AL CAPONE’S COLT .38 ‘POLICE POSITIVE’ REVOLVER
SELLS FOR £67,250/$109,080/€75,656
South Kensington – Christie’s sale of Antique Arms, Armour and Collectors Firearms saw the Colt .38 ‘Police Positive’ revolver formerly owned by notorious American gangster “Al” Capone sell for £67,250/$109,080/€75,656, against a pre-sale estimate of £50,000-70,000.
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. The oath confirms that the revolver was previously owned by her brother-in-law. 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 using the money he made from his activities.
Please see the caption and image attached. The top three for the auction, complete with a comment from the head of sale, with follow shortly.
Related Departments Arms & Armour
Christie’s, the world's leading art business, had global auction and private sales in 2014 that totalled £5.1 billion / $8.4 billion, making it the highest annual total in Christie’s history. Christie’s is a name and place that speaks of extraordinary art, unparalleled service and expertise, as well as international glamour. Founded in 1766 by James Christie, Christie's has since conducted the greatest and most celebrated auctions through the centuries providing a popular showcase for the unique and the beautiful. Christie’s offers around 450 auctions annually in over 80 categories, including all areas of fine and decorative arts, jewellery, photographs, collectibles, wine, and more. Prices range from $200 to over $100 million. Christie's also has a long and successful history conducting private sales for its clients in all categories, with emphasis on Post-War & Contemporary, Impressionist & Modern, Old Masters and Jewellery. Private sales totalled £916.1 million ($1.5 billion) in 2014, an increase of 20% on the previous year.
Christie’s has a global presence with 54 offices in 32 countries and 12 salerooms around the world including in London, New York, Paris, Geneva, Milan, Amsterdam, Dubai, 下Zürich, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Mumbai. More recently, Christie’s has led the market with expanded initiatives in growth markets such as Russia, China, India and the United Arab Emirates, with successful sales and exhibitions in Shanghai, New Delhi, Mumbai and Dubai.
*Estimates do not include buyer’s premium. Sales totals are hammer price plus buyer’s premium and do not reflect costs, financing fees or application of buyer’s or seller’s credits.
Complete catalogue available online at www.christies.com
or via Christie’s Mobile,
iPhone, iPad and Android apps.
A .38 (SPECIAL) 'POLICE POSITIVE' NICKEL-PLATED SIX-SHOT DOUBLE-ACTION
BY COLT, HARTFORD, SERIAL NO. 384221 FOR 1938
With sighted barrel with two line 'COLT'S PT. F. A. MFG. CO. HARTFORD,
CT. U.S.A. / PAT'D. AUG 5, 1884, JULY 4, 1905, OCT 5, 1925.' address
and with model / calibre designation to the left side, fluted cylinder,
frame with rampant Colt trade mark, chequered walnut grips each with
Colt roundel, and retaining nearly all its original nickel-plated
4in. (10.2cm.) barrel