Sunday, October 11, 2015

Newly Discovered Billy the Kid Photograph Authenticated

Western Americana and Rare Coin experts, Kagin’s, Inc., announced that the firm has authenticated and will be the exclusive seller of a newly discovered photograph featuring several of the Lincoln County Regulators, including legendary gunman, Billy the Kid. The photograph was purchased for $2 as a part of a miscellaneous lot at a Fresno junk shop in 2010, and will be the subject of a two-hour documentary airing Sunday, October 18th at 9/8c on National Geographic Channel. “I love handling great treasure finds!” exclaimed Dr. Donald Kagin, president of Kagin’s, Inc. “This iconic, lively and fun artifact is history in your hand—a snapshot of the life style of one of the most notorious figures of the Wild West.” The 4x5 inch tintype not only depicts Billy the Kid, but several members of his gang, The Regulators, playing a leisurely game of croquet alongside friends, family, and lovers in the late summer of 1878. Taken just one month after the tumultuous Lincoln County War came to an end, it is a window into the lives of these gunmen as they were still fighting the injustices of a lawless land. It’s a carefree moment after an important life event - a wedding - which is rich in content, movement and texture. “When we first saw the photograph, we were understandably skeptical - an original Billy the Kid photo is the Holy Grail of Western Americana,” remarked Kagin’s senior numismatist, David McCarthy. “We had to be certain that we could answer and verify where, when, how and why this photograph was taken. Simple resemblance is not enough in a case like this - a team of experts had to be assembled to address each and every detail in the photo to insure that nothing was out of place. After more than a year of methodical study including my own inspection of the site, there is now overwhelming evidence of the image’s authenticity.” The only other known photograph of Billy the Kid is a portrait of the outlaw taken in Fort Sumner, NM in 1880. That 2x3 inch tintype brought $2.3 million in 2010. Kevin Costner will narrate and produce the two-hour documentary for National Geographic Channel, covering Western Americana enthusiast Randy Guijarro’ s odyssey to authenticate this unique photograph. The program which airs October 18th will follow Randy’s journey, as well as the events surrounding the day that the photograph was taken in 1878. The documentary will also feature extensive interviews with a variety of experts in digital facial recognition, antique photography, geographic positioning, and - believe it or not - vintage croquet sets!...more

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