A & quot; suicide weapon & quot; of Van Gogh sells for $ 180,000



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Written by Michelle Lou, CNNMatthew Robinson, CNN

The rusty pistol against which Vincent van Gogh would have killed himself in 1890 was sold for € 162,500 ($ 183,000).

The 7mm Lefaucheux revolver was struck by a hammer in Paris on Tuesday. AuctionArt, which offered the item, described it as "the most famous weapon in the history of art".

Although the auction house admitted that it could not be absolutely certain that it was the gun used by the painter to take his life, she pointed out that "several proofs (which) show that it must be Van Gogh's suicide weapon."

The gun exhibited next to an apparently identical model at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam in 2016.

The gun exhibited next to an apparently identical model at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam in 2016. Credit: Robin Van Lonkhuijsen / AFP / Getty Images

"It was discovered where Van Gogh shot, his caliber is the same as the bullet retrieved from the artist's body as described by the physician at the time, (e) scientific studies show that the gun has remained in the ground since the 1890s," AuctionArt said in a statement before the sale.

The final sale price was significantly higher than the pre-auction estimate of € 60,000 ($ 67,000).

A farmer found the gun in 1965 in the French village of Auvers-sur-Oise, where the artist died. The discovery was made in the same field in which Van Gogh was believed to have killed himself in the stomach in July 1890. The farmer handed the gun to the owners of a guesthouse in the village and was passed by his family before being auctioned .

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The revolver had already been exhibited in public at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam in 2016 as part of his exhibition "On the Edge of Insanity: Van Gogh and his Disease."

The auction house did not nominate a winning bidder.

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