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Item 2039 - Bonnie Parker's Three-Headed Snake Ring Catalog 503 (Jun 2017)

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(we are no longer accepting bids on this item)
Estimate: $40,000.00 +
Sold Price: $25,000.00 (includes buyer's premium)


Bonnie Parker’s silver-toned three-headed snake ring featuring green and red jewels, likely manufactured by the Uncas jewelry company in the early 1930s; the ring was recovered from their disabled vehicle by Sheriff Smoot Schmid after the ‘Sowers Raid’ in 1933. The ring draws from the same Western-style design themes that inspired Clyde Barrow’s own jewelry making, a craft which he honed during his time at the Eastham Prison Farm.

The ring was recovered from the outlaw couple’s bullet-riddled ’33 Ford Model B by Sheriff Smoot Schmid after the ‘Sowers Raid’ on November 22, 1933. Informed of a family gathering that was supposed to take place near Sowers, Texas, the Schmid-led posse lay in wait for Bonnie and Clyde to arrive. As Barrow approached in the stolen automobile, he sensed the trap and accelerated past his family's car, at which point the lawmen unleashed a hail of bullets. Unable to continue in the decimated vehicle, Parker and Barrow were forced flee on foot, successfully escaping despite wounds to their legs from a bullet that passed through the car. The members of the five-man posse—Smoot Schmid, Millard E. Sweatt, Ted Hinton, Ed Caster, and Bob Alcorn—discovered a cache of Bonnie and Clyde’s personal effects inside the car, and most of them took home a variety of relics ranging from bullets to lipstick cases. This ring is recorded in the Schmid family’s inventory as “Bonnie Parker Ring (3 Silver Snakes with Tiny Jewels).” Accompanied by a copy of this inventory list.

At the time of her death, Parker was in fact still legally married to Roy Thornton and she famously died with her wedding ring on. She had married Thornton just before her 16th birthday in 1926, but their marriage fell apart and he was in jail by 1929. Bonnie met Clyde in 1930, and they soon became one of the most infamous couples in American history. Her mother later reflected, ’As crazy as she'd been about Roy, she never worshipped him as she did Clyde.’

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