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SOLD! Depression-Era Gangsters & More

Updated: Jul 17, 2023

Donley Auctions in Union, IL held a Gun & Military auction on July 15-16, 2023.

Among the highlights of the sale of over 500 guns on day 1 was items from depression-era American bank robbers including John Dillinger, Pretty Boy Floyd, and Bonnie & Clyde.

Two John Dillinger wanted posters were being offered as well as personal items found on Pretty Boy Floyd after he was shot by Federal agents.

Rounding out the theme was a screen used .32 Colt Automatic pistol used by Gary Cooper in the 1931 movie, City Streets. It came with the original letter from the film’s director on Christmas Day 1931, gifting it to Guy Kibbe who also acted in the film, and a 1963 letter from actor Lon Chaney gifting the pistol and letter of provenance to a Mr. Ed Sloan from New York.

SOLD! $630 - Lot #1209 - Original John Dillinger Wanted Poster

From March 12, 1934. This double-sided mail out style poster issued by the Division of Investigation U.S. Department of Justice, Washington D.C. is the style that was made to mail out to post offices and law enforcement agencies for public display. Dillinger would be killed in an ambush by federal law enforcement officers on July 22, 1934 outside of the Biograph Theater in Chicago. In VG original condition with horizontal crease for mail out fold over. Measures 8" X 8"

SOLD! $5400 - Lot #1211 - Pulled Pretty Boy Floyd Personal Artifacts

This lot includes framed under glass artifacts including a pocket watch, walking Liberty Half dollar, and a gold ring and a letter attesting to the authenticity that these articles belonged to Charles Arthur Floyd AKA Pretty Boy Floyd. The letter signed by members of the Floyd family in 1992 state that these items were returned to Mrs. Floyd by a member of the FBI after Floyd's killing by FBI agents on October 22, 1934 in Ohio. Also included is a small black suitcase that belonged to Jack Dempsey Floyd (1923-2001), Charles' son, containing numerous news articles , family photos, and correspondence about his father.

Charles Arthur Floyd (February 3, 1904 – October 22, 1934), nicknamed Pretty Boy Floyd, was an American bank robber. Following the death of John Dillinger on July 22, 1934, Floyd was named Public Enemy Number 1 by FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover. He operated in the West and Central states, and his criminal exploits gained widespread press coverage in the 1930s. He was seen positively by the public because it was believed that during robberies he burned mortgage documents, freeing many people from their debts. He was pursued and killed in east Liverpool Ohio by a group of Bureau of Investigation (BOI, later renamed to FBI) agents led by Melvin Purvis. His funeral was attended by between 20,000 and 40,000 people and remains the largest funeral in Oklahoma history. He was buried in Akins, Oklahoma.

SOLD! 726 - Lot #1212 - The Story of Pretty Boy Floyd Cast Signed Photo

A framed under glass blown up photo of Charles Arthur "Pretty Boy" Floyd which has been signed by the cast and crew of the 1974 made for TV movie, "The Story of Pretty Boy Floyd." In overall good condition. Frame measures 26.5" wide X 38.5" tall. This portrait hung behind the bar at Floyd's Casino, a saloon and card room in Vacaville, CA , run by PBF's son, Jack Floyd.

SOLD! $25 - Lot #1213 - (2) Black & White Gangster Movie Stills

Lot includes a B&W 810 movie still of James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart, and Frank McHugh from the 1939 movie, The Roaring Twenties, and a B&W 8X10 movie still of Edward G. Robinson from the 1939 movie, Little Caesar. Both in good condition

SOLD! $1900 - Lot #1214 - Gary Coopers Screen Used Colt Pistol

A Colt Model 1903 Pocket Hammerless Automatic.32 pistol, screen used by actor Gary Cooper in the 1931 Paramount movie City Streets. In VG condition retaining 90+% of original bluing. Comes with 1 magazine. Accompanied by framed under glass documentation consisting of a note from the film's director Rouben Mamoulian gifting the pistol on Christmas Day 1931 to actor Guy Kibbe who was a co star in the film, a letter and envelope from actor Lon Chaney to an Ed Slane in New York gifting him the pistol in 1963, and a photo post card from the movie picturing Gary Cooper holding the pistol. Framed provenance measures 81.75" wide, 21.5" tall.


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