For Immediate release!
JULIEN’S AUCTIONS ANNOUNCES THE MOB: A HISTORY OF ORGANIZED CRIME’S MOST NOTORIOUS ARTIFACTS
Hundreds of Artifacts Used by Some of the Most Notorious American Crime Bosses of the 20th Century on Offer
History Memorabilia Event Featuring: Al Capone’s Handwritten Letter to His Son from Alcatraz, Bugsy Siegel’s Personally Owned Smith and Wesson .38 CTG Revolver–The Only Known Example in Existance, a Bugsy Siegel Letter (Written to his Wife Enroute to Las Vegas) and Flamingo Hotel and Casino Ceramic Sculptures Bugsy Siegel Gifted to Guests Opening Night
Meyer Lansky’s Medal of Freedom, Bugsy Siegel Gifted Cigarette Case to Meyer Lansky, Lucky Luciano Gifted Cane to Meyer Lansky & Meyer Lansky’s Bow Tie Collection
Virginia Hill’s Diamond Earrings, Mickey Cohen’s Spartan Boxing Gloves, Diamond and Gold Rings; Plus, Rare Home Movies, Personal Photos, Firearms and More
Beverly Hills, California – (June 14th, 2022) – Julien’s Auctions has announced The Mob: A History of Organized Crime’s Most Notorious Artifacts, a rare historic collection of items owned by Jay Bloom, founder of the Las Vegas Mob Experience, from the American organized crime figures that have fascinated the public for nearly a century. This historic memorabilia event will take place on Sunday August 28th, 2022, at Julien’s Auctions in Beverly Hills and live online juliensauctions.com.
The auction will feature many items that were exhibited at Jay Bloom’s Las Vegas Mob Experience at the Tropicana Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Hundreds of personal artifacts from the most infamous gangsters and crime family members, Ben “Bugsy” Siegel, Meyer “The Little Man” Lansky, Tony “The Ant” Spilotro, Sam “MoMo” Giancana, Charlie “Lucky” Luciano to “Scarface” Al Capone, will be on offer, such as jewelry, correspondence, firearms, home movies, hand-written notebooks, and more.
Notable highlights include: a hand-written and personal letter from Al Capone while imprisoned at Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary for his son, Albert Francis ‘Sonny’ Capone (estimate: $30,000 - $50,000) (photo above left) where he details his experiences at Alcatraz, that he learned how to play the mandola and that he looked forward to being reunited with his family in less than a year; a collection of rare home movies and camera equipment from Anthony Spilotro, the notable figure in the Chicago Outfit of organized crime in Las Vegas during the 1970’s and 1980’s, who formed the “Hole in the Wall” group of murderers and thieves and served as the inspiration for Joe Pesci’s character in Martin Scorsese’s 1995 film Casino, such as his Revere Model 40 8mm movie camera with undeveloped film (estimate: $1,000 - $2,000) and Spilotro’s Super 8 home movie reels (estimate: $2,000 - $3,000); an exclusive collection from the “Mob’s Accountant,” Meyer Lansky’s most personal items including a 1948 hand-written love letter to his second wife, Thelma “Teddy” Schwartz, (estimate: $3,000 - $5,000), a group of four hand-written notebooks, dubbed “The Lansky Diaries” which tell Meyer Lansky’s story in his own words (estimate: $50,000 - $70,000), an original presentation monogrammed oak cane (photo below left) that was gifted to Lansky by Charles “Lucky” Luciano ($5,000 - $7,000) as well as the Medal of Freedom (estimate: $40,000 - $60,000) (photo right) awarded to Lansky, a leader of the National Crime Syndicate. Meyer Lansky was awarded the medal for his involvement and assistance during World War II, helping in “Operation Husky”, in a 1945 secret ceremony by President Harry S. Truman.
In a partnership between organized crime groups and the Office of Naval Intelligence, Meyer Lansky and Lucky Luciano were able to assist the United States’ government in their war against the Axis powers by helping facilitate the Allied Forces invasion of Sicily, Italy. Meyer Lansky and Lucky Luciano, helped to aid the United States by connecting them with members of the Sicilian mafia, including Calogero Vizzini, who would lead the Allied forces through a difficult mountain pass as well as assisted in providing island harbor maps, trusted contacts and taking out snipers. The award would evolve into the Presidential Medal of Freedom, still awarded today. Other Lansky items include his personally owned and inscribed Haggadah ($2,000 - $3,000) and his vintage miniature black address book ($100 - $200).
