When you stop by Case Antiques Auctions and Appraisals, you're immediately immersed in hundreds of rare collectibles. The guys at Case are used to seeing a wide range of items come through their doors both of artistic and historical value. However one recent piece stood out among the rest mainly due to its particular story.
"When it came to our attention, we were skeptical and we always are. We have these items show up from time to time. We got a call from a gentleman he said,
'well I've got a Bonnie and Clyde gun' and we said 'oh, sure you do.'"
Bonnie and Clyde were two American outlaws that rose to fame in the early 1930s. This dangerous pair was responsible for the death of several law enforcement officers and civilians. They were eventually ambushed and killed in May of 1934.
"We've been through this more than once where we believe we've found something that's worth $500,000 to well over $1 million and we do the due diligence on it and we discredit it many times over and over. This time though it's been pretty much authenticated very tightly, paperwork is very solid, the people that it came from and how few hands it's touched, it's very clean."
Many firearms were recovered from the car of Bonnie and Clyde after their demise, but one gun never made it into the hands of authorities.
"It's a .38 Colt. It's an automatic. It's a very special piece that was actually found on Bonnie Parker by the embalmer right after they were ambushed. Our consignor's father was about 13 years old at the time. His mother worked there at the funeral home, Conger Funeral Home. The embalmer presented her with the gun assumedly for protection. At the time they didn't know or think that there was going to be any value of the memorabilia. In fact it was more taboo than anything; these bad people's stuff so it was given to them as a protective device. It actually has six bullets with it. The chamber will hold seven. We don't know where the seventh bullet is. It may still be in the chamber. We've not touched it."
The gun that once belonged to Bonnie Parker will be put on auction January 25th. "It's so exciting. Once we started doing the research on this and looked up each individual person that was on the piece of affidavit paperwork and all and realized they're real, here's where they lived, here's what they did and they're not crooks, they're all trustworthy, that's when you start getting real excited."