Skip to main content
Go to accessibility options


    Bonnie Parker & Clyde Barrow: Significant and Extensive Photo Archive Consigned by Clyde Barrow's Nephew. Remarkable group of five photo and scrapbook albums that belonged to Nell May Barrow, older sister of Clyde Barrow, of "Bonnie & Clyde" fame. Nellie Barrow (b. December 5, 1905, d. November 16, 1968) was very close to her brother and, following his death in 1934, was co-author of a biography titled "Fugitives: The Story of Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker". Her co-author was Mrs. Emma Parker, Bonnie's mother. The book was compiled and edited by Jan I. Fortune, who remained Nell's confidante and friend over the course of a lifetime. Some of the photos contained in the albums were used as illustrations in the book. While the albums contain many images of family members, friends and neighbors, we believe there are between 50 and 60 that depict the notorious robbers later immortalized in the eponymous Hollywood blockbuster. A small number of these photos date from the time of their killing in a police ambush in Louisiana (press photos). The vast majority are family photos, some of which were no doubt the personal property of Clyde Barrow. Many are likely unpublished. Nell Barrow's first husband was L. J. Cowan. She later married Wyatt N. Francis. On November 15, 1948, Nell gave birth to her only natural child, a son, who inherited the albums upon her demise in 1968. A Letter of Provenance from that son, our consignor, will accompany the lot. Many of the photos have been trimmed to facilitate their mounting, or display faults. Please refer to posted images. The archive contains:

    1. 10.25" x 12.75" embossed paper and cord-bound scrapbook containing newspaper clippings dealing with Bonnie & Clyde, as well as John Dillinger, apparently assembled concurrently in 1934. There are 35 pages of clippings that deal with Bonnie & Clyde, interspersed by 8 pages dealing with Dillinger. Other items: flyer advertising the book "Fugitives", 8" x 10" glossies of the exterior of the Capitol Theater in Dallas then showing a film of the "Barrow-Parker Killing", Clyde Barrow's fingerprint card, Bonnie & Clyde kissing, Bonnie's blood-splattered body laid out on the ground, the six "Officers Who Brought Down Bonnie and Clyde", Clyde's blood-stained body, bullet-riddled clothes and two smaller photos of the bullet-riddled getaway car. Chipping to album pages and some loss to corners of photos. Accompanied by six loose photos of varying sizes (real photo postcards and press photos) including one that shows an adolescent Clyde brandishing six-shooters, likely taken as a souvenir at an early Texas State Fair venue. /li /li /li
    2. 13.25" x 10.25" red embossed paper cord-bound photograph album containing 35 pages of photographs and ephemera dating from the 1930s and 1940s, belonging to Clyde's older sister, Nell May [Cowan] Francis, as she appears numerous times (one larger portrait inscribed by her "To Clyde with love. Your sis Nell"). The items are taped onto the album pages. Some are identified, but most are not. We identify four images of Clyde Barrow, one of his brother Buck and numerous gang members. Typical chipping to album pages with loose binding. The inclusion of the presentation photo by Nell is a strong indication that some of the photos were the personal property of Clyde Barrow himself. /li /li /li
    3. 7.75" x 5.25" suede covered photo album containing approximately twenty leaves with snapshots of various sizes affixed using glue and mounting corners. Photos seem to date from the 1925-1931 period. We identify photos showing Clyde's parents, his sister Nell and two snapshots showing Clyde (one posing in front of a bullet-riddled traffic sign and another posing with another man in front of a Buick "Tulsa" automobile. The album was a souvenir from a trip to Villa Acuna, Mexico. Very good condition. /li /li /li
    4. 8" x 6" embossed paper-covered photo album, the property of Mrs. Millie Hale, comprised of twenty leaves with attached photos, many colorized, both paper photos and tintypes. These seem to date from the period of World War I through the early 1940s. We identify 4 photos of Clyde's father and one 2" x 3" photo of Clyde and two friends posed together, dressed in clown costumes. Some of the images may depict Hollis Hale, a member of the Bonnie & Clyde gang. Photos are affixed using tape, glue, or mounting corners. Typical wear to covers. /li /li /li
    5. 5" x 7.75" publisher's "dummy" of the book "Fugitives: The Story of Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker" (written by Bonnie's mother and Clyde's older sister Nell). Half of the blank pages have been repurposed as a photo album and are populated with snapshots of varying sizes. There are 128 "period" photos and six later shots depicting the Barrow home as a tourist attraction. The photos are either glued or taped into the album. Some are identified, most are not. While identification is somewhat problematic, we believe there are approximately 40 photos that depict Bonnie and/or Clyde, 5 that show brother Marvin "Buck" Barrow (and wife Blanche) and numerous gang members (Raymond Hamilton, W. D. Jones and Henry Methvyn, the likely betrayer of Bonnie & Clyde). All of the period photos in this album will be posted on-line. Loose binding with edge wear to pages. /li /li /ol

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2019
    4th-5th Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 9,353

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    25% on the first $300,000 (minimum $49), plus 20% of any amount between $300,000 and $3,000,000, plus 12.5% of any amount over $3,000,000 per lot.

    Sold on May 4, 2019 for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
    Track Item