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  • Posts Tagged ‘MEYER LANSKY’

    MEMORIES OF THE MOB AT JULIEN’S AUCTIONS

    Sunday, July 31st, 2022
    Meyer Lansky’s Medal of Freedom

    IF the weather is fine this upcoming August Bank Holiday Monday and the beach is mobbed an alternative more infamous mob that might appeal to some collectors is available.  Hundreds of artefacts used by some of the most notorious American crime bosses of the 20th century will come under the hammer live and online at Julien’s Auctions on Sunday August 28. Personal items from American organised crime figures who have so fascinated the public for nearly a century that they are practically household names are included.

    Al Capone, Ben “Bugsy” Siegel, Meyer “Little Man” Lansky, Tony “The Ant” Spilotro, “Irish” Mickey Cohen (a New York jew!), Sam “MoMo” Giancana and Charlie “Lucky” Luciano all feature through jewellery, correspondence, firearms, home movies and hand written notebooks.”The Mob: A History of Organized Crime’s Artifacts” features a collection of items from Jay Bloom, founder of the Las Vegas Mob Experience at the Tropicana Hotel and Casino.


    A letter from Al Capone handwritten in Alcatraz to his son “Sonny” is a highlight estimated at $30,000-$50,000 (€29,370-€48,950).  In it he details his experiences at the notorious island prison, reports that he learned to play the mandola and expressed how he looked forward to being re-united with his family in less than a year.There is a collection of home movies and camera equipment belonging to Tony Spilotro, a notable figure of the Chicago Outfit of organised crime in Las Vegas during the 1970’s and ’80’s.  Spilotro served as the inspiration for Joe Pesci’s character in Martin Scorsese’s 1995 film Casino.Something for the moll in your life?  A pair of mobster style  diamond stud earrings that belonged to Virginia Hill are on offer with an estimate of $3,000-$5,000 (€2,940-€4,890). This gangster moll began her career as a courier for the Chicago Outfit and eventually directed smuggling operations, collected intel on rival factions and had a relationship with Bugsy Siegel. If you are of a superstitious turn of mind beware.  He was ultimately assassinated at her home in Beverly Hills.”Irish” Mickey Cohen’s black Spartan boxing gloves are estimated at $10,000-$20,000 (€9,790-€19,580). Born in 1913 he spent time in his teens participating in illegal prizefights and began his life as a career criminal in 1933 in Cleveland.  There he worked  for Desert Inn Casino investor Lou Rothkopf, whose association with Meyer Lansky and Bugsy Siegel resulted in Cohen being sent to California where he became one of America’s most notorious gangsters. Among his famous quotes are:  “All good things must one day be burnt to the ground for the insurance money” and “I have killed no men that, in the first place, didn’t deserve killing”.

    The collection from The Mob’s accountant Meyer Lansky includes four handwritten notebooks telling his story in his own words ($50,000-$70,000 – €48,950-€68,530) and the Medal of Freedom ($40,000-$60,000 – €39,160-€58,740) he was awarded by President Truman in 1945 for his role in Operation Husky during the Second World War.All wars make strange bedfellows. In an unlikely partnership between organised crime groups and the Office of Naval Intelligence Meyer Lansky and Lucky Luciano were able to assist the US government in the war effort during the Second World War.  In fact their contacts with the Sicilian Mafia helped facilitate the Allied invasion of Sicily.  Through their good offices Calogero Vizzini of the Sicilian mafia led the forces through a difficult mountain pass, provided harbour maps, contacts and assisted in taking out snipers.

    The sale includes Bugsy Siegel’s Smith and Wesson .38 CTG revolver ($20,000-$30,000 – €19,580-€29,370), the only known handgun belonging to the Las Vegas Strip kingpin and National Crime Syndicate mobster.  Meyer Lansky’s bow tie collection is more modestly estimated at $3,000-$5,000 (€2,940-€4,890).The lots on offer in an unusual auction certain to attract a global following chronicle the rise and fall of an era which continues to grip the imagination through films inspired by Mafia folklore and history like The Godfather and Goodfellas.

    Al Capone’s letter to his son written in Alcatraz