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LONDON ANTIQUE DEALER BUYS ELVIS’ ‘42 MARTIN FOR A SONG

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An antique dealer bought an Elvis Presley guitar at auction Saturday for a song - $180,000.

Red Baron's Antiques, which held the auction, had expected the instrument to fetch at least twice that amount, said manager Charlene White."He got a good deal, let's put it that way," she said.

The high bidder was identified as Dickie Wakefield, a London antique dealer.

The acoustic guitar is a 1942 Martin D-18 that Presley used for his early concerts and recordings in the mid-1950s. It's well-worn, particularly on the back, apparently because Presley's belt-buckle rubbed it as he played.

Presley traded in the guitar at O.K. Houck Piano Co. in Memphis in 1956. A neighbor and fan purchased the guitar the following day and kept it for 35 years before selling it to Red Baron's.

Graceland, Presley's estate, owns all of Presley's other guitars, making this one a rare find, said Jim Jaworowicz, memorabilia consultant for Graceland and Christie's auction house.

"I have never known of a situation where a museum piece like this has been placed on the market, and consider this very rare indeed," Jaworowicz said.