Auction Buyers Spend Over $3M on Al Capone’s Heirlooms

by Jennifer Shea

An auction at a private club in Sacramento, California brought in more than $3.1 million for gangster Al Capone’s family.

The top item, Capone’s Colt .45-caliber pistol, sold for just over $1 million, according to the New York Post. That makes it the highest-ticket 20th-century firearm ever sold at auction, the Chicago Tribune reports.

The next highest-selling item was Capone’s .38-caliber semi-automatic blue pistol with smooth wood grips. It vaulted over the top estimate of its worth, $60,000, selling for $242,000.

Check out some pictures of the Capone memorabilia here:

Collection Also Included Photographs, Al Capone’s Pocket Watch

Also up for auction were Al Capone’s platinum and diamond Patek Phillippe pocket watch and two photographs of his son, Sonny. While the pocket watch sold for $229,000, other heirlooms went for as low as $100.

Each lot of items for sale at the auction bore the notarized signature of one of Capone’s three surviving granddaughters, Barbara.

Diane Patricia Capone was 3 years old when her mobster grandfather died of a heart attack in Florida. She told the Tribune that they fully expected the items to sell for well above the appraiser’s values.

“I know that that’s the figure the appraiser has given us, but the back story all along has been people saying, ‘Oh, that’s way underpriced. It’s going to go for much higher,’” she said. “So I can’t say I was terribly shocked or surprised that it went for considerably more.”

Bidders Not Put Off by Mob History of Items

Most of the buyers’ identities remain undisclosed. But one of them was Kevin Nagle, a minority owner of the NBA team the Sacramento Kings. Nagle bid for, and won, Al Capone’s decorative cigar humidor with walnut veneer for $145,200.

Nagle called the bidding process “intense.” And he told the Tribune it was “incredible” to watch people bid for Capone’s guns.

“It was really exciting,” Nagle said. “There was a lot of history that we were bidding on and there were people from all over the world participating online. It’s really amazing.”

Capone, who was thought to be behind the 1929 Valentine’s Day Massacre, which took the lives of seven members of a rival bootlegger’s crew, spent 11 years in Alcatraz for income tax evasion before returning to the house in Florida where he passed. The mobster died in 1947 at age 48.