Dan Kelly's gun sells at Australian auction for $126,500


2015-06-26 13:03:56


Dan Kelly's gun sells at Australian auction for $126,500

A gun, thought to have belonged to Ned Kelly's brother Dan, has sold to a private collector

Paul Fraser Collectibles,Thursday 22November 2012

Dan Kelly, the youngest brother of infamous Australian outlaw Ned, may or may not have owned the shot gun sold to a private collector on November 21.

Ned Kelly's brother's gunDan Kelly's gun may have been used at the infamous Kelly gang's showdown against the police

Auctioneer Charles Leski told the UK's Telegraph that the gun had been found in the late 19th century on the banks of the Murrimbidgee, New South Wales,by a local, who then sold it to a known enthusiast.

The gun, which is an East India Company cavalry pistol, was then bought in 1900 by gunsmith HP Hansen. Upon cleaning away layers of grease and dust, Hansen was surprised to find Dan Kelly's name, along with "1876" scratched into the walnut stock, a local newspaper reported at the time.

Having remained in the Hansen family since, it was offered for sale by a descendent, having never appeared at auction before. Kelly's gun carried a $52,000 reserve which was swiftly met, and duly sold within estimate for $126,613.

If, as the inscription suggests, it did indeed belong to Kelly, it may well have been one of the weapons used during the infamous 1880 siege of the Glenrowan Inn - a dramatic showdown against the police which no one but Ned (dressed in homemade armour) survived.

Dan Kelly gunThe mark of Dan Kelly?

"The Kelly Gang - Ned, Dan, Steve Hart and Joe Byrne - has loomed large in Australia's consciousness for more than 130 years,"Leski told thepublication.

Both Mick Jagger and Heath Ledger have starred as Ned Kelly in feature films about the gang's exploits, while Peter Carey's novel True History of the Kelly Gang won the Booker prize in 2001, contributing to a tradition (to which Bonnie and Clyde also belong) which mythologises and celebratesgangsters.

The gun's patina of intrigue, the ambiguity as to whether or not it actually belonged to Dan, seems appropriate to the shadowy legacy of the man himself.

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