Gallstones of Elvis Presley
Gallstones of Elvis Presley. Gallstones and canning jar. Embalmed in solution. Origin: Friedberg, Germany, 1962. Installed in special illuminated vitrine.
—Accorded the grateful acknowledgment of Tara Verhide, biochemistry, engineering specialist, practicing relic preservation in New Hampshire.
re.1962.19.em. Pre-1997 Museum. Former catalog number 50.
It is not generally known that Elvis had a gallstone operation two years into his stint in the Armed Services. Performed by an American army surgeon, the young g. i. returned to his home at Geothestrasse 14 directly after the operation, which proceeded without complications; yet the remnants of his minor affliction were coveted by a local art collector and curiosity seeker—specializing in the cultures of Africa, Oceania, Indonesia and the Americas—Wilfried Greirfinger, who later attempted to interest the management of the Hard Rock Cafe in New York City in purchasing the relics. After encountering refusal the stones made their way to a private collector who donated them to The Museum.