Vegas Mob Memorabilia To Be Sold at Beverly Hills ‘Organized Crime’ Auction

This is your chance to shop hundreds of artifacts from some of America's most infamous organized crime figures.

Handwritten notebooks from Meyer Lansky. Home movies from Anthony “The Ant” Spilotro. Al Capone’s letter
from Alcatraz. Mickey Cohen’s corduroy fabric chair. The long-held enthusiasm and curiosity — you might also
add the tendency to romanticize – about America’s (and notably, Las Vegas’s) organized crime history is likely
to bring big returns for those aforementioned pieces of the past, and more, when they go up for auction August
28 in Beverly Hills.

The collection of mob memorabilia, which also includes jewelry, photographs, clothing, and even firearms, has
traded hands for decades, and was on display in Las Vegas as recently as 2011, when investor Jay Bloom
opened the short-lived Las Vegas Mob Experience inside the Tropicana Hotel and Casino. At the time, Bloom
boasted of having the largest collection of organized crime artifacts, and though the exhibit arrived with the
obligatory Las Vegas fanfare – the late Goodfellas and Casino actor Frank Vincent even made an appearance
– it failed to capture the same crowds drawn to the city’s more famous mob exhibition, downtown’s National
Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement (commonly known as The Mob Museum).

Bloom was whacked – err, released from his responsibilities – as manager of the Mob Experience shortly after
its opening, and the entire operation soon descended into a series of legal battles with disgruntled investors.
Meanwhile, The Mob Museum celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2022, and its operators are likely to take a
close look at what will go on the auction block when Julien’s Auctions hosts its “The Mob: A History of
Organized Crime’s Most Notorious Artifacts”
event.

A Treasure Trove of Mob Memorabilia

Auctioneers promise “hundreds of artifacts” from the Mob Experience, including a trove of items that once
belonged to Murder Inc. founder and one-time Flamingo Las Vegas operator Ben Siegel. Among Siegel’s
collection: a Swiss army knife; 14K gold pencil; home movie film reels; a handwritten letter from the gangster to
his wife Esther; an engraved cigarette case gifted to Lansky by Siegel (Lot 145); a Movado travel clock
engraved with Siegel’s initials (Lot 23); office décor; family photos; and numerous items that once belonged to
Siegel’s oldest daughter, Millicent.

From Lansky’s files, bidders can take home stock certificates, tax documents, photographs, notebooks,
correspondences, golf clubs, clothing, and pages of his handwritten autobiography, among other items. A two-
page letter written by Lansky to his second wife, Teddy, in which he discusses their wedding plans, is also up
for auction.

While those items and more, from the likes of Sam Giancana, Charlie Luciano, Joseph Aiuppa – whose very
large personal gun collection is on the block – and Capone are likely to draw bids, mob historians in Las
Vegas, both casual and committed, will be eyeing the bounty that once belonged to Spilotro.

One of the city’s most ruthless criminals, “Tony the Ant” arrived in Las Vegas in the 1970s, tasked by the
Chicago Outfit to oversee the “skim” alongside mob associate Frank Rosenthal. Spilotro, who famously
retained future Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman as his legal counsel (Goodman also represented Lansky,
among others) and also inspired Joe Pesci’s character in Casino, was murdered and buried in an Indiana
cornfield in 1986. His legacy, however, lives on in the collection of personal effects that will go on the auction
block in Beverly Hills. Among the items: a Father’s Day card given to the gangster by his son, Vincent; stock
certificates and tax documents; family photographs; ties; a shoeshine box; a black leather drinking flask; bar
stools; a Las Vegas International Hotel ashtray; table lamps; an Ouija board; clothing; Spilotro’s record
collection (featuring Frank Sinatra, Neil Diamond, and Chuck Mangione!); firearms; and 8MM home movie
reels. Fans of Casino can even bid on poker chip props branded with the name of the film’s fictional Tangiers
Hotel and Casino.

The August 28 auction will be held in person and live online at juliensauctions.com.


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