This authentic photo of notorious bandit Billy the Kid, bought for $2 in 2010, could fetch up to a staggering $5m.
The 4-by-5 inch photo was bought at an antique shop by Randy Guijarro from Freemont, California.
It is believed to be the only second confirmed image of gunman Henry McCarty or Billy the Kid as he came to be known.
The photo appears to show Billy the Kid and members of the Lincoln County Regulators gang ‘playing a leisurely game of croquet alongside friends, family and lovers in the late summer of 1878.’
Kagin’s Inc., a company specializing in Western Americana and rare coins, said the photo has been appraised and insured for $5 million (£3.2m).
President of Kagin’s Inc, Don Kagin, said Guijarro had come to them a year ago with the image because he believed it was the real deal.
He had spent the last year working with experts to have his suspicions confirmed.
With the help of the company and the experts, the image’s location was also pinned down as New Mexico.
Kagin said: ‘[We] nailed exactly not only the terrain, but the building [in the image]. That really nailed it.’
David McCarthy, a senior numismatist at Kagin’s who flew to New Mexico to find and authenticate the exact location of the image, called that moment an ‘incredible thrill.’
‘We have these moments of discovery every once in a while. You get goosebumps.’
He added: ‘Billy the Kid is incredibly famous. But he wasn’t shooting people all the time. He had friends he cared about. He had women he chased. It (the photograph) opens up the idea about the humanity of a character like Billy the Kid.’
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