London – Christie’s auctions feature important works of art as well as the world’s most interesting collectibles. The Colt .38 revolver formerly owned by notorious American gangster “Al” Capone sold for £67,250/$109,080/€75,656 last night at Christie’s sale of Antique Arms, Armour and Collectors Firearms. The pistol was sold online to an anonymous bidder using Christie’s LIVE.TM
Perhaps the most famous American gangster of all time, Alphonse Gabriel “Al” Capone (1899-1947) has been immortalized in numerous books and articles, as well as countless films. The stereotypical mobster image—-blue pinstripe suit, tilted fedora—-is based upon photographs of Capone, and his personality has been used as a template for copious fictional criminal masterminds.
Capone’s revolver has exceptional provenance and was sold by a private collector, complete with an original personal letter from Madeleine Capone Morichetti, the widow of Al’s brother, Ralph Capone, confirming that the gun “…previously belonged to and was only used by Al Capone while he was alive,” as well as a copy of the affidavit sworn by her on 25th March 1990.
Al Capone was simultaneously regarded a folk hero and a public enemy; despite his illegitimate occupation he was regarded by many to be a modern-day Robin Hood, due to his various charitable endeavors he supported with the money he made from his activities.