Lots of an era that inspired The Godfather at auction

If the weather is nice on this upcoming August Bank Holiday Monday and a crowd descends on the beach, collectors may find a diversion elsewhere with a “crowd” of a whole different kind.

Hundreds of artifacts used by some of America’s most notorious 20th century crime bosses will go under the hammer live and online at Julien’s auction on Sunday, August 28.

It includes former personal items of American organized crime figures who have so fascinated the public for nearly a century that many have become household names.

Auctioned items that belonged to Al Capone, Ben ‘Bugsy’ Siegel, Meyer ‘Little Man’ Lansky, Tony ‘The Ant’ Spilotro, ‘Irish’ Mickey Cohen (born in New York to Jewish parents), Sam ‘MoMo’ Giancana and Charlie ‘Lucky’ Luciano include jewelry, correspondence, firearms, home movies, and handwritten notebooks.

The Crowd: A History of Organized Crime Artifacts presents a collection by Jay Bloom, founder of the Las Vegas Mob Experience at the Tropicana Hotel and Casino.

Al Capone’s letter to his son written at Alcatraz.

A handwritten letter from Al Capone at Alcatraz to his son, Sonny, is a highlight estimated between $30,000 and $50,000 (€29,370-€48,950). In it, he details his experiences in the island’s infamous prison, reports that he learned to play the mandola, and expresses how much he looks forward to being reunited with his family in less than a year.

There is a collection of home movies and camera gear belonging to Tony Spilotro, a notable figure in the Chicago Outfit of organized crime in Las Vegas during the 1970s and 1980s.

Spilotro inspired the character of Joe Pesci in Martin Scorsese’s 1995 film, Casino.

Virginia Hill's diamond stud earrings at Julien's Auctions.
Virginia Hill’s diamond stud earrings at Julien’s Auctions.

Something for the “moll” in your life? A pair of gangster-style diamond stud earrings that belonged to Virginia Hill are offered with an estimate of $3,000 to $5,000 (€2,940 to €4,890). This moll gangster started her career as a courier for the Chicago Outfit and eventually ran smuggling operations, gathered intel on rival factions, and had a relationship with Bugsy Siegel.

If you’re superstitious, Siegel was eventually murdered in her Beverly Hills home.

Mickey Cohen’s “Irish” black Spartan boxing gloves are estimated between 10,000 and 20,000 dollars (9,790 and 19,580 euros).

Born in 1913, he spent time in his teens participating in illegal fighting and began life as a career criminal in 1933 in Cleveland.

There he worked for Desert Inn Casino investor Lou Rothkopf, whose association with Meyer Lansky and Bugsy Siegel led to Cohen being sent to California where he became one of America’s most notorious gangsters. .

Famous quotes from Irishman Mickey Cohen include: “All good things must one day be burned to ashes for insurance money” and “I have killed no man who in the first place did not didn’t deserve to be killed.”

Meyer Lansky's Medal of Freedom.
Meyer Lansky’s Medal of Freedom.

The collection of The Mob accountant Meyer Lansky includes four handwritten notebooks telling his story in his own words ($50,000-70,000/€48,950-68,530) and the Medal of Freedom ($40,000-60,000 /€39,160-58,740) awarded to him by President Truman in 1945 for his role in Operation Husky during World War II.

All Wars Create Strange Bedfellows: In an unlikely partnership between organized crime groups and the Office of Naval Intelligence, Meyer Lansky and Lucky Luciano were able to aid the US government in the war effort during World War II .

In fact, their contacts with the Sicilian Mafia helped facilitate the Allied invasion of Sicily.

Using their good offices, Calogero Vizzini of the Sicilian Mafia led the forces through a difficult mountain pass, provided port maps, contacts, and helped eliminate snipers.

Meyer Lansky's collection of bow ties at Julien's Auctions.
Meyer Lansky’s collection of bow ties at Julien’s Auctions.

The sale includes Bugsy Siegel’s Smith and Wesson .38 CTG Revolver ($20,000-$30,000 / €19,580-€29,370), the only known handgun owned by the Las Vegas Strip kingpin and National gangster Crime Syndicate.

Meyer Lansky’s collection of bow ties is more modestly estimated at $3,000-5,000/€2,940-4,890.

The lots offered in this unusual auction, which are sure to attract worldwide attention, tell of the rise and fall of an era that continues to capture the imagination through films inspired by history and folklore. mobsters such as The Godfather and Freedmen.

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