Bonnie and Clyde guns come to auction



2015-06-26 11:20:42

Bonnie and Clyde guns come to auction

3 Sep 2012, 09:22 GMT+01

Nearly 80 years after the deaths of America’s notorious homicidal lovers, the favourite weapons of Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow are to be sold by RR Auction in New Hampshire on September 30th, as part of their ‘Gangsters, Outlaws and Lawmen’ sale.

After a gang spree of bank and store robberies, house burglaries, and murders, Bonnie and Clyde shot to fame as the first celebrity criminals of the modern era. The police discovery of some undeveloped camera film that showed them in playful, sexy poses wielding firearms, and some poetry in colourful underworld vernacular at one of their hideouts, sparked a cult following that continues to this day with the popularity of Bonnie and Clyde memorabilia.

Their life on the run was glamorised by the media, their passionate relationship and taste for murder idolised by a generation of angry young Depression-era Americans with a frustrated desire to strike back at a society in which they had no stake. Bonnie and Clyde's bank robberies painted them as Robin Hood-esque characters to an increasingly anti-Capitalist public.

The 1934 ambush that resulted in the violent deaths of the criminal superstars had always been anticipated by Bonnie and Clyde as an inevitable outcome of the lives they lead. Numerous items were taken from the scene as souvenirs almost immediately, including blood stained hair and pieces of clothing, shell casings, window glass, and Clyde’s saxophone.

One man even tried to cut off Bonnie’s trigger finger, and another man reached into the gang’s Ford car to claim Clyde’s ear, but they were stopped by police. The instant desire for these gruesome mementos is testament to the impact the couple had on the American public, and the macabre fascination has endured.

The Colt .38-caliber revolver strapped to Bonnie’s thigh was removed by the Texan police that gunned the couple down, as was the Colt .45-caliber pistol tucked into Clyde’s waistband. These two iconic pieces of Bonnie and Clyde memorabilia will be auctioned by RR, alongside several other items relating to the lives of the outlaws. The guns are expected to fetch between $100,000 and £200,000 each.

The gold pocket watch worn by Clyde at his death, and Bonnie’s cosmetics case with lipstick and powder puff, found in the bullet-addled Ford, will also be offered, as well as additional Colt revolvers owned by Clyde Barrow and other gang members, and a cache of personal correspondence from Clyde's sister-in-law and fellow gang member Blanche to her mother.

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