Dillinger pistol sold at auction for $95,600

LOS ANGELES Mon Jul 27, 2009 9:42am EDT

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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A small pistol belonging to 1930s gangster John Dillinger has been sold at auction to a private collector for $95,600 -- more than double the pre-sale estimate, the auction house said on Sunday.

The Remington .41 caliber Double Derringer was said to have been found hidden in one of Dillinger's socks when he was arrested in Tucson, Arizona in January 1934, said Dennis Lowe of Heritage Auction Galleries in Dallas.

According to affidavits, the pistol was given by the then Tucson sheriff to a probation officer and kept in the family until selling it in 1959.

The owner, who wished to remain anonymous, sold it because he was in declining health, Lowe said. It had been expected to fetch about $35,000 - $45,000 at the auction on Saturday in Dallas. A private Los Angeles collector made the winning bid of $95,600.

Dillinger, one of the most infamous bank robbers in the United States in the early 1930s, was shot dead by FBI agents in Chicago in July 1934 at the age of 31.

His exploits have inspired at least five movies or TV films including the most recent release "Public Enemies" in which Dillinger is portrayed by actor Johnny Depp.

(Reporting by Jill Serjeant)

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