Guns and Gear

Revolver Van Gogh Likely Used To Kill Himself Goes On Auction Block

REUTERS/Charles Platiau - RC16E6D6E950

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A revolver likely used by Vincent van Gogh to commit suicide is set to be auctioned on June 19 in Paris.

Van Gogh reportedly borrowed the gun, a 7 mm Lefaucheux, from the innkeeper he was staying with before walking into a field and shooting himself in the stomach, according to Artnet News.

The artist is said to have discarded the gun after firing it and returned to the inn, where he died from his injuries 36 hours later.

The corroded firearm is being auctioned off by the family of the innkeeper, who received the gun from a farmer who returned it in 1965 after finding it in the same field.

Van Gogh spent the last few months of his life in 1890 north of Paris in the village of Auvers-sur-Oise.

The gun has never been offered for sale before and is expected to fetch $67,000. It has been exhibited previously at the van Gogh museum in Amsterdam.

Scientific tests reportedly prove that the gun was last discharged in 1890 before laying exposed to the elements. However, experts cannot confirm with certainty that it was the fatal weapon. Whether or not the tortured artist, who famously cut off his own ear, even died by his own hand is unproven.

Another theory floated about the artist’s death is he was accidentally shot by two boys playing with the gun in the field, according to a recent biopic of van Gogh. “At Eternity’s Gate,” directed by American painter Julian Schnabel, stars Willem Dafoe. (RELATED: Vincent Van Gogh Painting Sells For Millions At Auction)

Despite lacking absolute proof, the gun’s auction estimate is high based on “celebrity of the artist, the likelihood that it is the weapon of the suicide, and the interest we feel it can raise,” a rep for the auctioneer, AuctionArt, told the Antiques Trade Gazette.

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