Rare Pistol Owned by Howard Hughes and Used in Epic “Hell’s Angels” To be Auctioned
By Pete R Suciu
Michigan --(Ammoland.com)- A rare German Luger pistol once owned by aviation pioneer Howard Hughes could reach new heights when it goes up for auction in Solana Beach, Calif. on September 1, 2011 from Craig Gottlieb Militaria Auctions.
The iconic handgun was used in the 1930 epic World War I film Hell’s Angels, which Hughes directed.
The gun was used in the final scene of the Hollywood blockbuster that introduced actress Jean Harlow to the silver screen. It was one of the most expensive “talkies” ever produced. It was also notable for introducing the phrase “excuse me while I put on something more comfortable” into the American lexicon.
The history of the gun is also unique. It was once owned by Hell’s Angels screenwriter Joseph March, who received the Luger from Hughes as a gift. The written provenance that comes with the Luger is thus excellent. Included with this famous gun is a letter from the screenwriter’s family, including the family member who sold it to a collector in 1992. But, the most compelling provenance is the movie itself.
“When you play back the scene frame-by-frame, you can easily make out the unique features of this rare model Luger,” says Gottlieb, noting the slender barrel, unique grip safety and the shape of the other features, which are unique to this rare pistol. “If Hughes had used a regular Luger, we would never know if this was really the same gun.”
The letter that accompanies the Luger states that Hughes gave it to March in the 1930s “as a token of appreciation following the film.”
Gottlieb places a conservative estimate of $50,000 on the gun, and notes that a pistol owned by gangster Al Capone recently sold for almost $110,000 at auction in London. He is no stranger to exotic collectibles, and he recently obtained the desk set that was used by Adolf Hitler to sign the Munich Agreement in 1938, and this set will also be up for auction in September.
Now we’ll see if the sky is the limit for the Luger.
Peter Suciu is executive editor of FirearmsTruth.com, a website that tracks and monitors media bias against guns and our Second Amendment rights. Visit: FirearmsTruth.com
Also be sure and read Peter’s newest book “America’s Road to Fascism: From the Progressives to the Era of Hope and Change“