Bonnie & Clyde's personal property was offered by Butterfields in
the June Arms & Western Americana Sale in San Francisco.
Also John Dillinger, Al Capone and Pretty Boy Floyd items
28 April 2000 --- San Francisco...Gangster memorabilia went to the
auction block in San Francisco during a two day sale Monday, June
19 and Tuesday, June 20 at Butterfields, an eBay company. The rare
and remarkable objects included (Clyde) Barrow family photos, poetry
in Bonnie Parker's hand and the bullet-pierced and blood-stained hat
worn by Barrow on the day the world's most infamous gangster couple
was ambushed by police. In the sale were also collectible antique
firearms, militaria and Western Americana.
One of the sale highlights were the handwritten poems of Clyde's
partner Bonnie Parker. A notebook containing several of her poems
and littered with misspellings which could bring as much as $20,000.
An excerpt from a poem titled When Bonnie & Clyde Come Home,
"A boy who loved his mother/with a girl who loved him true/
came home today forever/ there (sic) life of crime is through..."
Another poem describes a fictional meeting between Clyde and
Billy "the Kid".
Also to be sold were sepia-tone photographs from the Barrow family
photo album. One image captured Bonnie & Clyde in a romantic embrace
(est. $3,000/5,000). Other images were of Clyde posing in front of
one of the couple's getaway cars, of family members and associates
in classic gangster garb - long coats, hats, button-down shirts
and ties. One lot comprised of 19 photographs expected to bring
$2,000 to $3,000. A typed document from Clyde's mother featured a
description of one of her son's crimes and recounted the infamous
couple sneaking past sleeping security guards during their escape.
The auction also featured several items removed by authorities
from the Bonnie & Clyde's automobile after the couple was ambushed
and killed in a hail of gunfire in Louisiana. From the couple's
funeral -- a public spectacle which included hundreds of spectators
who waited hours in line to view the bodies -- went the guest
sign-in book (est. $2,000/3,000) and a pair of pressed flowers
from the caskets. Most of the Bonnie & Clyde property stems directly
from the bank robber's family.
Other gangster property offered included:
* John Dillinger: the Public Enemy No. 1's blue Dunrite bullet-proof
vest, which was stolen along with submachine guns, sawed-off shots guns,
ammo and police badges from the Peru, Indiana Police Station in October
of 1933 (est. $5,000/7,000); his red leather money bag and a collection
of period newspaper articles relating to the man sold out by the
"woman in the red dress" should sell for $6,000 to $8,000.
* Al Capone: his ivory cigar holder expected to bring $2,000
to $3,000; a rosary used by Capone while serving a prison term;
and a .38 caliber pistol owned by Capone, one of the country's most
notorious mobsters (est.$4,000/6,000).
* Memorabilia pertaining to Charles "Pretty Boy" Floyd, a bank robber
operating in the Midwest during the 1930s who became Public Enemy Number
One the day after John Dillinger was gunned-down in Chicago.
This was not the first gangster memorabilia auction at Butterfields.
In 1997, the shirt Clyde Barrow wore on the day of his death set a world
record price of $85,000. In 1998, Butterfields sold a John Dillinger
related revolver for $25,875, and in 1999, sheets of handwritten song
lyrics penned by Al Capone while serving time at Alcatraz sold for more