Infamous Bonnie and Clyde ring to be auctioned

A ring once belonging to infamous bank robbers Bonnie and Clyde will be put up for sale as part of a Gangsters, Outlaws and Lawmen auction.

The three headed snake ring features green and red jewels and was made by Clyde Barrow while he was imprisoned in Texas. It showcases the criminal’s personal hallmark, a musical note struck by an arrow.

Both Clyde and his brother Buck were skilled amateur craftsmen, and while in prison they engaged in jewellery-making, leathercraft, and woodworking.

Among some of the other items known to have been made by Clyde while jailed are a beaded necklace given to his sister Marie, a hand-tooled leather belt with metal studs and blue and red stones, and his own polished silver belt buckle with a five-pointed Texas Star in the center surrounded by abalone shell.

The leather belt, belt buckle, and this ring all exhibit similar styles of artistic approach and the same level of high-quality, though unrefined, craftsmanship. Barrow likely made this ring with a base metal (probably copper) using the lost-wax casting process, then plated it in silver.

The three headed snake ring was recovered from the outlaw couple’s bullet-riddled ’33 Ford Model B by Sheriff Smoot Schmid after the ‘Sowers Raid’ on 22 November 1933.

Bobby Livingston, executive VP at RR Auction, said: “He must have crafted this ring for her during that period as a sort of ‘promise’ ring—they were never officially engaged.

“In June of 1933, Bonnie was severely burned and crippled in an automobile accident, and yet Clyde stayed with her, even though it slowed him down. They were gangsters, but their love story still resonates today.”

He added: “The ring represents the enduring relationship between Bonnie and Clyde, and is an absolutely amazing artifact of enormous significance.

“It is the closest thing Bonnie and Clyde shared between each other to a wedding ring.”

Other pieces which will be featured include original Bonnie Parker & Clyde Barrow arrest warrants from 1933 and a “So Long” letter handwritten to Hamilton by Bonnie and signed by Clyde.

A 1934 Clyde Barrow signed letter with his fingerprints and Sheriff ‘Smoot’ Schmid’s gold and diamond badge are also part of the collection.

Artefacts once belonging to Al Capone will also be put up for auction, including a diamond studded pocket watch, a witness subpoena and handwritten musical lyrics.

The live auction will take place on Saturday 24 June at the Royal Sonesta Boston in Massachusetts.

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Shekina Tuahene

Shekina is a multimedia journalist who has lived in London all her life. She is an alumnus of University of Greenwich and Brunel. Shekina loves to read, travel, socialise and listen to music. If you have any story or feature ideas, feel free to drop her a line.

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