Are you Roman tonight? Statue of 'Elvis' chiselled 1800 years before his birth goes under the hammer
By NIALL FIRTH
Last updated at 1:18 PM on 22nd July 2008
With his dashing chiselled features, swept back hair and perky bouffant the resemblance is unmistakable.
But incredibly this carving of Elvis Presley was created around 1800 years before the King of Rock and Roll first warbled his first note.
The amazing likeness has come to light as part of a sale of ancient antiques by the auction house Bonhams.
Classic Elvis: The statue bears an unmistakeable resemblance to the real King
The Roman Elvis is in fact a genuine marble acroterion - a kind of architectural ornament often found for decoration on the corners of a sarcophagus, a stone tomb or burial chamber.
The real thing: Elvis in concert in 1968
It forms part of a collection owned by Melbourne-based Graham Geddes - one of the world's most foremost collectors - which is estimated to sell for more than £1m when it goes on sale in October.
Even the Geddes himself has nicknamed the astounding lookalike ‘Elvis’.
Antiquities specialist Georgiana Aitken added: 'It bears an uncanny likeness to Elvis Presley. It's the quiff that does it.
You do some weird and wacky things at the corners of sarcophagi.
'I don't know what purpose they served and the quiff was not a hairstyle of the day as far as I know.'
The 'Elvis’ sculpture is 2nd Century AD and is estimated to make £25,000 to £30,000.
A spokesman for Bonhams said: "It is perhaps the strangest item in the sale, certainly to modern eyes.
"Fans of the King of Rock 'n Roll, seeing this face from the distant past will be forgiven for thinking that their idol may well have lived a previous life in Rome!
"Looking at this face with its Elvis-like quiff, strong jaw and nose, one is inevitably led to the thought that the human face for all is diversity and subtlety has after all an ability to repeat itself."
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