Talk about an outlaw Jesse James jackpot!!!
A mysterious 19th-century photograph bought on eBay for just $10 could be worth $2 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.
“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.”
Friends of Whiting’s convinced him to contact forensic experts in the United States in order to confirm or deny if the photo was one, authentic and two – that of Jesse James himself.
Born on Sept. 5, 1847 in Clay County, Mo., Jesse 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.
The image is similar to one that rests on the James Foundation site, more than likely taken during the same photo session, by the same photographer. There is also good reason to believe that Jesse James himself would have handled the photo himself during his lifetime.
The photo will likely bring more than $2 million at auction, which clearly isn’t a bad return on a $10 investment!