The small pistol gangster John Dillinger was carrying hidden in a sock when he was arrested in Tucson, Arizona 75 years ago – six months before he was fatally gunned down in Chicago – was sold for $95,600 at Heritage Auction Galleries’ July 25 Grand Format Arms & Militaria Auction. The winning bid was more than double the pre-auction estimate of $35,000-$45,000. All prices include Buyer’s Premium.
“It’s a Remington .41 caliber Double Derringer that was confiscated from Dillinger when he and members of his gang were taken into custody in Tucson in January 1934,” said Dennis Lowe, Director of Militaria at Heritage. “The winning bidder is a Los Angeles area collector and the consignor is a member of a prominent Tucson family who also wants to remain anonymous. He owned this historic gun for 50 years but sold it because of his declining health.”
According to affidavits, said Lowe, the Derringer was found hidden in one of Dillinger’s socks when he was arrested on January 25, 1934, and Tucson Sheriff, John Belton, gave it to Deputy Probation Officer, Evelyn B. Jenney. Jenney’s son, William LeBaron Jenney III, sold it to the current owner in 1959, where it remained for a half century.
“The consignor proudly showed it to family members and close friends over the years,” said Lowe, “but he never publicly displayed it.”
– Heritage Auction Galleries