John Dillinger's personally-owned shirt and handkerchief, sold by his cousin Eleanor Dillinger Stultz to noted collector David Gainsborough Roberts in 1992, through Joe M. Pinkston, proprietor of The John Dillinger Museum in Nashville, Indiana. The off-white, long-sleeved dress shirt has a "Wilson Brothers Haberdashery" label sewn into the collar, annotated above in ink, "JCD" [Dillinger's middle name was Herbert, so this may have been erroneously marked at a later time]. Inside the collar are machine-stamped sizes, "15 1/2, 4," with additional sizing and style stamps to the front left tail: "W-1080, 15 1/2-34, 372." The decorative rayon handkerchief has pale blue-gray squares at the center and corners, with geometric line and circle designs filling the rest of the space. In overall very good condition, with moderate to heavy foxing to both pieces.
Accompanied by a notarized affidavit signed by Eleanor Dillinger Stultz, attesting to the authenticity of four pieces, including this shirt and handkerchief, which she received in 1963. In part: "I am Eleanor Dillinger Stultz, age 80…and am the daughter of Everett Dillinger, uncle of John Herbert Dillinger, deceased…These items have been in my family since 1934 and it is my belief that they were each the personal property of John Herbert Dillinger, deceased, my cousin. They were offered for sale at my home at auction on 8 August, 1992, and were purchased by Joe M. Pinkston, Curator of the John Dillinger Museum at Nashville, Indiana, acting as an agent." Also includes a letter from Pinkston to Roberts, informing him that the pieces have been shipped, and a handwritten letter from Eleanor Dillinger Stultz, offering a further oral history: "The shirt, socks & handkerchief you have, were given to my brother, by John's father, our Uncle John. When my brother moved to Florida, he gave the things to me to keep. My Dad came to stay at Uncle John's while he was traveling on the road with the carnival." From the collection of David Gainsborough-Roberts.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.