Jesse James wanted poster a steal at $12,000 in Bonhams auction


A wanted posted issued in the aftermath of legendary outlaw Jesse James' first heist will sell on April 7 at Bonhams, as part of its sale of The Caren Archive in New York.

Jesse James Wanted poster
Jesse James wasn't physically involved in the heist, but played a large part in its planning

The poster is valued at $8,000-12,000. Adding to its significance is that it also records America's first daylight bank robbery, with James and his brother Frank making off with $60,000 on February 13, 1866.

Led by Frank James, a crew of a dozen outlaws rode into Liberty, Missouri that day, killing an innocent bystander. Jesse James himself was not present due to an injury, but certainly played a large part in organising the robbery, and this is the first recorded instance of a heist attributed to him.

Any item relating to the notorious outlaw is much sought after, with another wanted poster selling 130% above estimate in 2012 at $57,475. The only known signed photograph of Jesse James made $51,240 at auction in 2011.

Also starring from the archive, which contains nearly 300 newspapers, photographs, books and manuscripts, is a mug shot of fellow bandit Butch Cassidy, which is expected to sell for $20,000-30,000.

Following is a broadside announcing amnesty in the Lincoln County War, the famous feud between Billy the Kid and sheriff Pat Garrett, as well as other iconic figures of the Old West. It is expected to sell for $4,000-6,000.

Discover more from the Caren Archive.

Paul Fraser Collectibles has a great range of autographs and ephemera from history's most famous names.

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