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Gun with which Verlaine shot Rimbaud up for auction

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Christie’s to sell weapon fired in 1873 in what would be the culmination of a torrid affair between the French poets

The most famous gun in French literature, the revolver with which the poet Paul Verlaine tried to kill his lover, Arthur Rimbaud, is going under the hammer, Christie’s has said.

Verlaine bought the 7mm six-shooter in Brussels on the morning of 10 July 1873, determined to put an end to a torrid two-year affair with his teenage lover.

Related: How 555 nights in jail helped to make Paul Verlaine a ‘prince of poets’

Related: Rimbaud and Verlaine’s London home should have its blue plaque now | Letters

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