Capone’s pistol, which has a $50,000 starting price. Photograph: Sheldon Carpenter Carpenter, All Rights Reserved

The life of the notorious mobster Al Capone is under scrutiny more than seven decades after his death with an online auction in California of some of his most personal effects.

The three living granddaughters of the Prohibition-era gangster known as Scarface are selling a collection of artwork, letters, a diamond encrusted pocket watch and even Capone’s personal Colt .45 pistol among a 174-lot inventory valued at up to $715,000 (£520,810).

The auction, which will be hosted live by Witherell’s of Sacramento on 8 October, is entitled A Century of Notoriety. It opens a window into the family life and private side of the iconic mafioso believed to have masterminded the 1929 St Valentine’s Day massacre and scores of other mob hits during his brief but bloody spell as head of the ruthless gang called the Chicago Outfit.


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