Al Capone - Kim Column

Al Capone. The name is recognizable nearly the world over. And although he has been dead for more than 75 years Al Capone epitomizes the collective persona of a true Chicago gangster. Back a few years ago I met a man in Marseilles, France, who asked me where I was from. When I answered, “Chicago,” he laughingly imitated the “rat-a-tat-tat” of a machine gun, then sang a few bars of “Sweet Home Chicago.” A little surprising, but Marseilles has a reputation as a tough town too.

For those who may want to own an item belonging to Al Capone, Witherell’s Auction House is making several items available at an auction on Oct. 8 in Sacramento, California. Bids are also being accepted online at witherells.com.

Starting bids range from around $100 to $50,000. The items are being offered by Capone’s three granddaughters and number some 174 lots including a handwritten letter (penned from Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary) from Capone to his son, a platinum and diamond Patek Phillippe pocket watch, and of course, a few firearms, including a 45-caliber Colt pistol that belonged to Capone. Other items include money clips, tie bars, stickpins, cuff links and a pocket knife. It will be interesting to learn the hammer prices on Al Capone’s items after all these years.

Here’s some other interesting auctions coming up in the next couple of weeks:

The online-only auction of the Dr. Mead Shaffer collection of early American antiques is taking place on Friday, September 24th, by Briggs Auction in Garnet Valley, Pa. Dr. Shaffer, himself a resident of Garnet Valley, is a noted preservationist, historian and collector. The auction will include his extensive collection of colonial and early American and regional antiques, colonial cookware, folk and decorative arts and more. Internet bidding will be via the Bid at Briggs online platform, plus LiveAuctioneers.com. If you need additional information about this auction, you may call Leah Stevens at 610-566-3138; or, you can email her at info@briggsauction.com.

A Comic, TCG (Trading Card Game) & Toy auction is planned for Saturday, September 25th, by Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers, online and live (with limited seating) at the gallery in Cranston, R.I. The sale is packed with more than 450 lots of Pop Culture treasures, pulled from prominent collections across the country, to include rare vintage comic books, Pokemon collectibles, Steiff animals, dolls and Mattel Hot Wheels. Online bidding will be via LiveAuctioneers.com, Invaluable.com, Bidsquare.com and the Bruneau & Co. website. Live gallery previews will be held Sept. 23rd-24th. If you need additional information about this auction, you may call Travis Landry at 401-533-9980; or, you can email him at info@bruneauandco.com.

An online-only auction titled Fabulous Autographs & Art, From Van Gogh to Hendrix, is scheduled for Wednesday, September 29th, by University Archives, based in Westport, Conn. The 410-lot auction is jam-packed with historical autographs, rare books, artwork, posters, photographs, ephemera, collectibles and relics, signed by many of history’s most famous people, including Van Gogh, Gauguin, Einstein, Lincoln, Washington, Stalin and Bruce Lee. Internet bidding will be provided by LiveAuctioneers.com, Invaluable.com, Auctionzip.com and the UA website. If you need additional information about this auction, you may call John Reznikoff at 203-454-0111; or, email him at john@universityarchives.com.

A two-session auction is planned for Saturday, October 2nd, by EstateOfMind, online and live at the gallery in Middletown, N.Y. Session 1, at 10 am, will feature more than 100 lots of guns, ammo and other militaria. Session 2, immediately following, will be headlined by outstanding items from the living estate of Mr. Richard S. Ravenal, the now long-retired purveyor of Asian art and antiques and former owner of Asian Gallery in New York City. Internet bidding will be provided by LiveAuctioneers.com. If you need additional information about this auction, you may call Darrell Dirr at 845-386-4403 or 845-741-7373; or, email him at EstateOfMind2009@yahoo.com.

An outstanding pair of online-only auctions is scheduled for October 10th and 24th by Andrew Jones Auctions, based in Los Angeles, Calif. The October 10th auction will feature the collection of Lady Victoria White of Beverly Hills, best described as English country house meets California chic. Then, two weeks later, Part I of the John Nelson collection (of John Nelson Antiques fame) will be offered. Online bidding is provided by LiveAuctioneers.com, Invaluable.com and the Andrew Jones website. If you need additional information about these auctions, you may call Aileen Ward at (213) 748-8008; or, you can email her at aileen@andrewjonesauctions.com.

There’s plenty of great information and stories in this issue and please note that our next issue is October 5. Also, please keep us in mind with Mystery items; club and convention news; unusual collections; Young collectors; Auction Action news; and any other antiques-related matters. We can be reached at editor@collectorsjournal.com; meego929@aol.com; or via telephone at (319) 472-4763.