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AUCTION ALERT – Fake Frank & Jesse James Image

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The claimed authenticity of an auction item today can fall under very critical, and perhaps more professional, analysis. Technology itself and the internet, now truly being worldwide, have brought a host of analytical skills to bear. A fake image is easier than ever to assess. No longer can a claim be made that an item is what it’s claimed to be. Of course, a claim can still be made, but people of serious intent want to know the underlying facts for the claim – particularly if you expect to reap a windfall of $40,000 to $60,000 for a simple photographic image.

fake image of Frank and Jesse James

To help a prospective purchaser believe in the claim of the auction house, auctioneer Josh Levine has posted the following two videos. The videos are vaguely reminiscent of the old familiar con game of a pea placed under three cups. The videos are intended, not to give any substantive information, but instead to trick the eye.


If the image is authentic as its owner and auction house claim and is, in fact, worth as much money as they expect someone to pay, it would seem the wise course of action would have been to spend $5,000 to subject the image to formal forensic analysis, and give the forensic report as evidence of authenticity. As it is, prospective bidders are expected to bring only lots of cash and lots of ignorance.

In my estimation, the auction image is not what it’s claimed to be.

I see nothing in this image, or in the countless images from the James family files, that resembles these two people, or that produces a physical similarity with Frank & Jesse James, or any other member of their family.

Jesse James in his youth
Jesse James at age 14

Without executing any mathematical analysis of the images, or going further into sub-strata flesh analysis, or anything more, a simple comparison test should have sufficed.

The auction house claims its image for auction was taken before Frank entered Confederate service, placing Jesse at about age 15. The image of Jesse that should have been employed for comparison should have been the image of Jesse at age 14. It doesn’t take an expert then to perceive the difference between the authentic image and the fake one. Instead, what the auction house has done is to compare one fake image of Jesse James to another fake image of Jesse James. That, if purposeful, would amount to fraud.

ERIC F. JAMES
UPDATE: July 31, 2014
Gay Mathis reports this image sold at auction for $12,000.

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Tuesday October 19th, 2021
Stray Leaves Daily

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Tuesday October 19th, 2021
Stray Leaves Daily

☞Today in Old-West History — On today’s date 119 years ago, Sunday, October 19, 1902, notorious Old-West outlaw & fiddle player James Hardin “Uncle Jim” Younger (1848-1902) met his earthly demise at the age of 54 when he committed suicide by gunshot whilst on parole at Saint Paul, Minnesota.

☞Requiéscant In Pace, Jim Younger.

☞Jim Younger was one of the central figures of a band of the most desperate outlaws the Old West ever knew — the infamous James-Younger Gang, which was formed by Jim’s brother Cole Younger along with Frank & Jesse James.

☞Jim Younger joined the Confederate Army during the War Between the States (1861-1865) & served with Quantrill’s Raiders. In 1864, he was captured by Union troops & was imprisoned until the end of the War.

☞After the War, Younger worked on various ranches until he joined the James-Younger Gang in 1873. When his brother John was killed at Roscoe, Missouri in 1874, Jim left the gang & went out west where he worked on a ranch in San Luis Obispo, California.

☞In 1876, Jim returned to the gang, & on September 7 he participated in a bank robbery that became known as the Great Northfield Minnesota Raid. During that robbery he was shot & captured. The James brothers escaped, but Cole, Jim, & Bob Younger were shot up by a posse, arrested, & sentenced to long terms in the state penitentiary at Stillwater, Minnesota, where they were afforded celebrity status.

☞Jim Younger’s fiddle was one of the few possessions that he was allowed to have with him in prison, & he played it often. As time passed, Jim noticed that a little bird would appear most every day in the window of his jail cell. It seemed as though the bird came to listen whenever Jim played his fiddle. Jim was lonely & he befriended the bird which he named “Swipsy.” The bird would fly into the prison cell & Jim would always try to have crumbs to feed Swipsy. One day, a fellow prisoner killed the little bird just for spite. Jim then painted a picture of Swipsy on the back of his violin to remember his little feathered friend.

☞In 1898, the prison warden allowed the prisoners to throw a Christmas party at his own home, with Cole Younger portraying Santa Claus & Jim Younger playing his fiddle.

☞Paroled in 1901, Jim became engaged to his long-time lover Alix Mueller; however, because of the terms of his parole he couldn’t marry her.

☞On October 19, 1902, after a failed attempt to sell tombstones & then insurance, Jim Younger locked himself in his room, wrote a suicide note to Alix, picked up his revolver, & blew his brains out.

☞In 2013, Jim Younger’s fiddle, which was played by him at the famous 1898 Christmas party at Stillwater Prison, was sold at a Dallas, Texas auction for over $11,000.

☞The left-hand photograph depicts the image of Swipsy the Bird that Jim Younger painted on the back of his fiddle. The right-hand photograph depicts an undated studio portrait of Jim Younger.
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Tuesday October 5th, 2021
Stray Leaves Daily

For Drury Woodson James, founder of Paso Robles, CA., and all his descendants, PASO ROBLES FOUNDERS’ DAY 2021. See MoreSee Less

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