Lucky Luciano signed card could make $9,000

Bidding on a business card signed by the notorious New York mafia boss Charles "Lucky" Luciano is at $2,040 at RR Auction.

It's expected to sell for over $9,000 ahead of the October 12 close date.

Lucky Luciano signature
Luciano got his nickname after surviving an attempt on his life in 1929

Luciano (1897-1962) is considered to have laid the template for organised crime gangs in America.

He set up The Commission, a meeting of all five New York mafia families along with the heads of other crime gangs in the US - including Capone's Chicago mob.

It still meets today.

In 1936 he was arrested and sent down after being named as the head of a prostitution ring.

However, he had his sentence commuted after his mafia associates agreed to keep the Brooklyn docklands free of sabotage and strikes for the duration of the war. He left for Italy in 1946.

The consignor explains the story of how he got the card in a letter of provenance.

He writes that he was on shore leave in Naples while serving in the US Navy in 1959: "My friend took me to see him and we met him at the California Bar where we asked him for a suggestion of a good bar to go to.

"He suggested the San Francisco bar in Naples and gave us this pass…

"He dressed like a businessman in a suit. Very well dressed and very sophisticated. He talked to us for 15 minutes and asked about ourselves and where we were from.

"He made us feel very comfortable and was a true gentleman.

"My friend said he was a gangster but I had never heard of him. Later, watching a TV show called the 'Untouchables' I heard his name mentioned. I was startled and ran to my room to get the signature. It scared the daylights out of me."

All autographs tell a story. You can take a look at our selection for sale here.

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