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Gun that wounded Rimbaud fetches £370k at auction

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London : The gun that wounded French poet Arthur Rimbaud has been sold at an auction in Paris for a whopping 370,000 pounds, more than seven times the estimate.

 The revolver was used by Rimbaud’s lover, fellow French poet Paul Verlaine, during a heated argument between the pair in Brussels on July 10, 1873.

  According to auctioneers Christie’s, the gun, held by some to be the most famous in French history, sold for over seven times the estimate. The two men were at a hotel in the Belgian capital when a distraught Verlaine fired twice with the six-shot Lefaucheux revolver at the 18-year-old Rimbaud, ‘BBC News’ reported. One bullet hit Rimbaud in the wrist while the other struck the wall, ricocheting into the chimney. After the shooting, Verlaine was sentenced to two years in a Belgian prison. The revolver was returned to the gun-shop in Brussels where Verlaine had bought it, and it remained there until 1981 when the shop closed down and it was bought by a collector.


Rimbaud returned to France and finished ‘A Season in Hell’, a book that became one of his most famous works. He died of illness at the age of 37, after a business career which included trading firearms in Africa.