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That old saying about how crime doesn't pay? Forget about it. If anything, the auction of notorious gangster Al Capone's personal belongings proves that not only does crime pay, but it pays extremely well. 

An impressive array of Capone’s possessions, including what was billed as his favorite gun, sold for more than $3.1 million during “A Century of Notoriety: The Estate of Al Capone,” October 8 at Witherell’s.

The gun of the man known as “Scarface” – a Colt Model 1911 semi-automatic .45 – sold for $860,000, or more than $700,000 above its pre-auction estimate. With buyer’s premium, the anonymous purchaser paid $1,040,600 for the gun, which is believed to be the most for a 20th century firearm at auction.

Al Capone's Colt Model 1911 pistol

Billed as Al Capone's favorite .45, this Colt Model 1911 semi-automatic pistol sold for $1,040,600 with buyer's premium.

Capone, who ruled Chicago’s underworld with an iron fist from 1925 to 1931, is believed to be behind more than 200 deaths, including the murders of seven in one of the most infamous crimes in U.S. history, the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre in 1929.

“We expected that Al Capone’s personal gun would be the top-selling item because we immediately received multiple six-figure bids when we announced the auction back in August,” said Brian Witherell, cofounder of Witherell’s. “The final selling price, along with the record number of registered bidders, completely exceeded our expectations. It really speaks to the notoriety and allure of Al Capone who is more widely known today than he was 100 years ago.”

Brian Witherell

Brian Witherell, cofounder of Witherell’s in Sacramento, California.

The 174-lot auction attracted 1,500 registered bidders. Capone died in 1947. His belongings stayed in the family, eventually ending up with his four grandchildren, the daughters of his only child, Albert Francis “Sonny” Capone.

In addition to the record-setting .45, other top lots included:

Al Capone’s Colt .38

Capone’s Colt .38-caliber semi-automatic pistol sold for $242,000 against an estimate of $30,000-$60,000.

Al Capone's pocket watch

Al Capone’s monogramed Patek Philippe pocket watch sold for $229,900 against an estimate of $25,000-$50,000.

Al Capone’s pocket  knife

Al Capone’s platinum and diamond monogramed pocketknife sold for $78,650 against an estimate of $2,500-$5,000.

Al Capone's pendant

Al Capone’s diamond monogram pendant sold for $72,600 against as estimate of $2,500-$5,000.

Al Capone marble Madonna

Al and Mae Capone’s marble Madonna bust sold for $69,300 against as estimate of $5,000-$10,000.

Al Capone letter

Personal letter from Capone to his son, Sonny, written from Alcatraz sold for $56,700 against as estimate of $25,000-$50,000.

Related Content: The Complicated Life of Al Capone

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