The gun Vincent van Gogh is believed to have shot himself with sold for $182,000.
The gun Vincent van Gogh may have used to shoot himself in 1890. Photo © Stéphane Briolant.
The rusty revolver thought to be the firearm Vincent van Gogh used to shoot himself sold for €162,500 ($182,000) at an auction in Paris on Wednesday afternoon. The sale was held at Drouot and organized by AuctionArt - Rémy Le Fur & Associés, which had tagged the object with a pre-sale estimate of €40,000 to €60,000 ($45,000–67,000).
The 7mm Lefaucheux revolver was found in a field behind a church in the town of Auvers-sur-Oise by a farmer around 1960. In that same field on July 27, 1890, Van Gogh is believed to have shot himself in the chest. He eventually made his way back to the inn he’d been staying at and died two days later. While Van Gogh’s death has long been thought to be a suicide, a recent theory suggested he may have been shot accidentally by René Secrétan, a local boy who’d been playing with the gun near him.
According to The Art Newspaper, though the identity of the gun’s buyer has not been made public, they have been approached by Frankfurt’s Städel Museum about loaning the revolver for its forthcoming “Making Van Gogh” exhibition.