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Stuff Your Derringer in a Sock, Mister

Dillinger's Derringer Gun recently sold at Heritage Auction. They always have unique and rare items, and their auction descriptions have lots of history and info. I subscribe to several of their category email updates, and always see interesting items, and learn something, too.

Here's a recent goodie - timely with the Johnny Depp/Dillinger flick, Public Enemies being out now.

From the Heritage Auction site:

Dillinger's Double Derringer More Than Doubles Estimate At $95,600

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.

"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.

John Herbert Dillinger when arrested in Tucson, Arizona, January 25, 1934. Dillinger, using the alias "Frank Sullivan," along with gang members Henry Pierpoint, Russel Clark and Charles Makley, and their "molls" including Billie Frechette, were all arrested over a three day period from January 22 to January 25, through a series of co-ordinated police raids, without a shot being fired.

Upon being arrested, Dillinger was quoted as saying, "My God, how did you know I was in town? I'll be the laughing stock of the country! How could a hick-town police force ever suspect us."

In reality, and unbeknownst to Dillinger, a local fireman, called to a fire in the hotel where some of the gang members were staying, recognized Russel Clark from his "wanted" picture in True Detective magazine, and alerted the local police.

After their uneventful arrest, the gang members were all booked by the County Sheriff, John Belton, on fugitive warrants and held in the county jail at bonds of $100,000 each. The next day the gang members were "put on display" to the curious public, and some 2000 people trooped past their cells exchanging disparaging remarks.

On January 28, Arizona Governor B. B. Moeur signed extradition papers, and Dillinger was secretly flown to Indiana to face trial for murder. The rest of the gang were sent back to Ohio by train.

Five weeks later, using a carved wooden pistol, Dillinger escaped from jail in Crown Point, Indiana. Just four months later, on July 22, 1934, Dillinger was gunned down by FBI agents at the Biograph Theater in Chicago.

This year marks the 75th anniversary of Dillinger's death. You can read more about this gun's history on the Heritage Auction site.

As for stuffing things in a sock, George suggests a sack...

Ms. Dow Antiques Blog 'Tique Talk is published by msdowantiques.com

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