French actor Delon auctions arms collection

French actor Delon auctions arms collection

PARIS - French film star Alain Delon was Monday to auction off scores of antique weapons, including a Winchester rifle from the 1950s US hit series "Wanted: Dead or Alive" presented to him by Steve McQueen.

The sale will consist of 80 lots of weapons and souvenirs collected over the years by the veteran actor, who said recently that he had been "collecting everything all my life".

The 30-calibre Winchester Model 1892 wielded with devastating speed by gunslinger Josh Randall played by McQueen in the 1950s Western was expected to fetch between 2,000 and 3,000 euros (S$3,250 to S$4,890).

Delon is also selling a Colt Frontier 1873 pistol, which he used in the 1971 Western "Red Sun" starring Charles Bronson.

But the most valuable piece was expected to be a rare Holland .465 calibre double rifle that could fetch as much as 40,000 euros.

"It turns out that, at my age ... I have accumulated a mountain of stuff. Rather than leave these weapons to my children, I'd rather leave them money," Delon said in a recent interview in Le Figaro magazine.

"Sometimes I see 'Jean Marais, posthumous sale'. I can assure you you'll never see a 'Alain Delon posthumous sale'," said the 79-year-old.

Arnaud Cornette, who runs the auction house that will sell the collection, said: "These are not cops' and robbers' weapons but a journey into a passion of Alain Delon."

Delon "built up his weapons collection with the same rigour, the same passion, the same high standards as he did with his other collections of paintings, sculptures, drawings, watches or wine," said Cornette.

"Certain lots are genuine works of art and will be coveted by collectors the world over," he added.

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