Only real Billy the Kid photo most wanted item at Old West Auction


Put on your cowboy boots and grab your shooting iron, because this weekend from tomorrow June 24 to Sunday June 26, the premiere event for fans and collectors of Wild West items and memorabilia is taking place in Denver.

Brian Lebel's Old West Auction, which has been running for 22 years, brings together the most famous and sought after items from that legendary period of American history and auctions them. This year the event is really making headlines because of one incredible main piece.

Infamous outlaw Billy the Kid, who is seen by some as a villain and by others as a folk hero, emerged as one of the most remarkable figures who lived during that time. However, despite his reputation, only one authenticated picture was ever taken of him, the Upham tintype.


Seen as both villain and hero, Billy the Kid entered Old West folklore

It became the standout image which symbolises the era, but had never actually been put up for auction. Until now that is.

It is set to be sold off on when the Old West Auction starts on Saturday night, June 25. Given its rarity as a one-of-a-kind, the fact it has never been sold before and its subject, it really is the perfect lot. For these reasons it is obvious why it has had a $300,000-400,000 estimate attached to it.

The picture himself, showing a slight, diminutive looking Billy the Kid, staring quizzically into the camera, was taken in Fort Sumner, New Mexico, roughly 130 years ago.


These divorce papers are a unique insight into Buffalo Bill's marriage to Louisa

It is not the only amazing item on sale though, as pieces connected to the equally famous gunslinger Buffalo Bill are also going under the hammer.

His wife, Louisa, tried to divorce him in 1905 and took out proceedings against him. These genuine documents, in which she says she will bring him 'down so low the dogs won't bark', are a piece no American Old West collector should be without. They are being sold for an extremely reasonable price, given their prominence, of $5,000-8,000.

Along with these two pieces, which in the future could become goldmines for investors, are other great items such as one of Buffalo Bill's pocket watches, valued at $5,000-7,000, a Colt revolver used by the likes of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, estimated at $10,000-14,000, and some wonderful Native American art.


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