FOUND - $10 Flea Market Photo, Worth Millions

Outlaw Billy the Kid posed with Sheriff Pat Garrett

Photo of Outlaw Billy the Kid with Sheriff Pat Garrett.

December 20, 2017
By James Massey, What Sells Best News

FLETCHER, NORTH CAROLINA – A man bought an old photograph of five cowboys at a flea market, for $10. Experts say the picture includes Billy the Kid, along with Sheriff Pat Garrett, the man who killed him. They also say it may be worth millions.

THE DISCOVERY

Reportedly, in 2011, the Old West tintype photo was on display at Smiley's Flea Market in Fletcher, when it caught the eye of Frank Abrams, a history enthusiast. He paid $10 for it, then unknowingly hung it on a wall in a spare room, where he displayed it, for years.

In 2015, Abrams caught a news story about the discovery of a tintype, of Billy the Kid playing croquet. That photo, purchased in a thrift store for $2, had been verified, and was estimated to be worth $5 million. ABC News reported on the discovery in the video posted below.

The news ignited Abrams interest. He began researching everything related to Billy the Kid. That's when he began noticing similarities between his picture, Billy, and others in the photograph.

Among the others, he noticed a striking resemblance to the infamous Wild West outlaws, Dirty Dave Rudabaugh and Barney Mason. As well as Sheriff Pat Garrett, the man who would kill Billy in 1881. All known associates of Billy. Abrams describes his discovery in the following Associated Press video.

 

WHY'S IT RARE?

There are very few known photos of Billy the Kid. Those found, have had to pass through a tremendous amount of vetting, involving scientific test and forensic examinations, in order to establish their authenticity.

Interest in Billy the Kid photos really started soaring in June, 2011. That's when an authenticated tintype of Billy was auctioned at Brian Lebel's 22nd Annual Old West Show & Auction in Denver, Colorado.

The photo, in the video below, had a pre-sale estimate of $300,000-$400,000. However, it ended up fetching $2.3 million after a bidding-war ensued, ending with billionaire businessman William Koch prevailing.

 

MORE OUT THERE?

There could be more photos out there. In a 2015 episode of American pickers (Season 10, Episode 22) Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz, met a man who claims to have a Billy the Kid photo.

The photo, shown in the video below, was bought in 1979. Reportedly it came from Pauline Garrett, Pat Garrett's daughter, and features Billy with a friend.

If you think you've found something, you may want to check with the experts located on our free appraisals page. Because it's usually the smallest of details making the biggest differences in rare item prices. Always best to have a qualified expert taking a look.

TOP TINTYPES ONLINE

See if you can to spot a bargain among tintypes listed online, on ebay (research prices). Also see; Top 25: Collectible Photos on ebay, worldwide, right now (links open on ebay).


1/6th plate Civil War Tintype Photo 2 Soldiers

High Bid: $202.50
Bids: 7
Time Left:
17h 5m


pair of young Civil War soldiers in front of a patriotic backdrop & case

High Bid: $157.50
Bids: 2
Time Left:
3d 23h 35m


NICE .... GEM TINTYPE PHOTO ALBUM... 88 GOOD IMAGES, CIVIL WAR ERA

High Bid: $88.50
Bids: 20
Time Left:
4d 3h 44m


Civil War Era Tin Type 3 Men Soldiers Tinted Cheeks & Hat Markings !

High Bid: $76.75
Bids: 11
Time Left:
6d 41m


Four Musicians Tintype Three Women One Man Band Playing Instruments Guitar, Etc.

High Bid: $66.99
Bids: 3
Time Left:
21h 6m


1870s TINTYPE Photograph BOY + GIRL Sitting on CRESCENT MOON w STARS

High Bid: $52.00
Bids: 9
Time Left:
22m 46s


Post Mortem Tintype Photo, MAN AND CHILD, RARE ESTATE FIND

High Bid: $47.44
Bids: 8
Time Left:
4d 23h 9m


Six sisters, girls, women siblings full-plate tintype photo, 8.5 x 6.5, antique

High Bid: $35.00
Bids: 1
Time Left:
1d 22h 52m


Great Hidden Mother Tintype Holding Child's Head Hat Illusion Crisp!

High Bid: $35.00
Bids: 1
Time Left:
2d 14h 31m


1860's Vintage Tin Type Photo Lot -Men, Women, Children and Families- 21 Photos

High Bid: $34.00
Bids: 17
Time Left:
2d 23h 30m


1870s TINTYPE Photograph 8 WOMEN with BILLIARD CUES + Unusual BALLS

High Bid: $31.00
Bids: 6
Time Left:
35m 18s


RARE ANTIQUE CIVIL WAR ERA TINTYPE PHOTO COUPLE KISSING CIRCA 1860S FARM

High Bid: $31.00
Bids: 2
Time Left:
7d 55m


Antique Tintype Victorian Vintage Family Photo Album 30+ Picture

High Bid: $30.00
Bids: 15
Time Left:
1d 2h 7m


9th plate thermoplastic photograph case

High Bid: $29.99
Bids: 1
Time Left:
3d 23h 43m


nice double 9th plate thermoplastic photograph case

High Bid: $29.99
Bids: 1
Time Left:
3d 23h 47m


1870s TINTYPE PHOTOGRAPH Of 3 MEN Playing CARDS

High Bid: $26.80
Bids: 6
Time Left:
1h 25m


1870s TINTYPE PHOTOGRAPH Of FIREMEN in Dress UNIFORMS w PARADE RIBBONS +

High Bid: $26.55
Bids: 4
Time Left:
1h 21m


1870s TINTYPE Photograph 3 PEOPLE Sitting on CRESCENT MOON w STARS

High Bid: $26.00
Bids: 5
Time Left:
1d 35m


People 1800 Tintype, Smallest Tin Type Photo Alburm 24 photos 2" X 1/2" IN BOOK

High Bid: $24.99
Bids: 1
Time Left:
1d 17h 53m


Rosanna Zinn Royer Sixth Plate Tintype In Leather Case Reading PA Pennsylvania O

High Bid: $24.99
Bids: 1
Time Left:
4d 3h 11m


Antique Family Photo Album 33 photos 27 TINTYPE Man Missing fingers baby woman +

High Bid: $24.99
Bids: 1
Time Left:
4d 22h 9m


VINTAGE CIVIL WAR SOLDIER STANDING PHOTOGRAPHIC TIN TYPE EXCELLENT

High Bid: $22.50
Bids: 2
Time Left:
3d 2h 34m


Antique 6th Plate Tintype Photo Cello Violins Flute Piccolo Musical Quintet

High Bid: $22.26
Bids: 8
Time Left:
22m 21s


Antique Tintype Photo in Gutta Percha Frame

High Bid: $21.50
Bids: 2
Time Left:
6d 11h 48m


NobleSpirit {3970} Genuine Union Soldiers Framed Oval Tinttype Portrait w/ COA

High Bid: $21.50
Bids: 4
Time Left:
7d 1h 10m