Elvis Lamp: Resell or Upcycle?

Elvis Lamp: Resell or Upcycle?

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Tess Wilson
Aug 4, 2015

Q: Hey y'all! I am a heavyweight thrifting champion (insert joke about $2 belt from Goodwill here), and I frequent my local resale shops on a weekly basis. If I want something to add to my home, I put it on a mental wish list until it shows up on the shelves. This time, I had been searching for a large Grecian bust to store my hats and necklaces on. I stumbled upon a treasure even greater than I had ever imagined. I found an Elvis bust...

Unfortunately (so I thought), he had a rod coming straight up out of his head. I figured I would deal with it later and took him home to spray paint him white. I imagined his flowy scarf and sequined shoulder pads in the context of a Grecian bust and was so excited.

Then my husband told me, "That's definitely a lamp." As I disagreed, I took to the Internet to find out if "Elvis bust lamps" were a thing. Turns out they are a collectors' item from 1977, but mine sports a different color scarf than any I could find online.

That brings me to my two-part question:
1: Does the scarf color matter and make it more/less valuable?
2: Should I return him to his people via eBay in his current condition, or should I outfit him with an Edison bulb and spray paint him white? Help! My heart is so torn I can't make a decision. -Sent by Caroline

Editor: What should Caroline do? Paint the lamp, rendering it valueless to collectors but awesome to her, or give up her dream and sell the potentially valuable 40-year-old collectors' item, preserving its original form? Not an easy decision!

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