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).


Antique Fireman's Trumpet 1800's

High Bid: $250.00
Bids: 1
Time Left:
4d 19h 10m


LOT OF EIGHT TINTYPE ALBUMS AND ONE DAUERREOTYPE TOTAL OF 328 PHOTOS

High Bid: $245.00
Bids: 1
Time Left:
6d 19h 39m


CIVIL WAR SERGEANT WITH A SWORD IN A CRUDE STUDIO TINTYPE

High Bid: $131.50
Bids: 7
Time Left:
4d 19h 19m


Super Rare Antique Tintype African American Black Civil War Era Couple Locket

High Bid: $130.50
Bids: 15
Time Left:
1d 14h 21m


c.1880 TINTYPE HIGH WHEEL BICYCLE PENNY FARTHING BIKE DANDY VICTORIAN GENT 1/6TH

High Bid: $129.99
Bids: 1
Time Left:
3d 18h 11m


Ambrotype Armed Civil War Soldier dated 1856 in EXCELLENT condition! MUST SEE

High Bid: $125.40
Bids: 17
Time Left:
18h 36m


Revolver & Flag - Armed Civil War Soldier - 9th Plate Tintype - Antique Photo

High Bid: $113.61
Bids: 14
Time Left:
3d 19h 12m


1860s 1/6 PLATE CIVIL WAR TINTYPE PHOTOGRAPH OF A UNION ARMY SERGEANT IN UNIFORM

High Bid: $105.50
Bids: 11
Time Left:
4d 18h 37m


Quarter plate tintype two Civil War soldiers wearin shell jackets

High Bid: $93.00
Bids: 7
Time Left:
3d 14h 18m


CIVIL WAR UNION SOLDIER W/MOTHER, TINTYPE, TINTED, PATRIOTIC CASE VERY NICE!

High Bid: $65.00
Bids: 3
Time Left:
3d 20h 9m


1860s 1/6 PLATE CIVIL WAR AMBROTYPE PHOTOGRAPH OF A UNION ARMY CIVIL WAR SOLDIER

High Bid: $56.50
Bids: 6
Time Left:
4d 18h 34m


1870s Tintype of a Child Wearing an Iroquois Indian Beaded Cap or Hat

High Bid: $55.00
Bids: 1
Time Left:
3d 19h 25m


Vintage Early Tintype Little Puppy Dog on Couch

High Bid: $54.00
Bids: 3
Time Left:
5d 17h 25m


Uncle Nelse - Civil War Soldier - 6th Plate Tintype - Union Case Antique Photo

High Bid: $52.00
Bids: 5
Time Left:
3d 19h 13m


Unusual Tintype Image of 2 Young Men with Knives in Original Case

High Bid: $50.99
Bids: 10
Time Left:
3d 15h 15m


1800S FLOYD COURT HOUSE VA DOCUMENTS / TWO TINTYPES (ONE MILITARY STYLE CLOTHES)

High Bid: $49.95
Bids: 1
Time Left:
5d 19h 9m


Rare Napa, California Outdoor Sulky ¼ Tintype Photographers Display? 5/22/1871 !

High Bid: $49.00
Bids: 7
Time Left:
3d 20h 25m


7 antique TIN PHOTOS IN OLD BLACK FRAMES GOLD AND VELVET

High Bid: $48.00
Bids: 6
Time Left:
17h 19m


Post Mortem Tintype- Baby in Carriage- Quarter Plate- No Case

High Bid: $43.00
Bids: 2
Time Left:
3d 20h 10m


Antique Civil War Era Union Case Tintype Young Girl Photograph Miniature Oval

High Bid: $43.00
Bids: 7
Time Left:
4d 21h 51m


CIVIL WAR SOLDIER TINTYPE WITH "34" ON HAT ATTRIBUTED TO 34TH MASSACHUSETTS LOOK

High Bid: $40.00
Bids: 2
Time Left:
5d 11h 47m


SCARCE 1850’s OREO THERMOPLASTIC UNION CASE W/ ORIGINAL DAGUERREOTYPE

High Bid: $39.77
Bids: 5
Time Left:
3d 19h 17m


Superb Outdoor Itinerant Tintype of a Young Waif or Worker in Tattered Clothes!

High Bid: $38.00
Bids: 4
Time Left:
3d 20h 15m


Superbly Intense Tintype of a Drunken Fiddler & Kindred Spirt w/ Bottles of Suds

High Bid: $37.99
Bids: 3
Time Left:
3d 20h 19m


Tintype cute teenage boy and pet dog on chair c.1870s, original photo, old

High Bid: $35.00
Bids: 1
Time Left:
3d 19h 12m