A handgun used by Vincent van Gogh to commit suicide is set to be auctioned on June 19 in Paris. This revolver, which had dubbed it the “most famous weapon in art history” is expected to fetch up to €60,000 ($67,000).
The 7 mm Lefaucheux revolver is being sold by the family of a local innkeeper in the village of Auvers-sur-Oise, where Van Gogh spent the final months of his life. The story says that the Dutch artist had borrowed the gun from the owner of the inn in the village where he was staying. He died 36 hours later after staggering wounded back to the auberge in the dark.
“Several pieces of evidence show it must be Van Gogh’s suicide gun: it was discovered where Van Gogh shot it; its caliber is the same as the bullet retrieved from the artist’s body as described by the doctor at the time; scientific studies demonstrate that the gun had stayed in the ground since the 1890s,” the auction house said in a statement.
It added that the gun was a “low power” weapon, which may explain why Van Gogh did not die instantly.
The object, which has never been up for sale before, has been exhibited at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.