$10 Ebay Find is Actually a Picture Worth $2 Million of Jesse James


You always read about the occasional story where someone buys an antique only to discover it is worth way more than originally thought or even the occasional purchase of a home with a hidden treasure in the attic.

Luck comes in all forms, and for one Ebay shopper looking for vintage photographs, Lady Fortune delivered a once in a lifetime gift.

The photo in question was a 19th century tintype of the famous western US outlaw Jesse James though no one knew it at the time. After purchasing it, the buyer discovered the photo was not only of Jesse James, but an extremely rare one at that – hence, the huge valuation.

Image via Pixabay from Pexels.com.

Justin Whiting, a resident of Spalding in the United Kingdom, landed upon the photo in 2017 when he was browsing Ebay. He noticed the picture looked very similar to one he found in a book. Feeding his passion for everything about American western outlaws, Justin went on ahead and clicked the buy-it-now button, securing the photograph for $USD 10.

“I noticed the picture for sale — it was $10. It was a bit blurry on the site but when I got it, it was a lot clearer,” Whiting said, “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.”

California-based 19th-century photo expert Will Dunniway confirmed the photo’s authenticity, noting it was a picture of Jesse James at the age of 14.

Dunniway said to Fox News, “It was an easy match since it was compared to a longtime known image of the young Jesse James at 14…Justin’s image, however, was the same pose taken the same day by the same photographer […] [It’s a] one-of-a-kind original that most likely was handled by the teenaged Jesse James himself.”

Jesse James is an extremely famous outlaw known for robbing banks, trains, and stagecoaches throughout the American West.

What We Recommend to Improve Your Photography Fast

It's possible to get some pretty large improvements in your photography skills very fast be learning some fundamentals. Consider this the 80:20 rule of photography where 80% of the improvements will come from 20% of the learnable skills. Those fundamentals include camera craft, composition, understanding light and mastering post-production. Here are the premium guides we recommend.

  1. html cleaner  Easy DSLR –  Friend of Light Stalking, Ken Schultz has developed this course over several years and it still remains the single best source for mastering your camera by identifying the main things that are holding you back.
  2. Word to html  Understanding Composition – As one of the core elements of a good photograph, getting your head around composition is essential. Photzy's guide to the subject is an excellent introduction. Their follow-up on Advanced Composition is also well worth a read.
  3. Word to html  Understanding Light – Also by Photzy, the other essential part of photography is covered in this epic guide and followed up in Understanding Light, Part 2. This is fundamental stuff that every photographer should aim to master.
  4. Word to html  5 Minute Magic Lightroom Workflow – Understanding post production is one of the keys to photographs that you will be proud of. This short course by one of the best in the business will show you how an award-winning photographer does it.

About Author


Kehl is our staff photography news writer and has over a decade of experience in online media and publishing and you can get to know him better here

On what possible basis can that photo be described as a photo of Jesse James? – or anyone else, for that matter?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *