Only Authenticated Portrait of Billy the Kid

The only known authenticated portrait of the infamous outlaw Billy the Kid recently sold for $2.3 million at an auction in Denver, Colorado. It depicts the gunfighter in rumpled clothes and a hat, gazing at the camera, while holding a 1873 Winchester rifle in one hand and a Colt revolver at his hip.

The tintype, an early form of photo using metal plates, is believed to have been taken outside a saloon at Fort Sumner, New Mexico in either 1879 or 1880.

Billy the Kid is widely thought to have killed 21 people, although some sources put the figure as high as 27. He was captured and sentenced to hang for the 1878 murder of a county sheriff. After escaping, he was hunted down and killed by Sheriff Patrick Floyd Garrett on July 14, 1881.

“There’s only one photo of Billy the Kid, and I think that’s why it captivates people’s imagination,” said Melissa McCracken, a spokeswoman from the auction house.

Brian Lebel’s Annual Old West Show & Auction website
via [Associated Press]

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