Storied Las Vegas mob related pieces and artifacts of their gambling empires will also be on offer such as a pair of ceramic flamingo statues gifted by Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel to guests on the opening night of his Flamingo Hotel and Casino (estimate: $2,000 - $3,000) (photo right). The hand-painted statues were gifted to 200 VIPs on the hotel and casino’s December 26th, 1946 opening where few of the fragile statues survived the night. The ritzy opening marked the completion of the six-million-dollar hotel that ushered in the era of luxury resorts along the Las Vegas Strip still present today and the eventual demise and death of Siegel in 1947 due to his association with American gangsters and mismanagement of the Flamingo Hotel and Casino. Other personal items on offer related to the Las Vegas Strip kingpin and National Crime Syndicate mobster, include Siegel’s original Smith and Wesson .38 CTG Revolver, the only known handgun in existence belonging to Siegel (estimate: $20,000 - $30,000) and a M1 Carbine Rifle in the style of the one that killed Bugsy Siegel (estimate: $3,000 - $5,000). A vintage leather shotgun shell bag (estimate: $1,000 - $2,000) owned by Chicago Outfit boss Joseph Aiuppa, will also make its way to the auction block. The bag is stamped on both sides “JA” with a detailed and textured stamp of a shell case on either side. Under Aiuppa’s leadership, the Chicago Outfit became closely tied with Las Vegas casinos where Aiuppa would later be convicted in 1986 and sentenced to 28 years for skimming profits from Las Vegas casinos.
“Irish Mickey Cohen’s” black Spartan boxing gloves will get back in the ring (estimate: $10,000 - $20,000) (photo right). The leather gloves feature the stitched-in Spartan tag on both examples that reads “Spartan/ Sporting Goods MFG. CO./ Boxing Equipment/ Brooklyn 11, N.Y.”, as well as a faded red stitching throughout. Cohen first spent time in his teens participating in illegal prizefights and at 15, moved from Los Angeles to Cleveland to train. After finishing his career with an 8-8, 5 draw record in 1933, Cohen began his life as a career criminal in Cleveland, working for Desert Inn Casino investor Lou Rothkopf whose association with Meyer Lansky and Bugsy Siegel would send Cohen back to California and onward to his life as one of America’s most notorious gangsters.
Jewelry and accessories that were synonymous with “mobster style” will also be presented such as an antique silver Japonais cigarette case that was engraved and gifted from Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel to Meyer Lansky ($6,000 - $8,000); Meyer Lansky’s bow tie collection ($3,000 - $5,000); Mickey Cohen’s gold and diamond Star of David ring (estimate: $800 - $1,200) and Cohen’s rose gold initial ring (estimate: $500 - $700); plus, diamond stud earrings that belonged to famed gangster moll Virginia Hill (estimate: $3,000 - $5,000) (photo right). Hill, who began her career as a courier for the Chicago Outfit, eventually directed smuggling operations, collected intel from rival factions, and began her infamous relationship with Bugsy Siegel who was assassinated at Virginia Hill’s home in Beverly Hills.
“From the good to the bad to the ugly, this fascinating collection of items taken out of the shadows and ripped from the headlines offers an intriguing look at America’s most infamous and colorful underworld figures of organized crime and their legacy which is still felt today,” said Martin Nolan, Executive Director of Julien’s Auctions. “These artifacts, almost all never before seen at auction, chronicle the rise and fall of the powerful mob era which has long passed but will never be forgotten, as the mob continues to grip our imagination and pop culture from films such as The Godfather to Goodfellas, that have been inspired by Mafia folklore and history.”
“This definitive collection reveals the innermost thoughts and feelings of some of the most notable figures in Organized Crime history,” said Jay Bloom, the owner of the collection. “Sourced directly from the surviving immediate families of these infamous individuals themselves, including spouses, children, nieces and nephews and grandchildren, as well as caregivers, these museum quality artifacts represent never before seen personal items of each infamous individual in their possession at the time of their deaths.” Bloom continued, “It’s an extraordinary, once in a lifetime, look into the psyche of some of the most secretive people in history who, behind the curtains, helped shape the course of our nation and the world. I could not think of a better partner than Julien’s to bring this collection to market.”
