Al Capone memorabilia sells for $3m at auction

Image source, ReutersImage caption, Some of the items on sale included furniture and artwork that belonged to Capone

A sale of items belonging to notorious US gangster Al Capone has raked in $3m (£2.2m) at an auction held over the weekend in Sacramento, California.

Some 174 items – including personal photographs and firearms as well as jewellery and furniture – featured.

The event, called A Century of Notoriety: The Estate of Al Capone, was held at a private club and attracted nearly 1,000 bidders.

The most popular item was Capone's favourite gun, which went for $860,000.

  • LISTEN: Al Capone's granddaughter, Diane Patricia Capone, speaks to the BBC ahead of the auction

Image source, ReutersImage caption, One of the items on sale was said to be the gangster's favourite gun, a Colt .45-calibre semi-automatic pistol

The gun is believed to have reached the highest selling price for a 20th-Century firearm sold at auction, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Al Capone was a Chicago mobster known as Public Enemy Number One for his relatively brief reign as crime boss in the 1920s during the Prohibition era. He was eventually imprisoned for tax evasion, and spent several years locked up in Alcatraz.

Image source, ReutersImage caption, Guns and glassware that belonged to the gangster and his son Sonny also went on sale

The belongings remained in the possession of his family for almost 75 years after his death in 1947.

Image source, ReutersImage caption, There were also photographs on sale, displayed here ahead of the auction

Diane Capone – one of of Al Capone's three surviving three granddaughters, who live in California – said the decision to sell the items was based on her and her sisters getting older, Reuters reports.

Image source, ReutersImage caption, Diane Capone, Capone's granddaughter, stands next to a painting of her grandfather and father, Sonny Capone, from the 1920s

She also said the increasing threat of wildfires to their homes in northern California had been a factor.

Media caption, The gun could fetch over £50,000 ($81,000)

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