Billy the Kid collectibles


2015-06-26 11:20:17


Billy the Kid (1859-1881, born Henry McCarty, New York City), also known as William Antrim and William H. Bonney, was an outlaw of the 19th century American West.

While the precise details of Billy the Kids life remain unconfirmed, it is generally held that the Kid was quick with his gun and his temper, and he proved to be an expert at escaping from small-town jails.

The Kid later became involved in land disputes in the New Mexico territory in the 1870s (the Lincoln County War), later hunting down the murders of his accomplice, Englishman John Tunstall.

After being tried and convicted of murder in 1881, Billy the Kid escaped, killing two deputies in the process. He was hunted down three months later and shot to death by Sheriff Pat Garrett.

Legacy and appeal to collectors

According to the Gale Encyclopedia of Biography, Billy the Kid was the prototype of the American western gunslinger. He was the youngest and most convincing of the folk hero-villains.

Historic accounts, such as Jefferson C. Dykes’s book Billy the Kid: The Bibliography of a Legend (1952), have added to his legend as have notable screen performances by Hollywood actors Kris Kristofferson and Paul Newman.

Notable sales

The “one-and-only authenticated photograph of US outlaw Billy the Kid" sold for $2.3m at Brian Lebel’s Old West Show & Auction in June 2011, against a pre-sale estimate of $300,000 to $400,000.

A clipped Billy the Kid signature appeared for sale at PBA Galleries in November 2009, described as comparing “favourably to the few that we have been able to identify.” Its listed catalogue price was $10,000-15,000.

The autograph was consigned from the estate of the late James "Buffalo Jim" Barrier, sports promoter and Las Vegas personality, who died in April 2008.

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