Al Capone’s ‘Police Positive’ revolver sells for $109,080

Al Capone 38 - christies 6395_210.jpg
Photo courtesy Christie’s.

SOUTH KENSINGTON, England – Christie’s June 22, 2011 sale of Antique Arms, Armour and Collectors Firearms saw the Colt .38 ‘Police Positive’ revolver formerly owned by notorious American gangster “Al” Capone sell for $109,080, earning the top spot in the sale.

Perhaps the most famous American gangster of all time, Alphonse Gabriel “Al” Capone (1899–1947) has been immortalized in many books and articles, as well as countless films. The stereotypical mobster image – blue pinstripe suit, tilted fedora – is based upon photographs of Capone, and his personality has been used as a template for copious fictional criminal masterminds.
Capone’s revolver has exceptional provenance and was sold by a private collector, complete with an original personal letter from Madeleine Capone Morichetti, the widow of Al’s brother, Ralph Capone, confirming that the gun “previously belonged to and was only used by Al Capone while he was alive,” as well as a copy of the affidavit sworn by her, on March 25, 1990. The oath confirms that the revolver was previously owned by her brother-in-law. Al Capone was simultaneously regarded a folk hero and a public enemy; despite his illegitimate occupation he was regarded by many to be a modern-day Robin Hood, due to his various charitable endeavors using the money he made from his activities.

Head of sale Howard Dixon commented, “This sale saw strong international interest from a notable number of new clients – including the successful purchaser of Al Capone’s revolver which sold online using Christie’s LIVETM – as well as trade and private bidders who competed throughout. The clear demand for quality, condition and rarity reflected the hunt for perfection in this category.”

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