BOSTON, MD.- RR Auction
's first sale of 2023 brings the 'golden age' of the American gangster to the forefront, featuring remarkable items chronicling the lives and times of notorious figures like Al Capone, John Dillinger, Bonnie Parker, and Clyde Barrow.
Highlights include Al Capone's signed Cook County Jail inmate recorda rare file from his 1931 tax evasion conviction, with graphic evidence of his 'Scarface' moniker. The card lists his personal and physical data, including height (5' 11"), weight ("255"), age ("32"), descent ("Italian"), religion ("Cath."), education ("8th Grade"), and occupation ("Garage Bus."perhaps a clever nod to his reported involvement in the St. Valentine's Day Massacre. Even more significantly, the card boasts a physical chart that identifies the scar on his facethe inspiration for his iconic nickname, 'Scarface'and a wound on his right hand.
Even more significantly, the card boasts a physical chart that identifies the scar on his facethe inspiration for his iconic nickname, 'Scarface'and a wound on his right hand. Finally, the record reports no signs of fits, scabies, syphilis, or gonorrheaa curious finding, as Capone had almost certainly contracted syphilis by this time, which would contribute to his deteriorating health and eventual death in 1947.
On October 18, 1931, Al Capone was convicted of three felony counts of tax evasion and two misdemeanor counts of failing to file a tax return. He was sentenced to 11 years in federal prison, and ordered to pay court costs, a fine of $50,000, and $215,000 plus interest for back taxes. While awaiting the outcome of his appealwhich was deniedCapone was housed in Cook County Jail, a stint that produced this remarkable inmate record. As indicated here, Capone was transferred to the United States Penitentiary, Atlanta, in May 1932, where he spent two years before being famously relocated to Alcatraz.
Included is a Cook County Jail inmate record card for his brother, signed "Ralph J. Capone," stamp-dated November 5, 1931, similarly listing his personal data, physical history, and transfer into federal custody on November 6, 1931. Ralph Capone, who had been deemed 'Public Enemy Number Three' by the Chicago Crime Commission, was also convicted of income tax fraud. (Estimate: $100,000+)
"To have the word "Scar" written out by the police and pointing right to the face of the world's most notorious mobster makes this is an incredible artifact," said Bobby Livingston, Executive VP at RR Auction. "Already famously known as Scarface" by the public and the police, the flourish of how it is noted on the intake card is remarkable."
Other featured lots include a remarkable private medical archive from Al Capone's doctor, offering unseen insight into the gangster's battle with neurosyphilis. The collection includes an official copy of Capone's death certificate, nine original funeral photos, his medical chart spanning 1940-1943, his detailed medical chart from the final four days of his life, 26 pieces of correspondence related to his neurosyphilis treatment comprising original letters sent to Dr. Phillips and carbon copies of the doctor's replies. An incredible archive documenting the once-great gangster's long, slow demise. (Estimate: $50,000+)
Bonnie Parker's handwritten poem book, "Poetry from Life's Other Side"ten handwritten poems by Parker while jailed in 1932. Featuring a mix of Parker's original creative compositions and renditions of popular folk ballads, written by Parker while she was held in Kaufman County Jail, after being arrested for the botched armed robbery of a hardware store with Clyde Barrow, Ralph Fults, and Raymond Hamilton. (Estimate: $25,000+)
Among several John Dillinger signed documents is a rare handwritten letter from county jail. Facing ten years or more, Dillinger tells his sweetheart, Mary Longnaker, not to wait. An extraordinary, romantic letter from the golden age of the American gangster. (Estimate: $25,000+) a John Dillinger' Indiana Reformatory School' signed document assessing his performance in academic tests upon entering the prison. (Estimate: $20,000+), and a John Dillinger' Inmate Statement' document, "I am guilty as charged"Dillinger's plea and description of his plan "to rob a grocery man at Mooresville, Ind.," resulting in his first arrest (Estimate: $20,000+)
And a collection of approximately 45 swatches of blue wool cut from the trousers worn by Clyde Barrow at the time of his death on May 23, 1934, following Frank Hamer and his posse's ambush of Barrow and Bonnie Parker near Gibsland, Louisana. These swatches, each measuring approximately 1 x 1, originate from the collection of Marie Barrow, Clyde's younger sister, and Charles Heard, who would affix these swatches to limited edition certificates that they would sell. (Estimate: $15,000+)
Their Old West outlaw forerunners are also put in the spotlight, with important letters by John Wesley Hardin and members of the infamous JamesYounger Gang.
Further highlights include important autographs by founding fathers Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, and Thomas Jefferson; remarkable letters on magic by Harry Houdini; original concept paintings by celebrated Disney artists Mary Blair and Eyvind Earle; and a baseball signed by Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig.
The Fine Autographs and Artifacts featuring Gangsters and Lawmen auction by RR Auction will conclude on January 11.