Picture of Billy the Kid sold for a lot of money

Discussion in 'Antiques and Collecting' started by Diapositivo, Jun 26, 2011.

  1. Diapositivo

    Diapositivo Subscriber

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  2. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    I think this Ferrotype is the only existing photograph of him and is unique, P.S. The rifle he is leaning on isn't a Winchester, it's a Henry.
     
  3. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    That is amazing!

    Jeff
     
  4. benjiboy

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    I'm not a bleeding heart liberal, but I can't help thinking that there's something deeply immoral about someone spending this amount of money on a scrap of paper that will probably languish in a bank vault for the rest of it's existence when two thirds of the Worlds population go to bed hungry every night, I know it's the guys money and he can do what he likes with it, but I wonder how he sleeps at night.
     
  5. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    Probably very well on a very comfortable, expensive bed!


    Steve.
     
  6. tomalophicon

    tomalophicon Member

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    The same reason a lot of us sleep easily at night after spending lots of money on computers, film, paper, cars, tellies, phones, internet connections, clothes, things with lots of fancy packaging etc... We don't think about it!

    Great photograph by the way.
     
  7. edp

    edp Member

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    It's a small contact print

    a scrap of paper

    It's a tintype. But yes, an obscenely expensive one.

    This amused me:

    The tintype format was an early type of photography which used metal plates to create reverse images, and the photograph led to the mistaken belief that the outlaw was left handed. This is why a 1958 film about his life, starring Paul Newman, was entitled The Left Handed Gun

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/2011/jun/27/billy-the-kid-photograph-sold
     
  8. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

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    Yes, but this someone doesn't have the money any more. It has been removed from his possession and he has been given a scrap of tin in recompense.

    The more money the rich spend the poorer they get.

    "Feed the birds and what have you got? Fat birds."
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 29, 2011
  9. silent-tortoise

    silent-tortoise Member

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    Wrong. The more the Rich spend, the more they receive. Feed the birds and what do you get? Satisfied, happy birds.
     
  10. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    Lew Wallace the governor of New Mexico and a former Civil War Union general who pardoned Billy on a murder charge, later went on to write Ben-Hur .
     
  11. halldaniel21

    halldaniel21 Member

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    It’s true that for 1 million and 600 Euros the guy gets only a small picture. But what is the value of the picture to the person, who bought the picture, can be only told by him.
     
  12. Alex Novak

    Alex Novak Member

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    And just think: there were several underbidders. It is the most expensive 19th-century photograph at auction. That record was set just a few weeks prior to the auction of the tintype at $1.3 million in France for a Gustave Le Gray of ships. At $2.3 million Billy the Kid didn't just beat the last record, it clobbered it. Still, the most expensive photograph is a contemporary one by Gursky at $4.3 million.
     
  13. eclarke

    eclarke Member

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    It's really messed up, eh?
     
  14. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    I think there were cameras with mirror arrangements to flip the image so that it wasn't mirrored. (I realize this is an almost year old post).
    The library of congress has been posting lots of tintypes from the civil war on its Flickr site lately, and some of the are the 'right way around'.
     
  15. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    Some of the "right way round" tintypes were actually illusions - itinerant photographers photographing the civil war would have sets of props with fake military insignia carved of wood with the lettering reversed, so that in the photograph, "US" on a belt buckle would read correctly.
     
  16. Alexis M

    Alexis M Member

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    it's not a consumable, the piture costs what it did because it's unique and has value. It's not spending it's investing, like in a property or stock. As opposed to buying an expensive production car which is basically equal to flushing your cash down the toilet. So yes if he was to simply spend 1.6 million Euros recklessly then it would have been morally superior to give it to charity but this is different because he does not lose the money.
     
  17. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    Also, bear in mind (especially considering the kerfluffle going on in the Thomas Kinkade thread about what is art) that a significant portion of the value of this photo is historic. That quality supercedes any artistic merit or lack thereof of the image. It is much more likely than not that this will only increase in value over time, because it is a piece of history, not subject to changes in taste. The Gursky may well drop in value in the future if/when his work falls out of fashion.
     
  18. pbromaghin

    pbromaghin Subscriber

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    Immoral?

    Ummm, that money still exists. It didn't disappear. It just belongs to somebody else now, and nobody is hungrier because of this transaction.
     
  19. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    A colleague of mine was telling me the other day that he visited the Neue Gallerie in Manhattan and recommended getting the audio tour (which I never do), not necessarily for its insight into the collection, but because it is narrated by Ronald Lauder, the main benefactor of the collection, and gives some perspective on how a billionaire collector looks at art. There are passages, apparently, along the lines of--"I saw the painting, and I knew that I had to have it, whatever the cost. I approached the dealer, who said that a major museum was bidding on it, but that if it didn't work out, I could have it, and then I spent two sleepless nights thinking of nothing but owning the painting..."
     
  20. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Sounds pretty egotistical to me. Hopefully he's the kind of person who will loan it, or even give it to, some major art museum in the future, so that it can be enjoyed by all who visit. At least if/when it's on display.
    To me it's cool to be able to acquire and care for a unique object, but even better to be able to share it and give others the opportunity to enjoy it as well.
     
  21. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Well, yes, it's egotistical in a way that is hard to imagine, but at least he's created a museum for his collection on 5th Avenue and 86th St., not far from the other major museums in the city.
     
  22. Farside

    Farside Member

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    Ding!
    The system is inequitable and imperfect and probably will disappear up its own f-stop some day, but it works well enough.
    Way I see it; is the 'rich' get some together, and invest it, and it works to keep others in jobs (unless it's invested in some sweat-shop factories in the low-cost labour economies of the Far East).
    Even so, it's a bit of a strain having all that money - continuallly wondering if you're going to be robbed.
    Nah; not for me.
    : )