Auction News

Capone “Sweetheart” pistol on target for $3 million sale


Al Capone

A gun owned by notorious gangster Al Capone is expected to raise as much as $3 million at auction this May.

Capone loved this particular heater so much that he called it his “sweetheart” and credited it with saving his life many times owner.

The opening bid for buyers who want a piece of mafia action is $500,000, and the semi-automatic should rocket up to between $2 and $3 million if estimates are on target.

“Sweetheart”, the gun that Capone said saved his life many times.

Capone’s .45 Colt was made in 1911. It was almost certainly used to kill by Capone, who was one of the United States most vicious and successful gangsters during the Prohibition era.

Capone was born in New York, but it was as the boss of the Chicago Outfit that he became a legend, his larger than life personality and his nickname “Scarface” making him feared in real life and a rich vein for fiction writers.

Running gambling, protection, bootlegging and more in Chicago made Capone and his gang enormously wealthy.

Buying off police and politicians kept them out of trouble until Capone was finally convicted of income tax evasion in 1931.

He died on Alacatraz, the island prison in San Francisco Bay in 1947.

The gun was sold by his grandchildren in 2021. It was grabbed for a probably record fee for a 20th century firearm of $860,000. The full Capone collection realised over $3 million in the sale.

Now the Sweetheart is back under the hammer.

Kimmie Williams at Richmond Auctions who are handling the sale, said: “‘This particular Colt 1911 is more than just a firearm. It’s a relic of an era marked by lawlessness and larger-than-life personalities.

“Its profound connection to Al Capone adds an extra layer of allure, making it a must-have and trump-card for any world-class collector.”

Not everyone would want to own what is almost certainly a murder weapon. But some crimes and some criminals become so notorious that they ascend into the world of celebrity. Capone is certainly one, but he is not alone.

The gun with which Jack Ruby murdered Lee Harvey Oswald reportedly made $2 million at auction in 2008. Guns owned by John Dillinger and Clyde Barrow have made $95,000 and $240,000 respectively.

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