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Western photo fetches large sum

Posted: August 1, 2014 10:26 p.m.
Updated: August 1, 2014 10:26 p.m.

This 130-year-old photo is so valuable because of the time period it captures and the signatures it contains.

A 130-year-old photograph resulted in a tidy windfall for a Valencia man this week — fetching more than $7,000 at auction.

Valencia resident Charles Allen’s photograph, taken in Dodge City, Kansas, circa 1884, was bought Thursday for $7,500 by a phone bidder from Oregon, according to Scottsdale-based J. Levine Auction & Appraisal, which handled the sale.

Allen’s photograph also contained the signatures of a collection of Western contemporaries such as William Matthew Tilghman Jr., W. F. Petillon, Neal Brown, Luke Short and Bill Doolin.

It was also signed by Wyatt Earp, who worked as a lawman in Dodge City before moving onto other exploits, including his well-publicized time in Tombstone, Ariz.

Josh Levine, an auctioneer with J. Levine Auction & Appraisal, told The Signal last week that the photograph is so valuable because of the time period it captures and the signatures it contains. Its size and condition also make it a rare example of photography from that era, he added.

The same bidder that purchased Allen’s photograph also purchased Earp’s 1877 Colt Lightning Pocket Revolver for $20,000, according to a news release from J. Levine Auction & Appraisal.

Though $7,500 is no small sum, the estimated value of the photograph had been placed between $10,000 and $15,000, according to Levine.

That seemed to be a trend throughout the auction, as Levine noted in a press release issued Friday that the Western items “seemed soft” while other items outperformed their estimated value.



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