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    Capone and "Pancho" Villa signatures on a Mexican five peso note

    Al Capone and Francisco "Pancho" Villa Signed Mexican Five-Peso Note. The note, dated January 1, 1915, contains over thirty signatures likely obtained in Northern Mexico during the year 1921, but possibly later. Obtained at auction at Sotheby's (June 2000), with provenance as follows: The five peso-note was consigned by a descendant of a Las Vegas pit boss who was sent to Mexico to organize a gambling party for Capone and his associates. The party was held after Capone assisted in replacing Jim Colosimo with Johnny Torrio as the leader of the Chicago crime empire in 1920. Francisco "Pancho" Villa had retired from his revolutionary activities and was living in the region at his ranch in Chihuahua. Villa was assassinated in June of 1923, so the signatures would have had to originate prior to this time. It is believed that Capone had organized the party as a means to entertain a few American politicians, and the existence of the Prohibition laws in the U.S. made Mexico the logical place to host his party. That it would occur to him to invite the colorful and notoriously famous Villa as a way to impress his guests is a reasonable conclusion.
    Both Capone (lower right margin ) and Villa (along left) sign on the reverse of the bill. Other signers include: Edna Lovell, Governor Ralph, J. Marilyn, Lloyd C. Pawley, Mayor Rossi, R. Mack Reid, Shanty Malone, and several others which are partially illegible. The obverse of the bill contains the signatures of Harry Lloyd Kayan, Ozzie, Betty Porter, Barbara Briggs, H. W. Pennington, Jane Martin, and several other illegible signatures.


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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2010
    8th-9th Tuesday-Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 5,146

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