JULIEN’S AUCTIONS PUBLIC EXHIBITION AND AUCTION LOCATION
257 N. Canon Drive
Exhibition: Monday, August 22nd - Friday, August 26th, 2022
11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time
Free to the public
JULIEN’S AUCTIONS LIVE AND ONLINE AUCTION
Sunday, August 28th, 2022
THE MOB: A HISTORY OF ORGANIZED CRIME’S MOST NOTORIOUS ARTIFACTS
Session I: 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time
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About Julien's Auctions
Julien’s Auctions is the auction house to the stars. Collaborating with the famous and the exclusive, Julien’s Auctions produces high profile auctions in the film, music, art and sports markets.
Julien’s Auctions has received international recognition for its unique and innovative auction events, which attract thousands of collectors, investors, fans and enthusiasts from around the world. Julien’s Auctions specializes in sales of iconic artifacts and notable collections including Marilyn Monroe, John Lennon, Ringo Starr, Lady Gaga, Banksy, Cher, Michael Jackson, U2, Barbra Streisand, Les Paul, Neil Young, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Jimi Hendrix, Hugh Hefner, Pelé and many more.
In 2016, Julien’s realized $5 million in the historic auction of the Brazilian soccer icon, three-time World Cup Champion and FIFA Player of the Century’s collection of memorabilia, personal property and awards, which featured the sale of Pelé’s 3 World Cup Gold medals, sold for a combined total of US $970,992 (£674,300),
including his 1970 World Cup winner’s medal sold for $427,100 (£346,000), which set world records for the most expensive Pelé item and the most expensive soccer medal ever sold at auction. In 2020, Julien’s shattered multiple records of sports jerseys sold at auction in the sale of a trio of historic #23 basketball
jerseys worn by Michael Jordan (his historic 1984 “Signing Day” official Chicago Bulls rookie #23 which sold for $320,000, a new world record sale for a jersey worn by the 14 Time All-Star and five-time MVP legend), Barack Obama (the forty-fourth U.S. President’s 1979 #23 Punahou School jersey which sold for
$192,000, a new world record selling price for a high school jersey) and Lebron James (the NBA legend’s 2003-2004 official Cleveland Cavaliers rookie year NBA jersey rookie season which sold for $128,000) which combined totaled $640,000 as well as Colin Kaepernick’s official San Francisco 49ers rookie jersey which
sold for $128,000, a new world record for most expensive NFL jersey sold at auction. Other notable Sports memorabilia sold by Julien’s Auctions include Babe Ruth’s 1938 Brooklyn Dodgers coaching uniform which sold for $187,500 and NASCAR legend Richard Petty’s 1974 Dodge Charger Daytona race-winning car
which sold for $500,000.
In 2016, Julien’s Auctions received its second placement in the Guinness Book of World Records for the sale of the world’s most expensive dress ever sold at auction, The Marilyn Monroe “Happy Birthday Mr. President” dress which sold for $4.8 million. Julien’s Auctions achieved placement in the Guinness Book of World
Records in 2009 for the sale of Michael Jackson’s white glove, which sold for $480,000 making it the most expensive glove ever sold at auction. In 2020, Julien’s Auctions received its third Guinness Book of World Record placement for the sale of Kurt Cobain’s “MTV Unplugged” 1959 Martin D-18E acoustic-electric guitar,
which sold for $6 million making it the world’s most expensive guitar ever sold at auction. In 2022, Julien’s Auctions sold the world’s second most expensive guitar ever sold at auction with Kurt Cobain’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” music video 1969 Fender Mustang electric guitar, which sold for $4.5 million.
Based in Los Angeles, Julien’s Auctions has a global presence bringing their auctions and exhibitions to targeted destinations worldwide including London, New York, Las Vegas, Japan and China. Live auctions are presented for bidders on-site and online via live streaming video and mobile technology. For more information on Julien’s Auctions, go to www.juliensauctions.com.
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