Billy the Kid portrait sold for £1.4m

The picture was last displayed publicly in a museum in Lincoln, New Mexico, in the mid-1980s Photo: AFP

What is believed to be the only surviving, authenticated portrait of Billy the Kid fetched more than 2.3 million dollars (£1.4m) at auction in Denver, Colorado.

The tintype went to private collector William Koch at Brian Lebel's 22nd Annual Old West Show & Auction, where auction spokeswoman Melissa McCracken said the image of the 1800s outlaw was the most expensive piece sold at the event

A 15% fee was tacked on to the bidding price, making the actual selling price more than 2.6 million dollars (£1.6m).

Organisers had expected it to fetch between 300,000 and 400,000 dollars (£188,000-£251,000) .

The tintype is believed to have been taken in 1879 or 1880 in Fort Sumner, New Mexico.

It shows the outlaw dressed in a rumpled hat and layers of clothes, including a bulky sweater. He is standing with one hand resting on a Winchester carbine on his right side and a Colt revolver holstered on his left side.

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