The New York Times reports on the intriguing histories of the most unusual treasures found, displayed and auctioned in 2011. The above tinytype of infamous outlaw Billy the Kid is the only image of him known to exist and it sold for $2.3 million in a Denver auction this past June. “The Kid” most likely paid 25 cents for the photo session.
This past October, Swann Auction Galleries sold this curious painting by Robert Seldon Duncanson to the Princeton University Art Museum for $120,000. Duncanson, a pre-Civil War African-American artist drew idyllic vistas and portraits of abolitionists. The painting above features a white woman, a Native American and black man, symbolic of the racial harmony Duncanson envisioned for the world. To learn more about the above works and other curiosities of the year, see the full New York Times article here.