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The famous gun that almost killed French poet Arthur Rimbaud has been sold for €434,500 (220 Million Naira) at an auction in Paris.

The 7mm six-shooter was used by Rimbaud's lover, fellow French poet Paul Verlaine, during a heated argument between the pair in Brussels on 10 July 1873. BBC News reported.

Verlaine bought the weapon in Brussels on the morning of 10 July 1873, determined to put an end to his torrid two-year affair with his teenage lover.


The 29-year-old poet abandoned his young wife and child to be with Rimbaud, and when he became obsessed. He decided to put an end to the relationship.

He fired twice. One bullet grazed Rimbaud’s left wrist and the other missed.

Verlaine was sentenced to two years in a Belgian prison. Homosexuality was judged to be an aggravating factor.

The revolver was returned to the gunshop in Brussels where Verlaine had bought it, and there it remained until 1981 when the shop closed down and it was bought by a collector.


The price for the 7mm six-shooter which almost changed the course of world literature was more than seven times the estimate, auctioneers Christie’s said on Wednesday. Guardian UK reported.

It is held by some to be the most famous gun in French history.

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