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Without Further Ado—The "New" Wyatt Earp Photo

April 16, 2012

Busy weekend working on the O.K. Project. Spent half of it on a sexy nurse who will administer to our protagonist who is in an assisted living facility. He's being touted as the last Baby Boomer. More to follow.

 

Meanwhile, here it is, the photo that has lit up boards all across the globe. It appears to be Wyatt Earp in about 1926:

 

Thanks to Nicholas Narog for sharing this photo with me. To my eye this is Wyatt Earp; the pronounced ear against white hair, the jawline, and the white mustache really matches my idea of the man. The most amazing thing, though, is what appears to be cowboy boots. Notice the underslung heels and you can see, what appears to be, the outline of the boot tops showing against his pants legs.

 

It apparently came out of the John Flood collection and was kept for years in the Bisbee area. Nick is quite upfront about the details of the purchase saying that he thinks it was in John Gilchriese's short-lived Wyatt Earp Museum in Tombstone in the early 1970s.

 

That said, the background is problematic. it doesn't look like California or Arizona. Has a Midwestern look and feel. And, what the hell is he looking at? A buried dog dish? A hubcap off a 1926 Packard?

 

Here are Bob McCubbin's concerns:

 

"I know a lot of people who follow the auctions and have not heard about this photo appearing, which I would not have if everyone thought it was phony.

"I really do not think the photo was ever in Gilchriese's Tombstone Museum or ever in his collection.  I do think that I saw every photo that he owned.

"Anyway, a collector would wonder why Nick seems to be evasive of facts that he should know.  The decision has to be made entirely on a visual comparison.  From what I can see, and for what it is worth, I don't think it is Wyatt."
—Bob McCubbin

Here are more comments from Bob McCubbin.

 

Well, what do you think?

 

"The eye of the buyer is in the beholder."

—Old Vaquero Saying

 

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Views: 2418

Comment by Nicholas Narog on April 16, 2012 at 10:24am

Let me address some of the concerns here:

With all due respect of Mr. McCubbin and his memory- it would have been roughly 40 years since he would have seen this image. It would be amazing if he really could remember it after all of these years. With that said- I completely respect Bob McCubbin and his opinions. 

I never intended to come off as being evasive. When I originally sent this photograph to Bob Boze Bell, I thought he would enjoy it and maybe use it for his sketches. I didn't realize at the time I would have to fully explain the photographs history. I have sent an e-mail to Bob McCubbin in the hopes that it answers many of his questions and puts his mind at ease as to its authenticity. 

Comment by C. Neil on April 16, 2012 at 11:38am

@ jnicktem. Thank you very much for sharing with BBB and all the rest of us. This passes the my-own-senses test, and while that may not be good enough for a museum, it satiates my burning desire to know all things Earp. Thanks again!

Comment by James Allder on April 16, 2012 at 11:41am

Judging from the point of view of simply eyeballing it, I think it "could" be authentic.  But someone would really need to trace its path, accredit the image, and substantiate the location of the image.  And that is just for starters. 

It's not likely that simply vetting such a photograph will ever produce a final authentication of it.  But it would be nice to get as many verified sources concerning it, as possible.   

Comment by Morgan on April 16, 2012 at 12:18pm

 

Nicholas Enjoy your prize! There are a thousand Thomas's' out there to doubt everything. And thank you for sharing it with us.

Comment by John R Wice on April 16, 2012 at 12:19pm

Probably not but that does look a lot like the Tombstone Episcopal Church, as if he were standing at the far front corner of Jeff Milton's house.  I doubt the trees in the background though.  The suit does look similar to one in other photos and if they are tall boots that is interesting.  Could that be around Colton and he is visiting Morgan's grave, or other family ?

Comment by anthony martin on April 16, 2012 at 12:35pm

  Bob,

    It does look a lot like him and I really want to believe it is...but here are my concerns.The suit looks more 1910ish Edwardian tom me.The watch chain is in the lower pockets of the vest and every  later photo of Wyatt shows him with his watch mounted in the upper vest pockets.1880'S photos show the chain in the lower pockets but the later ones do not and as we get older we tend to become rather fixed in what we do and in our habits of living.

  That said,the biggest problem that I have here is the fact that this is mounted on a stiff,embossed cabinet card and that just wasn't done much in the post 1910 period as the new thing was to have one's photo in a heavy cardboard single or double fold  folder.These photos were either glued at the top with the bottoms loose(for trouble free removal if one desired to put it in a frame)or slipped behind four slots to hold the photo.If a case could be made that this was taken in say 1912 or even 1915 I could maybe be persuaded the cabinet mount.

Comment by Murray A. Gewirtz on April 16, 2012 at 12:46pm

It might be a Bisbee frisbee, or one of Ringo's rings.

Comment by Stan H on April 16, 2012 at 12:52pm

I didn't know they had Fresbies back then,,,,

Comment by Kevin Hogge on April 16, 2012 at 1:43pm

I've blown the picture up, I don't think there's any doubt its him....I like the boots! I sure would like to know the location and what that item on the ground might be. Looking at the trees in the background, it appears to be winter??

Thanks Bob!!!

Comment by Mazz on April 16, 2012 at 2:07pm

Just Wow!!  The background reminds me of Pioneer Park up in Phoenix.  Great Find!

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