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).


QUARTER PLATE TINTYPE, 2 ARMED UNION SOLDIERS, FULL UNIFORMS, RIFLES

High Bid: $355.00
Bids: 1
Time Left:
2d 53m


Rare & Amazing Civil War 22nd US Vol. Colored Infantry Tintype, ID’d Soldier!!

High Bid: $350.00
Bids: 17
Time Left:
6d 7h 2m


Civil War Tintype Photo 1/4 Plate US Soldiers Gutta Percha Frame

High Bid: $163.50
Bids: 23
Time Left:
3d 4h 47m


9th Plate Oval Civil War Era Union Case, Berg #1-104 w/ Tin Type Zouave Soldier

High Bid: $145.00
Bids: 2
Time Left:
3h 11m


Antique Cased Tintype Civil War Union Soldier With Sword

High Bid: $122.50
Bids: 6
Time Left:
2d 4h 15m


Large Plate Civil War Period Tintype Photograph of Town & Fort w/ Cannon

High Bid: $113.50
Bids: 12
Time Left:
9d 3h 23m


Tintype Civil War Soldier in Uniform with Rifle William L. S. Johnson (Maryland)

High Bid: $95.00
Bids: 6
Time Left:
1d 20m


Civil war Tintype’Naval engineer” pre Civil War militia?

High Bid: $88.55
Bids: 3
Time Left:
5d 5h 11m


LOT of ANTIQUE TINTYPE & DAGUERREOTYPE PHOTOGRAPHS

High Bid: $78.00
Bids: 20
Time Left:
1d 5h 34m


1860s CIVIL WAR TINTYPE PHOTO OF UNION ARMY SOLDIER - QUARTER PLATE WITH FLAG

High Bid: $56.50
Bids: 8
Time Left:
9d 4h 32m


sibling children with horse toy early tintype photograph

High Bid: $50.99
Bids: 2
Time Left:
3d 6h 50m


HUGE HORSESHOE SIGN BLACKSMITHS J.W. DAVIS & CO. OUTDOOR SCENE TINTYPE

High Bid: $50.00
Bids: 8
Time Left:
2d 6h 10m


81 Vintage Tintypes Various Sizes All in Nice Condition

High Bid: $50.00
Bids: 2
Time Left:
6d 3h 11m


80 Vintage Tintypes Various Sizes All in Nice Condition

High Bid: $50.00
Bids: 2
Time Left:
6d 3h 11m


2 TINTYPES AFRICAN AMERICAN BLACK MAN COATESVILLE PENNSYLVANIA FERROTYPE TINTYPE

High Bid: $50.00
Bids: 1
Time Left:
9d 5h 40m


Tintype - Two Young Girls Holding Their Dolls. 1/6 Plate. Great Image

High Bid: $49.99
Bids: 1
Time Left:
6h 48m


1800's traveling shoe salesman showing shoes tintype photograph

High Bid: $49.99
Bids: 1
Time Left:
3d 3h 12m


Antique "Cambridge Album" 48 Miniature Gem Tintypes Remick & Rice 1867

High Bid: $46.00
Bids: 7
Time Left:
2d 23h 47m


ANTIQUE AFRICAN AMERICAN TINTYPE BLACK COUPLE ORIGINAL TINTYPE

High Bid: $45.00
Bids: 1
Time Left:
5d 2h 22m


ANTIQUE GILT RED LEATHER TINTYPE PHOTOGRAPH ALMUM with 44 TINTYPES

High Bid: $43.99
Bids: 10
Time Left:
2d 4h 51m


16th Plate Tin Type of Pretty Lady w/Gold Jewelry in Berg #3-584 Union Case

High Bid: $42.00
Bids: 1
Time Left:
20h 4m


1870s Tintype Post Civil War Soldiers Drinking, Smoking & Displaying Guns & Ammo

High Bid: $40.00
Bids: 9
Time Left:
4d 7h 53m


9 Tintypes 1/9 Plate Size in Small Frames in a Large Wood Frame

High Bid: $40.00
Bids: 1
Time Left:
5d 3h 11m


1860s QUARTER PLATE CIVIL WAR TINTYPE PHOTO OF UNION ARMY SOLDIER IN UNIFORM

High Bid: $40.00
Bids: 5
Time Left:
9d 4h 29m


1860s CASED CIVIL WAR TINTYPE PHOTO OF UNION ARMY SOLDIER IN UNIFORM SIXTH PLATE

High Bid: $39.00
Bids: 10
Time Left:
9d 4h 23m