Billy the Kid – Real Croquet Bandit
A shopper called Randy Gijarro purchased the above picture from a junk shop in Fresno (California) in 2010. The picture is now for sale having been valued at £3.3 million. The above image has been cropped from the original 4in by 5in tintype picture, shown below. (Tintype was an early form of photography with the image being etched onto thin metal).
The picture shows Billy the Kid and his gang, known as the Regulators, enjoying a game of Croquet after a wedding in 1878. The photograph has been subject to a year of methodical study, involving facial recognition technology and inspection of the site. It is now believed to be authentic. The only other known photograph of Billy the Kid, taken in 1880, sold for £1.5 in 2010.
Thank you to Ray Lowe of Southport and John Dawson of Chester, for spotting the press articles on Sky News and The Times – you can read them at:
Ray Lowe: Always thought some wrong uns played croquet.
John Dawson: I am not sure I would be volunteering to ask Billy for his handicap card.
John Dawson: Lovers of Chester lawns will note that there appears to be a bit of a slope in the picture.
Peter Wilson: Working for Top Gear now John?