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Lot #1014
Clyde Barrow's Bulova Wristwatch Worn at His Death

Bulova wristwatch worn by Clyde Barrow at the time of his death

Estimate: $25000+
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Bulova wristwatch worn by Clyde Barrow at the time of his death

Clyde Barrow's gold-filled gentleman's Bulova wristwatch recovered from his body by his father after his death, featuring a rectangular white face with golden Arabic numerals, a mechanical 21-jewel movement with sub-second hand, and partial linked bracelet. The caseback is marked "557267," and the inner case is marked "3202433." The watch is nearly identical to the Lone Eagle model and was manufactured in 1931. In very good to fine condition.

This watch was purchased from Clyde's sister, Marie Barrow Scoma, by noted collector David Gainsborough Roberts, and is accompanied by several pieces of their correspondence, including: a letter signed by Marie Barrow Scoma, providing some background information: "The watch that my brother Clyde was wearing when he was killed in Louisiana was taken from the mortuary by my father along with Clyde's clothing when he went to claim Clyde's body"; a handwritten letter by Marie Barrow Scoma with attached typed listing of items for sale, including "Wristwatch: belonged to Clyde Barrow and was worn by him when ambushed on May 23, 1934"; and another letter from Marie, noting: "Clyde's Bulova watch with a bullet crease on it, after his death my mother gave the watch to my other brother who wore it untill his death, then his wife returned it to me."

Upon hearing of the death of his son, Henry Barrow went to Arcadia, Louisiana, to accompany Clyde's body back to Dallas. This Bulova wristwatch was among Clyde's personal effects returned to Henry Barrow at that time, which also included his bloody coat, light blue shirt, dark blue pants, and a 1925 Elgin pocket watch. Many of these items were repurposed or used by the family: one of the Barrow brothers wore this wristwatch, Clyde's father Henry carried the pocket watch, and the pants were re-tailored to fit a child while 'making due' during the Great Depression. As the watch worn by Barrow at the time of his grisly death, this is an extraordinary piece of Americana from one of the most infamous and popular outlaws in history. From the collection of David Gainsborough-Roberts.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Remarkable Rarities
  • Dates: #566 - Ended September 20, 2019