FOUND > $10 Flea Market Photo, Worth Millions
Outlaw Billy the Kid posed with Sheriff Pat GarrettPhoto 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.
- FOUND - Top Treasures of 2017
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.