Rare Book Monthly

Articles - September - 2012 Issue

If you are dying to buy these guns something inside you is already dead

Jh

Justifiable homicide

On September 30th in Amherst, New Hampshire, two of America’s 270 million guns will be sold.  They aren’t just any guns, however.  They are antiques, and they are known to be at least 78 years old.  There is in fact no shortage of new guns, so these now out-of-date pieces are not expected to be used to guard against home invasions or to be carried by protesters exercising second amendment rights.  Neither will they be mounted on a gun rack in a pickup truck.

Nah, these guns are special.  These are the ones to bring out after dinner, to scare the bejesus out of guests whose first and only question will be, “are they loaded? “ They have been loaded, and aimed before, and were probably used to threaten and possibly kill people.  This apparently makes them collectible.  Where I grew up in rural New York, I never saw a World War Two pistol or rifle described as, “I killed plenty of men with this gun,” but these weapons coming up for auction are being treated differently.  On the subject of killing, most people are generally shy, even contrite.  It becomes different, though, when someone else does the killing.  Then, for a few, it seems okay to want to own a murderer’s weapon to feel vicariously the contrition-less willing-to-kill attitude two murderers employed decades ago.  The buyer can then pull the trigger and say with a smile, “They were reaching for them when they were killed.”  We shouldn’t care.

The criminals who owned them were nobodies.  They took the same shortcuts people cheating on taxes do.  They just took bigger ones.  They wanted money but not to work for it, and when people resisted, shot them.  They did this often, committing robbery dozens of times, shooting and hitting human targets with the regularity of a marksman picking off tin targets at the county fair.  The only difference was, these people were lovers, and later famous. That, to some, makes their guns valuable, making them association copies of the most serious kind.

In their depraved incompetence, they did have some luck.  In the 1930s, when on their “spree,” American newspapers romanticized the exploits of such killers.  Toward the end, they may have felt the need to live up to their reputations, to kill a few more now forgotten victims to cement their legacy.  Their relevant numbers are 706 and 12.  From their first confirmed killing, until their last 706 days passed.  In that time, they killed 12 men, one every 59 days, and along the way their guns and possessions became collectible.
  

As luck would have it, their story became a movie in 1967 that secured the long and illustrious careers of Warren Beattie, Faye Dunaway, Gene Hackman, and Gene Wilder.  The names of these actors have since resonated with each re-showing of the film, and so have the names Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow. Soon we'll again celebrate their violence by bidding on the guns they carried on the day they were killed.

The innocents they executed have mostly disappeared, becoming footnotes to their mayhem.  The guns, they live on of course, soon to adorn someone's empty life.

Here are their victims.

John N. Bucher of Hillsboro, Texas:  died April 30, 1932

Eugene Moore of Atoka, Oklahoma:  died August 5, 1932

Howard Hall of Sherman, Texas:  died October 11, 1932

Doyle Johnson of Temple, Texas:  died December 26, 1932

Malcolm Davis of Dallas, Texas:  died January 6, 1933

Harry McGinnis of Joplin, Missouri:  died April 13, 1933

Wes Harryman of Joplin, Missouri:  died April 13, 1933

Henry D. Humphrey of Alma, Arkansas:  died June 26, 1933

Major Crowson of Huntsville, Texas:  died January 16, 1934

E. B. Wheeler of Grapevine, Texas:  died April 1, 1934

H. D. Murphy of Grapevine, Texas:  died April 1, 1934

Cal Campbell of Commerce, Oklahoma:  died April 6, 1934

People of course have the right to collect the wrong things but the money at least should go to the right people, in this case the heirs of the victims.  And the buyers?  They should be ashamed of themselves.

Here is a link to an article in USA Today that calls the killing of Bonnie and Clyde an ambush and that too is pathetic.  Murder is not like red wine although some fools may think it is.  It does not improve with age.  Gunning down murderers is not an ambush, it’s a service.


http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/story/2012-07-13/bonnie-and-clyde-guns-auctioned/56185802/1

The auction:  RR Auction


Posted On: 2012-09-01 00:00
User Name: bobferlapapples

"They wanted money but not to work for it," These are very collectable firearms because they are a rare specimen of liberal weapons.</di


Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Charles Darwin on sexuality and the transmission of hereditary characteristics: Autograph Letter Signed to Lawson Tait. Down, 17 January [1877].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> MILTON, JOHN. <i>Paradise Lost. A Poem written in ten books.</i> London: 1667. A very rare example with the contemporary binding untouched and with a 1667 title page.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Hamilton secures the ratification of the Constitution: <i>The Debates and Proceedings of the Convention of the State of New-York, assembled at Poughkeespsie, on the 17th June, 1788.</i>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> The social contract “Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains”: ROUSSEAU, JEAN-JACQUES. <i>Principes du Droit Politique [Du Contract Social]</i>. Amsterdam: Michel Rey, 1762
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> “The first English textbook on geometrical land-measurement and surveying”: BENESE, RICHARD. <i>This Boke Sheweth the Maner of Measurynge All Maner of Lande…</i>
  • <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Shackleton, Ernest. <i>Aurora Australis.</i> Printed at the sign of 'The Penguins'; East Antarctica, 1908. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Shackleton, Ernest. <i>South Polar Times.</i> 1st edition, limited issue. from the library of Michael Barne. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> General Washington's <i>Proceedings of a General Court Martial... of Major General Lee.</i> Philiadelphia, 1778. 100 copies printed for Congress. BOUND WITH: ...Court Martial... of St Clair and ...Schuyler. $25,000 to $35,000
    <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> <i>The Voice of the People.</i> Boston, 1754. Rare pamphlet on the Excise Tax. Nathaniel Sparhawk's copy. $4,000 to $6,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Autograph Letter Signed ("S.L. Clemens"), offering extensive hard-earned advice on writing, 5 pp, 1881. $30,000 to $50,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> After Fra Egnazio Danti. <i>L'Ultime Parti not:e nel Indie Occid:ntli" [The last known parts of the Western Indies].</i> Painted Map of California, Western Mexico, and Japan. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Ptolemaeus, Claudius. <i>Geographie opus nouissima...</i> 1513. The most important edition of Ptolemy, containing the Admiral's Map. $250,000 to $350,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> De Arellano, Don Alonso. Manuscript, his <i>"Relación mui singular y circunstanciada... Capitán del Patax San Lucas,"</i> manuscript copy from the Sir Thomas Phillips collection. $50,000 to $80,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Purchas, Samuel. <i>Purchas his Pilgrimes.</i> First edition. With John Simth's engraved map of Virginia. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Lewis, Meriwether. Contemporary manuscript true copy of his final power of attorney, 1809. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> <i>A New Method of Macarony Making, as Practiced at Boston in North America.</i> Mezzotint. London, 1774. $5,000 to $7,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> <i>Scientific Base Ball Pitching: A Treatise on the Pitcher, Pitching, Origin and Philosophy of the Curve.</i> Chicago, 1897. $2,000 to $3,000
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Franklin H. Brown, <i>State Sovereignty, National Union,</i> Chicago, 1860. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Thomas Paine, <i>The American Crisis,</i> Fishkill, NY, December 1776. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b><br>The Aitken Bible, Philadelphia, 1781. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Francisco Loubayssin de Lamarca, probable first edition of the first novel set in the Spanish New World, Paris, 1617. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Juan de la Anunciación, <i>Sermonario en lengua mexicana,</i> first edition, first book of sermons in Nahuatl, Mexico, 1577. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Maturino Gilberti, <i>Thesoro spiritual en lengua de Mechuacá,</i> first edition, Mexico, 1558. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Commission of William O. Stoddard as secretary to the president, signed by Lincoln, Washington, 1861. $7,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> <i>Clay and Frelinghuysen,</i> flag banner, circa 1844. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Daguerreotype of a man believed to be Frederick Granger Williams Smith, son of Joseph Smith, circa late 1850s. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> John C. Wolfe, <i>Portrait of Abraham Lincoln,</i> oil on board in period wooden frame, circa 1860s. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Francis W. Winton, manuscript on pow-wows with indigenous Canadians, 1881. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Family letters from two young daguerreotype artists, 1826-79. $10,000 to $15,000.
  • <b>Leland Little: Important Fall Auction. September 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Leland Little, Sep. 22:</b> Published Half Plate Ambrotype of a North Carolina Confederate Officer. $2,000 to $4,000
    <b>Leland Little, Sep. 22:</b> Two 19th Century Books Pertaining to Canada's Red River Settlement. $400 to $800
    <b>Leland Little, Sep. 22:</b> Two Books With Fore-Edge Paintings of British Architectual Landmarks. $400 to $600
    <b>Leland Little: Important Fall Auction. September 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Leland Little, Sep. 22:</b> Andy Warhol (American, 1928-1987), "Torte a la Dobosch" from <i>Wild Raspberries</i>. $1,000 to $3,000
    <b>Leland Little, Sep. 22:</b> Keith Haring (American, 1958-1990), <i>Pop Shop II,</i> One Plate screenprint in colors, on wove paper, 1998. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Leland Little, Sep. 22:</b> Thomas Rowlandson (British, 1756-1827), Twenty-Two Prints from the <i>Tours of Dr. Syntax</i>. $500 to $1,000

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