20/09/2012 A Crooked Deal: Al Capone’s pistol to star in gangster auction
Fancy a piece of American crime history? Well, here’s an offer you can’t refuse. A pocket pistol once carried by the legendary mob boss Al ‘Scarface’ Capone is going to auction, alongside more than 100 unique, gangster-related pieces in a New Hampshire sale on 30 September.
Al Capone, the notorious gangster who ruled the Chicago Prohibition-era underworld with brutal methods, is quoted as saying: “You can go a long way with a smile. You can go a lot farther with a smile and a gun." The vicious mobster is thought to have personally killed at least seven people and ordered the deaths of many more during his criminal career. Born in the borough of Brooklyn in New York to Italian immigrants, Capone established a multi-million dollar business dedicated to smuggling and bootlegging liquor, as well as gambling and prostitution. He later expanded his mini-empire to include bribery of political figures and government officials. At the height of his wealth and power, Capone’s enterprise was untouchable by law enforcement, leaving the Windy City at the mercy of his henchmen.
Despite his illegal occupation, Capone enjoyed celebrity status in Chicago and beyond throughout the 1920s – and the mobster hasn't lost his strange appeal over the years. With Capone’s personal belonging currently selling for huge sums at auctions worldwide, it’s hardly surprising that his Colt .25 semi-automatic pistol is set to draw a lot of attention when it goes under the hammer at the ‘American Gangsters, Outlaws and Lawmen’ sale later this month. Interested buyers can also place a bid on a musical score titled ‘Madonna Mia’, penned by an imprisoned Capone in tribute to his wife Mae. Also included in the sale is a 1925 police deposition signed by ‘Scarface’ himself – estimated to go for a staggering £62,000.
However, if you’re not that into ‘La Cosa Nostra’ and Al Capone, you might be interested in knowing that two revolvers seized from the bodies of the infamous bank robbers Bonnie and Clyde are also up for bidding. The deadly couple’s private guns, which were on them when they were taken down on May 23, 1934, are undoubtedly the most important Bonnie and Clyde items ever to appear at auction. The historic firearms are expected to come with a price tag of at least £60,000 for each.
As to the sale on 30 September... keep your friends close, but your enemies closer. With so much gangster memorabilia on offer, it's set to be a mob hit.
The RR-Auction's 'American Gangsters, Outlaws and Lawmen' sale will take place on Sunday, 30 September in Nashua, New Hampshire.