Gangsters Bonnie and Clyde’s weapons sale creates furore on the auction block
Two of the most legendary outlaws in American history, Bonnie Elizabeth Parker and Clyde Chestnut Barrow, popularly known as ‘Bonnie and Clyde’, actually captured the imagination of the United States with an image closer to Robin Hood rather than mass murderers. Thanks to their two year (1932 -1934) spree of crimes, 13 murders, and countless bank robberies during the Great Depression. This infamous young gangster couple in love, who were out on the open road, running from the ‘big, bad law’ who were out to get them, were finally ambushed and killed on May 23, 1934 on a rural road in Bienville Parish, Louisiana. And, the guns which couldn’t save the leaders of ‘Barrow Gang’ from an ambush by six Texas Rangers, and recovered from the couple’s bodies, are now expected to attract sky-high bids on September 30 at RR Auction in Amherst, New Hampshire. A Colt .38-caliber revolver and .45 caliber pistol belonging to Bonnie and Clyde will be auctioned along with personal effects including Barrow’s gold watch, a letter from his brother and Parker’s cosmetic case.
After the well-known American outlaw duo was, authorities recovered the Colt .38-caliber revolver (U. S. Army New Service Model 1909) Bonnie had secured to inner thigh with white colored medical tape.
And, the Colt .45 Caliber pistol (Colt Model 1911 Government Model Semi-auto pistol) Clyde had tucked into his waistband.
Now, nearly 80 years later, each of those iconic Bonnie and Clyde weapon is expected to fetch a price of $100,000 and $200,000.
Besides the weapons, other items Livingston Company will auction include a gold pocket watch Clyde Barrow was wearing at the time of his death, and a cosmetics case Bonnie Parker was using to carry the lipstick, a powder puff and Coty face powder. Historically, the brown colored leatherette box was inside the iconic Ford automobile the gangster couple was actually riding in, when a posse of law enforcing officers riddled it with their bullets. Also, a letter that Clyde Barrow wrote to his brother L.C. Barrow on the back of a photograph showing a home on a platform surrounded by water. And, he signed it ‘bud’, his secret code name when he was on the run from the law.
Interestingly, people are drawn to the Bonnie and Clyde memorabilia because of their blossoming romance and daring heists which made them folk heroes. Further, their reputation was cemented in American pop folklore by Arthur Penn’s 1967 film Bonnie and Clyde.
Also check the most Important William F. Buffalo Bill revolver, the Civil War-issue Remington New Model Army .44 percussion revolver, which went under the hammer by Heritage auctions.
Additionally, watch out the iconic final scene where Bonnie and Clyde meet their fate. This death scene has become legendary not only for the rapid-fire editing, but also the blood-soaked approach to depicting death on film.
UPDATE: Bonnie Parker’s .38 Colt Detective Special and Clyde Barrow’s .45 Colt Model 1911 have been bought by a single bidder for more over and above the estimated price. The Colt Detective Special, which was found strapped to the inside of Bonnie’s thigh, sold for $264,000, while the Colt Model 1911 automatic, which was tucked inside Clyde’s waistband, brought $240,000.