Gun collectors, take note – for the low estimated price of anywhere from $100,000 to $200,000, you can own either Bonnie Parker’s Colt .38-caliber revolver or Clyde Barrow’s .45-caliber Model 1911 pistol at a live event put on by RR Auction on September 30, 2012.
On the fateful night of May 23, 1934, Louisiana and Texas police officers finally caught up with the outlaw lovers and killed them in an ambush on a barren road deep in rural Louisiana. Officers retrieved the guns they had on their persons, which are now going up for auction almost 80 years later. Their deaths ushered in the beginning of the end of the “public enemy” era of the 1930s.
The Colt .38 revolver was found strapped to the inside of Bonnie’s thigh where she had it taped with white, medical adhesive tape. The ambush happened so fast that she did not even have time to draw it. The son of Texas Ranger Frank Hamer, the officer who led the posse that ambushed Bonnie and Clyde, stated “My father said that one reason she had the gun taped to the inside of her leg was that, in those days, no gentlemen officer would search a woman where she had it taped.” The gun was given to Buster David, a Texas Ranger and FBI agent.
Clyde’s Colt Model 1911 Government Model semi-automatic pistol was removed from his waistband post-mortem. This is one of many guns he owned during his notorious career involving the shooting death of at least nine police officers and several civilians. It is believed to have been stolen from the federal arsenal in Beaumont, Texas. The forward left side of the frame has light scratches where the “U.S. Property” marking was removed. Included in the lot is an extra magazine that was found in Clyde’s pocket.
Many of these lots originate from the estate collection of the late author and collector Robert E. Davis of Waco, Texas. The auction also includes a number of significant lots from the estate of Clyde’s sister, Marie Barrow.
Other items up for bid include Clyde’s 10 Karat gold 1925 Elgin pocket watch and Bonnie’s light brown leatherette cosmetic case with a slide lock on the side and a mirror inside the cover. At the time it was recovered, it contained lipstick and a box of Coty face powder and a powder puff, “about the only feminine touch item in their possession” for the Camel cigarette chain-smoker and gun wielder.
The live auction will take pace on Sunday, September 30, 2012. For more information, including a preview, please visit the RR Auction web site (www.rrauction.com).
Images courtesy of RR Auctions, Amherst New Hampshire