Sunday 16 December 2018

'I bought them like Lotto tickets' - Photo of Jesse James bought on eBay for €8 could be worth €2.27m

The Jesse James photo that could be worth over €2m
The Jesse James photo that could be worth over €2m

Ben Riley-Smith

A collector has hit the jackpot after being told that an old photograph he picked up on eBay for just €8 was a genuine portrait of infamous Wild West outlaw Jesse James, worth up to €2.27m.

Justin Whiting (45) bought the photograph in July 2017 and immediately tracked down Will Dunniway, a 19th century photography expert from California.

He was astonished when forensic experts confirmed his picture of infamous Wild West outlaw Jesse James was genuine and could sell for seven figures.

Justin, from Lincolnshire, said: "Anything is possible on eBay so I kept buying the odd photograph for a few quid, like other people would buy a lottery ticket. I noticed the picture for sale - it was $10.

"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.

"The picture was identical to the one in my book, except it was full length. All my friends said it was the same but I knew I needed to contact experts.

"I didn't dare to believe they would say it was genuine and worth at least £2m (€2.27m)."

Mr Dunniway confirmed that the photograph was a genuine portrait of bank robber Jesse taken when he was just 14.

His report said: "The age of this image was about 1861-2 and is correct in every way to this period.

"When it is compared to the much-used comparison image I believe it was taken on the same day by the same photographer.

"It is very evident by the face, hair cut, jacket, shirt and tie that this is the same image of Jesse James at 14 years old. One of the originals."

The Victorian tintype photograph was sent to Los Angeles forensic expert Kent Gibson who has also verified evidence for the FBI. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editors Choice

Also in World News