Christie's expecting six-figure bid for Al Capone's revolver
The auction for gangster Al Capone's six-shot revolver is expected to draw bids in the neighborhood of $100,000.
June 21st, 2011
02:53 PM ET

Christie's expecting six-figure bid for Al Capone's revolver

Eliot Ness would probably be a little annoyed to see his nemesis's revolver drawing six-figure bids.

The Prohibition agent of "Untouchables" fame spent about two years trying to nail Al Capone and his murderous cabal, only to see the Chicago gangster dodge charges of smuggling, bootlegging, prostitution or, if we're pointing fingers in the 1929 St. Valentine's Day Massacre (we aren't), much worse.

Capone eventually went down on tax evasion charges stemming from a separate investigation. The seven years and change that the mobster spent in prison ultimately were his undoing; he died about seven years after his 1939 release.

Now, more than six decades following Capone's death, one of his belongings is drawing the cult fascination that so often accompanies the appurtenances of gangsters, psychos and other monumental miscreants.

Christie's, the world-famous auction house, is selling Capone's .38 special, a "police-positive" Colt nickel-plated, six-shot double-action revolver. It also has a handsome checkered walnut grip.

Christie's expects the winning bidder to cough up between $80,600 and $112,840. Hardly an offer you can't refuse. A similar firearm sans the Scarface pedigree would run you a few hundred dollars.

Scarface, at his 1931 tax evasion trial.

In a world where U.S. marshals snap up a quarter-mil selling the Unabomber's stuff and where Charles Manson's artwork and serial killer John Wayne Gacy's clown paintings pull mad scratch, is anyone surprised? and are viable business opportunities, after all.

The auction listing for the Brooklyn-born mob boss's pistol says that Madeleine Capone Morichetti, wife of Capone's brother, Ralph, explained in a 1976 letter to Edmund Koeski that Ralph "Bottles" Capone wanted Koeski to have the gun upon Bottles' death. The letter further described the weapon as "a gun which previously belonged to and was used only Al Capone while he was alive."

Morichetti also stated in a 1990 affidavit, which cites the gun's serial number, that Bottles got the gun from his little brother.

So, it's the genuine article, Christie's is saying.

The auction house opens bidding on the gat Wednesday in London. This would make a fine addition to the decor of any local speakeasy.

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Filed under: Celebrity • Crime • History • Illinois • U.S. • United Kingdom • World
soundoff (55 Responses)
  1. donald


    June 21, 2011 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
  2. goinggone

    June 21, 2011 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
  3. stewie

    Not really interested in that gun. Now Doc Holliday's or Wyatt Earp's peacemaker
    I'd take in a heartbeat.

    June 21, 2011 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
  4. CSnSC

    I agree stewie, old double action revolvers are nearly impossible to shoot accuratly.

    June 21, 2011 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hryan

      Obviously you just don't know how.

      June 21, 2011 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Bob

    What about the baseball bat he cracked a few heads with?

    June 21, 2011 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Ian

    I would rather have a historical weapon used in battle, such as WW2 defeating the n a z s or the civil war that ended slavery. something very American

    June 21, 2011 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
  7. stewie

    How more American can you get than Earp's peacemaker, BTW it was used in battle. There are weapons you can get from the civil war and WW2 that are reasonably priced, probably in the thousands of dollars depending on condition.

    June 21, 2011 at 6:16 pm | Report abuse |
  8. stewie

    @CSnSC: unfortunately I never had the pleasure of shooting an authentic pistol from that era.

    June 21, 2011 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Sal

    Forget about it

    June 21, 2011 at 6:31 pm | Report abuse |
  10. CSnSC

    Stewie get a replica Colt 1858 new model Army. Sweet and about $200

    June 21, 2011 at 6:34 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Manny

    I'd rather have his hat !

    June 21, 2011 at 6:38 pm | Report abuse |
  12. stewie

    CSnSC thanks for the tip. What company makes it, Colt?

    June 21, 2011 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
  13. CSnSC

    @hryan wanna bet ?

    June 21, 2011 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
  14. CSnSC

    Stewie, Dixie Gunworks, out of Tennessee

    June 21, 2011 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Teresa*


    June 21, 2011 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
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