The lots to be offered by Chicago's Leslie Hindman Auctioneers (2nd image) include a needle injector, an arterial tube, and aneurysm hooks that would have been used to carry out the arterial embalming of the body at the Memphis Funeral Home before Elvis was casketed (1st image) for a private and public viewing. The items include a toe tag, but not the scalpel, scissors, and saw that would have been necessary to open the body for examination at the autopsy, which was conducted at his father's insistence at the hospital before Elvis' remains were released to the funeral home. The items, retained after their use in 1977 by the senior embalmer at the funeral home, consist of the embalming instruments and a collection of postmortem articles, and are expected to fetch a combined total of $10,000 to $14,000.


  1. Interesting!
    But I won't be making a bid.....

  2. How can you guarantee that these instruments were the actual instruments used???????


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