An unwashed pair of Elvis Presley’s underpants, featuring a stained crotch area, have failed to sell for the 10k they were expected to go for. In fact, the dirty briefs didn’t sell at all.

The underpants had attracted considerable interest prior to the auction because Presley wore them under one of his infamous white jumpsuits during a 1977 concert, but even though people were willing to pay 5k, they had a 7k reserve, and the underwear remained unsold. Perhaps the more interesting story is that someone was willing to pay 5k for a pair of stained briefs, which were on sale among 100 other items of Elvis memorabilia auctioned to mark 35 years since his death. A Bible belonging to the star was the most expensive lot, fetching 59k. A Christmas gift from his Uncle Vester and Aunt Clettes during his first year in Graceland in 1957, it contains the singer’s handwritten notes, such as: "To judge a man by his weakest link or deed is like judging the power of the ocean by one wave."

The failure of his underpants to sell has come as a bit of a surprise to those behind the auction scenes, especially considering intimate Elvis artefacts have proved successful earners at auction, with one of his belts selling for $66,000, and a lock of Presley's hair fetching a reported $18,300 at a Chicago auction in 2009. Elsewhere, in ‘buying underwear for thousands of dollars is normal’ news; particulars worn by Marilyn Monroe in the 1954 film River of No Return gleamed 28k at an auction in LA earlier this year. A pair of Queen Elizabeth’s bloomers were also reportedly sold for 11k.