Al Capone’s granddaughters are selling the famed mobster‘s personal effects at auction. The 174 items, which include a personal letter written to his son and his “sweetheart” .45 Colt automatic, are set to net between $381,000 and $713,000.
The auction will be hosted by Witherell’s Luxury Asset Auctioneers and Appraisers in Sacramento, California. The collection, titled “A Century of Notoriety: The Estate of Al Capone,” features items that have never been outside of the family’s possession. The auction house believes the sale will “go down in history as one of the most important celebrity auctions.”
According to Capone’s granddaughter, Diane, the items were passed down to her father. Sonny passed away in 2004, leaving the collection to his daughters. They are selling his estate with the intention of setting the record straight on their grandfather.
“What people don’t know is his personal story as a father and grandfather, and his painful path of redemption while at Alcatraz,” said Diane. “That is the unknown Capone I talk about in my book [Al Capone: Stories My Grandmother Told Me], and it’s the story that comes to life with these family treasures.”
Another reason they’re seeking to sell the items is to keep them from going up in flames in California’s wildfires. According to Diane, she and her siblings would have no way of saving them if they needed to evacuate.
The items for sale include furniture from Capone’s Palm Island mansion, family photos, oil paintings, statues and pieces of jewelry. Amongst those anticipated to fetch the most include his favored “sweetheart” .45 Colt automatic, which could sell for up to $150,000.
The item garnering the most attention is a letter Capone wrote to his son while he was imprisoned in Alcatraz. It offers a glimpse into how he interacted with his family, and is estimated to fetch between $25,000 and $50,000.
“If you think you know Al Capone, once you read the letter, it will change your notion of him – just a loving father to [a] loving son,” said Brian Witherell, CEO of the auction house.
“Over and over and over again, he refers to my dad as ‘son of my heart’ and that’s not the language or the words of a man who is hard-hearted,” added Diane. “Those are the words of a man that is a very devoted father, and that is the part of the story that we wanted to tell.”
Al Capone was one of the most feared figures in Chicago’s organized crime scene during the Prohibition Era. The boss of the Chicago Outfit, he was active in the bootlegging and loan sharking businesses.
While involved in the 1929 St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, which saw the deaths of seven rival gang members, he was jailed for tax evasion in 1931. The conviction landed him in Alcatraz.
The auction is scheduled to occur on October 8, 2021 at Sutter Club in downtown Sacramento. It will be by invitation and by lottery to limit those in attendance to 200 individuals. Those unable to attend can place bids over the phone or online.