The diamond pocket watch belonging to the famous mobster Al Capone and the musical composition he wrote in the 30’s in Alcatraz prison were sold for more than $100,000 at an auction called “Gangsters, Outlaws and Lawmen.”
RR Auction Executive Vice President Bobby Livingston said the customer was not identified, but it is a collector of interesting items from American history. On Saturday’s auction, some 30 bidders participated, some of whom were present, and some contacted by phone or via the Internet.
Capone’s musical piece entitled “Humoresque” depicts his softer side through love verses. Livingston said that he was not surprised that the composition was sold because, although Capone is known for his crime and not for his talent for music, he “resonates in the American imagination”.
“The musical artifact gives insight into who this man was,” Livingston said. “It humanizes him, and shows that he had an imagination and creativity. These people had talents and they used those talents, unfortunately for criminal endeavors.”
At the auction are also sold a letter and orders for the arrest of the criminal couple Boni and Clyde. A letter titled “Goodbye” written by Boni Parker and signed by Clyde Berrow just before they were killed was sold for $16,250, while Texas orders for the arrest of legendary robbers reached a price of $8,125.
Boni Parker’s silver-plated, three-headed snake ring fetched $25,000. Although it was previously believed that the ring was made by Clyde, who was trained in prison for making jewelry, carpentry and leather goods, the auction house said it was not the case.
The auction was attended by relatives of Bonnie and Clayde, Buddy Barrow, and Bonnie Parker’s niece, Rhea Leen Linder. Berou said he believed his uncle, if alive, would say “make as much money as you can.”
One of the items that was not sold is a letter written in 1998 by John Gotti, the reputed head of the Gambino crime family in New York, in which to to the daughter of a mob associate urges the recipient to tell her father “to keep the martinis cold.”