A pair of guns reportedly seized from gangsters Bonnie and Clyde have sold for a combined $210,000 at auction.
The guns, an 1897 12-gauge Winchester shotgun and a .45-caliber Thompson submachine gun (a ‘tommy gun’ in common parlance), were both reportedly found by authorities after a 1933 shootout with police. The auction in Kansas City saw an anonymous online bidder make winning bids of $80,000 for the Winchester shotgun, and $130,000 for the tommy gun.
The guns had not come with a pre-auction valuation, though online bids for the tommy gun had reached $35,000. Auctioneer Robert Mayo, owner of Mayo Auction & Realty, told Reuters he wasn’t alarmed by the final high prices, stating: “We’re happy. Nothing ever surprises me.”
Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow were lovers in Depression-era America, and are perhaps the two most famous names in the history of American gangsters. Romanticised in films and by their deaths at a young age, the pair staged a shootout with police in Joplin, Missouri, on April 13, 1933. Police stormed an apartment where the couple were hiding out, but the pair escaped, and two officers died in the shootout.
The weapons sold at auction this week were found at the scene, and later given to Tulsa police officer Mark Lairmore, who kept them in the Lairmore family until this week. The guns had been in a police museum in Springfield, Missouri, from 1973 until late-2011.
The guns attracted several bids, including from one Michael Brown, who stated he was representing a group behind a new gangster museum being planned in Las Vegas. “There are very few guns with the historic value of that one,” Brown told Reuters. The winning bid would seem to confirm that.