A blurry pic of legendary outlaw Billy the Kid wearing a top hat and playing croquet was recently purchased for $2 by collector Randy Guijarro at a secondhand store in Fresno, California – and it just might be THE RAREST PHOTOGRAPH IN THE WORLD!
“It’s the holy grail of not just western photography. It’s the holy grail of photography,” Jeff Aiello, executive director of the documentary Billy the Kid: New Evidence, told the San Francisco Chronicle. “It is the rarest photograph in the world and it was found in a Fresno junk shop.”
The image shows a group of men – presumably Billy and his gang, The Regulators, playing croquet at a wedding in Lincoln County, New Mexico, late in the summer of 1878. The man identified as Billy the Kid is standing fourth from the left, leaning on a croquet mallet and wearing a top hat, and someone appears to be pointing at him. He strikes a similar pose in the only other known image of him, where he’s leaning on his rifle instead of a mallet and wearing what looks to be the same hat (see below).
“The historical importance of a photograph of Billy the Kid alongside known members of his gang and prominent Lincoln County citizens is incalculable,” Donald Kagin, president of Kagin’s, Inc., said in a news release. “This is perhaps the single most compelling piece of Western Americana that we have ever seen.”
The photograph has already been insured for $5 million. Not bad on a $2 investment.