Gun from Australia's Kelly gang sells for $126,000

A gun used by the brother of notorious Australian outlaw Ned Kelly during their gang's infamous last stand against police in 1880 has sold for Aus$122,000 (US$126,000) at a Melbourne auction.

  • Published: 22/11/2012 at 09:47 AM
  • Newspaper section: news

This handout photo shows a gun belonging to the brother of notorious Australian outlaw Ned Kelly and used in the gang's infamous last stand against police in 1880. It sold for US$126,000 at a Melbourne auction. The East India Company cavalry pistol, which belonged to Kelly's younger brother Dan and has his name and the year 1876 engraved on the walnut stock, was bought by a private collector.

The East India Company cavalry pistol, which belonged to Kelly's younger brother Dan and has his name and the year 1876 engraved on the walnut stock, was bought by a private collector Wednesday evening.

"It's the only gun that has been definitely associated with Dan Kelly," auctioneer Charles Leski told ABC radio.

"It looks like he got it as a teenager, which probably wasn't unusual at the time for a country lad to have a gun."

The vintage muzzle-load single-shot percussion pistol, which uses powder and a lead ball instead of a cartridge, was tipped to fetch up to Aus$125,000.

Dan Kelly had the pistol with him during the 1880 siege of the Glenrowan Inn, when his outlaw brother and their gang made one last stand against police.

Everyone but Ned Kelly -- wearing his iconic home-made plate metal armour and helmet -- was killed in the showdown. Kelly was later hanged at Melbourne Gaol, famous for uttering the final phrase "such is life".

The gun disappeared for 20 years after the siege and was said to have been found on the banks of a river by a local who sold it to a Queensland gunsmith named H.P. Hansen and it has remained in their family ever since.

The Kelly gang exploits have been the subject of numerous films and television series.

Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger played the lead role in the 1970 movie "Ned Kelly", while Heath Ledger starred as the bandit in a 2003 remake.

Kelly has also been the inspiration for many books, most notably Peter Carey's novel "True History of the Kelly Gang", which won the 2001 Booker Prize.

About the author

columnist
Writer: AFP
Position: News agency

Latest stories in this category