Bonnie Parker’s personal cosmetic case, retrieved from her and Clyde Barrow’s car after their shooting on May 23, 1934. Light brown leatherette case measures 11 x 8 x 6, with a slide lock, carrying handle to hinged top, and a mirror inside of the top cover. Accompanied by a copy of a 1976 notarized letter from Frank A. Hamer, Jr., transferring the ownership of the case from himself to Raymond Brown. Letter reads, in part: “This case was in the 1934 Ford V-8 car used by Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow at the time of the shooting on May 23, 1934. The case at that time contained lipstick and a box of Coty face powder and a powder puff…This case was obviously used by Bonnie Parker for personal grooming purposes. It was about the only feminine touch item in their possession.”
Texas Ranger Frank Hamer
Special Texas Ranger Frank Hamer, Jr.
Raymond Brown Collection
Tom Keilman Auctioneers, 1986
Robert E. Davis
Also includes a Loan Agreement to the Dallas Historical Association for the item’s showing in the renowned 2001 Bonnie & Clyde Exhibition held at the Hall of State in Dallas, Texas.
Despite the fact that her home was a getaway car, Bonnie Parker never let her appearance slide. Always photographed in perfect style, her final day was no different; she was killed wearing a fashionable red dress and red shoes, with freshly done hair, nails, and make-up. With no stable home, no bathroom, no place for nonessentials, all she had to maintain an image on the run was a suitcase and this cosmetic case. This is a wonderfully personal effect, one of the only creature comforts in the otherwise rough and violent life of a young fugitive.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.