May 27, 2021 Rock & Roll, Entertainment, Sports and Americana
This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 5/27/2021

Offered is an incredible performance-worn ensemble of Johnny Cash's, perfectly styled and fitting for "The Man in Black." This ensemble was acquired directly from Johnny Cash by Bill Miller, noted Cash expert and curator of “The Johnny Cash Museum” in Nashville. Johnny can be seen wearing this jacket on various TV shows in the 1970s, including on the 1977 American Music Awards when he received the “Award of Merit” for his career in music. Johnny regularly wore “Eaves Costume Co.” clothing of this style during the 1970s. The offered ensemble, complete with “Trumbull & Asser” dress shirt and jet-black leather boots, is a quintessential example of Johnny Cash’s outlaw style.  

The jacket presents with its “Eaves Costume Co.” tag that is notated with the name “J. Cash” in ink, as well as listing measurements of “45” and “38.” The pants present with their “Manuel Exclusive Clothier” tag on the waist’s interior. Manuel Cuevas, who famously designed clothing for Nudie Cohn, is credited with dressing Johnny Cash in all black when he first started designing him clothing in the 1950s. It's fitting we should have a pair of Manuel's black pants included here. By 1975, Manuel opened his own shop, and the offered pants date from that era. Cash’s black leather ankle boots, size 13D, have a fine embroidered Western-style design on top of the toe area.

A thorough review of period photographs and video unearthed several images of Cash wearing the offered jacket, including during appearances on his 1976 television show Johnny Cash and Friends. Additionally, he can be seen wearing the jacket on the 1977 Country Music Awards show and while receiving the “Award of Merit” on the 1977 American Music Awards. This was a lifetime achievement award bestowed upon Cash. The cut of coat's lapel, the shape of the cuffs, the button placements and the unusual equestrian style of the coat's pockets demonstrably to the sides (as one on horseback would want them, instead of in front of them), all match the offered garment. The photographic evidence does not rise to the high bar of "photo match," technically speaking, but combined with the strong provenance of emanating from Mr. Miller, we feel confident in our assertions. Additionally, while concert photographs from this era are categorically scarce, Johnny regularly rotated clothing he was wearing for concerts and television appearances during his career. It follows that this ensemble almost surely saw many a concert stage when the “man in black” performed in the late 1970s.

The group is accompanied by two June 2, 1999, certificates of authenticity from Odyssey Group, with descriptions issued and signed by then Odyssey manager and owner Bill Miller. Miller is author of the book Cash, An American Man and creator of the now famous “Johnny Cash Museum” in Nashville, Tennessee. Miller acquired the clothing and boots directly from Johnny Cash. The clothing and boots all show signed of moderate, if not heavy, use, but present without significant distresses. Excellent to Mint condition overall. 

Johnny Cash’s Performance-Worn “Eaves Costume Co.” Black Suit Coat and “Manuel” Pants with White Dress Shirt and Black Leather Boots
Current Bidding (Reserve Has Been Met)
Minimum Bid: $10,000
Final prices include buyers premium: $14,950
Estimate: $20,000 - $25,000
Number Bids: 2
Auction closed on Thursday, May 27, 2021.
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