Got a cool $100,000 taking up too much space in your bank account? Al Capone’s .38 Special Colt revolver hits the auction block today in London. The double-action, “police positive” pistol is nickel-plated with a wooden grip, and in fairly good condition considering it belonged to a ruthless gangster who was involved in multiple shootouts. There are, however, a number of nicks and scrapes to the frame and barrel that we really wish could talk.
Capone, the fedora and pin-striped-suit wearing mobster, is, after all, arguably the single most famous Prohibition-era criminal, and the key figure in the notorious Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre.
Christie’s actually expects the revolver to go for anywhere from $80,000 to well over $110,000.
Christie’s auction house, the company auctioning the pistol, notes that a letter from Madeleine Capone Morichettie, who married Al Capone’s older brother, Raffaele “Bottles” Capone, comes with the revolver. In the letter, Madeleine states that the revolver was, indeed, used by Al Capone and then bequeathed to Raffaele upon Al’s death.
The Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre, for those unfamiliar, was a shootout that took place in Chicago in 1929. It involved Al Capone’s gang (who were Italian) facing off against members of gangster Bugs Moran’s crew (who were Irish). The shootout stemmed from shady liquor shipment deals. In total, seven people were murdered, and a dizzyingly-extensive police investigation followed. Capone, who survived the massacre, was sent to prison for tax evasion several years later. That, along with the 18th Amendment (repealing Prohibition) and failing health due to syphilis, would lessen Capone’s influence. He died in 1947, but has since become the archetype for the early 20th century mob boss.