Historic West Coast Mob Memorabilia Hits Beverly Hills Auction Block

Bugsy Siegel’s pink flamingos, Virginia Hill’s diamond earrings, and even Meyer Lansky’s bowties are up for sale at the end of the month

Despite a few faults worth noting, the American Mafia must be given ample credit for helping to fully realize the West Coast—and particularly Las Vegas. So it’s fitting that Julien’s in Beverly Hills will be offering up some truly unique pieces from our gothic gangster past at its August 28 auction, “The Mob: A History of Organized Crime’s Most Notorious Artifacts.”

Items from such underworld luminaries as Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel, his partner in crime Virginia Hill, their pal, the arch criminal Meyer Lansky, Al Capone himself, and many other early desert hospitality and gaming pioneers are hitting the block. Highlights include:

A hand-written letter from Al Capone to his son, Albert Francis ‘Sonny’ Capone, which the Chicago crime boss wrote while serving federal time at Alcatraz from 1934 to 1939, detailing his experiences at The Rock, including learning how to play the mandola (estimate: $30,000 – $50,000).

(Courtesy Julien’s)

For the more romantic, there’s a pair of diamond stud earrings that belonged to famed gangster moll and Bugsy Siegel partner Virginia Hill (estimate: $3,000 – $5,000).

(Courtesy Julien’s)

To get even closer to that infamous—but inspired—Bugsy sensibility, also on offer are twin ceramic flamingo statues gifted by Siegel to guests on the opening night of his Flamingo Hotel and Casino (estimate: $2,000 – $3,000). The hand-painted statues were given to 200 VIPs on the Flamingo’s December 26th, 1946 opening—where, Julien’s notes, “few of the fragile statues survived the night.”

(Courtesy Julien’s)

Sadly, Bugsy was gunned down not six months later, in part—it has been suggested by Warren Beatty and others—due to massive overages at the Flamingo. It’s also widely believed that Bugsy’s buddy Meyer Lansky had a heavy hand in the hit.

Who knows? But if you want to wear one of Lansky’s famous bowties, they’re available as well ($3,000 – $5,000).

(Courtesy Julien’s)

And we would be remiss were we to neglect the Medal of Freedom awarded to gangland villain Lansky by President Harry Truman for his help during WWII’s “Operation Husky”—look it up ($40,000 – $60,000).

(Courtesy Julien’s)

“This definitive collection reveals the innermost thoughts and feelings of some of the most notable figures in Organized Crime history,” Jay Bloom, the collection’s owner, said in a statement from Julien’s. “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.”

Julien’s will be holding an exhibition of the items from Aug. 22 to 26 from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. It is free and open to the public.

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