Bonnie and Clyde guns go to auction

23:59, Sep 30 2012
Bonnie and Clyde
The outlaws Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow joke around with weapons in 1932 file photo. The couple wanted to be buried together once their lives of crime came to an end, but Parker's family wouldn't allow it.
Bonnie and Clyde
Clyde Barrow's Colt Model 1911 Government Model Semi-auto pistol, removed from his waistband after the ambush by Texas and Louisiana lawmen on May 23, 1934.
Bonnie and Clyde
Bonnie Parker's personal, concealed Colt .38 snub-nose detective special revolver, which was found post-mortem taped to her inside thigh with white medical tape.
Bonnie and Clyde
Clyde Barrow’s 10 Karat gold 1925 Elgin pocket watch, found on his body the morning of his death.

Two guns once in the possession of notorious gangsters Bonnie and Clyde when they were killed in a hail of gunfire have sold at a New Hampshire auction for more than half a million dollars.

The guns were two of 134 artefacts that sold for a total of US$1.1 million (NZ$1.3m) at the auction in Nashua. About two-thirds of the auctioned items were from Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker, but items also came from other notorious criminals, including Al Capone, Pretty Boy Floyd and John Dillinger.

Bonnie Parker's .38-calibre Detective Special that she had taped to her thigh when she was killed in 1934 drew the highest bid and sold for US$264,000, said Bobby Livingston, vice president of RR Auction in Amherst, New Hampshire, which held the auction.

Clyde Barrow's 1911 Colt .45-calibre automatic sold for US$240,000 to the same bidder, who didn't want to be named, Livingston said.

"When rare items like that come up for sale you expect this kind of enthusiasm," Livingston said. "There was some serious bidding going on."

Many of the auction items came from the estate of the late collector Robert Davis of Waco, Texas, with the remainder coming from various other collections.

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Most of the items came from famous gangsters and outlaws, but some were linked to law enforcement officials including Elliot Ness, who led team of federal agents known as The Untouchables which went after Capone's gang, and Texas Ranger Frank Hamer, who led a posse that tracked down and killed Bonnie and Clyde in an ambush in Louisiana.

Clyde Barrow's pocket watch sold for US$36,000, Livingston said. A 1921 Morgan silver dollar that was found in his pocket after he was killed sold for US$32,000.

In Southern California, a .45-caliber gun once owned by the outlaw Butch Cassidy was sold at auction for US$175,000.

A spokesman for the private seller said on Sunday (local time) the Colt Single Action Army revolver went to an anonymous online bidder.

The gun is accompanied by a black leather shoulder holster and two binders filled with documentation verifying the revolver's authenticity.

Cassidy, the infamous Old West bank robber, bought the revolver in a hardware store in Vernal, Utah, in 1896. He turned it over to Utah authorities in early 1900 in an unsuccessful attempt to gain amnesty. Known as the "Amnesty Colt", it is the most documented of Cassidy's guns.

The outlaw was immortalised in the 1969 film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. He was played by Paul Newman.

Sunday's sale was held by California Auctioneers of Ventura.

AP