A mysterious 19th-century photograph bought on eBay for just US$10 ($13) could be worth US$2 million ($2.6 million) after experts identified it as an extremely rare portrait of infamous outlaw Jesse James.
Justin Whiting, who lives in Spalding, U.K., bought the tintype for just 7 U.K. pounds ($10) in July 2017. He noticed a marked similarity between the youth in the picture and a photo of James in a book.
Described as a sort of “19th-century Polaroid,” tintype photos were created by applying chemicals to a thin metal sheet.
“I noticed the picture for sale — it was $10. It was a bit blurry on the site but when I got it, it was a lot clearer,” he said, according to SWNS. “I thought to myself: ‘Gee wizz, this could be a real photo!’ I’ve been obsessed with American outlaws for years and read lots of books and study their faces.”
Prompted by friends, Whiting contacted forensic experts in the U.S., who analyzed the picture. The collector, who has been out of work since 2003 as a result of back problems, has been told that the photo could be worth at least $2 million, SWNS reports.
Born on Sept. 5, 1847 in Clay County, Mo., James earned notoriety as a bank and train robber. He was also a Confederate guerrilla during the Civil War. The outlaw was shot dead by Robert Ford, a member of his gang, on April 3, 1882.
California-based 19th-century photography expert Will Dunniway studied Whiting’s picture and said that it was a genuine portrait of James taken when the baby-faced outlaw was just 14.
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SOURCE: Fox News, James Rogers