DENVER, Colorado – A photo of the notorious outlaw Billy the Kid that is believed to have been taken in 1879 or 1880 in Fort Sumner, N.M. has been sold to private collector William Koch for $2.3 million at an auction in Denver, Colorado.
Melissa McCracken the auction spokesman at the 22nd Annual Old West Show & Auction said it is that photo that is the most recognizable around the world of Billy the Kid. The photo she said is the most expensive piece ever sold at the event.
“There’s only one photo of Billy the Kid, and I think that’s why it captivates people’s imagination,” McCracken said. She said the outlaw gave his picture to a friend by the name of Dan Dedrick and was owned by his descendants, the Upham family ever since then. The only time the photo was publicly displayed was in the 1980’s at a museum in Lincoln County, N.M.
Click here to see other photos of the Old West accompanied with Billy the Kid concert suite.
The photo was taken by using tintypes which was an early form of photography using metal plates. Billy the Kid gave the image to a friend, Dan Dedrick, and the tintype has been owned by his descendants, the Upham family, ever since. It has only been publicly displayed during the 1980s at a museum in Lincoln County, N.M.
It was when Paul Newman starred in the 1958 movie “The Left Handed Gun” that led to the mistaken belief that Billy the Kid was a lefty.
Click here to watch trailer of “The Left Handed Gun” starring Paul Newman.
Video – Watch documentary about the life of Billy the Kid.