A $2 tintype from a junk store turns out to be a $5,000,000 photo of Billy the Kid


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Some people don’t play the lottery, but they still hit the jackpot. One such lucky fellow is the collector by the name of Randy Guijarro, who in 2010 in a junk shop in Fresno, California, bought an old photo. The 4×5” tintype, which he snatched for only $2, turned out to be a photo of Billy the Kid a couple years later. The experts at Kagin’s – one of the best-known auctioneers, specializes in Rare Coin and Western Americana – were skeptical at first and needed an entire year, in order to put the missing pieces of the puzzle in place. Eventually it was clear, that the photo was authentic and that it was worth a fortune. To be exact the value of this tintype is estimated at $5,000,000. Below you can see the photo for yourself. The famous gunslinger is the fourth one from the left.

Tin Type Full 9Kx12K b, 12/20/13, 12:37 PM, 8C, 9000x12000 (0+0), 150%, Custom, 1/40 s, R106.2, G84.2, B103.2

Image source: Kagin’s

Tin Type Full 9Kx12K b, 12/20/13, 12:37 PM, 8C, 9000x12000 (0+0), 150%, Custom, 1/40 s, R106.2, G84.2, B103.2

Crop – Billy the Kid (left) /// Image source: Kagin’s

You are probably asking yourself why this image is worth that much. Well, Billy the Kid, who is portrayed in literature as either the Robin Hood of the Wild West or a coldblooded Murderer, is one of the best-known and most controversial figures in the history of the Wild West. In addition, this one of the only two photos of the legendary outlaw still in existence. The second photo, a 2×3” full-body portrait, was auctioned off for $2.3 million in 2011. It was the fourth most expensive photo in the world at the time.

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