If you have a thing for outlaws and up to a million dollars to spare, there’s a photo of Jesse James sitting alongside his future killer Robert Ford waiting for you in New Braunfels this weekend.
The rare tintype photo will be a part of an auction Saturday at Burley Auction Gallery, starting at 10 a.m.
James and his gang of outlaws committed crimes across the American Midwest during the mid-1800s. Ultimately, he was shot in the back of the head by Ford, a member of the gang, who wanted to collect the sizable bounty on James.
The picture comes from Sandra Mills of Spokane, Washington, who said she received it from her grandmother, who kept the rare picture wrapped in a handkerchief in a dresser drawer. The photo has been authenticated by celebrated forensic artist and analyst Lois Gibson, who works for the Houston police department.
Also backing the authenticity of the photo is historian and author Freda Cruse Hardison, who has linked Mills’ great-great grandmother to the wife of Frank James, brother of Jesse.
The historic photograph has a wide-ranging estimated sales price — from $50,000 to $1 million. The auction features hundreds of other vintage items from the estate of Tommy & Sara Jane Howell, San Antonio collectors of antiques, advertising and German beer steins.
Also on the auction block are a variety of antique guns, Texas lawman memorabilia and a rare 624 horsepower 2011 Shelby GT350 R signed by Carroll Shelby.
Burley Auction Gallery has been in business since 2005, specializing in Western Americana and Texana items. Last January, Burley auctioned off items from the collection of Eddie Wilson, owner of Threadgill’s and past owner of the Armadillo World Headquarters.