Josie Earp was much relieved to find Wyatt still standing on that cold October afternoon 175 years ago in Tombstone, Arizona Territory. He’d survived the vicious 30-second “Gunfight at the O.K. Corral,” the legendary event chronicled in a library of fact, fiction and gray-area mystery. One of those mysteries involves a vintage photo, alleged to be a portrait of the woman who rushed to Wyatt’s side that day.
For some years now one of the most common collectibles to make an appearance in the marketplace is a risqué photo identified as Wyatt’s wife, Josephine Marcus “Josie” Earp. The photo is “vintage,” meaning there’s no question that it dates back to the turn of the last century – give or take twenty years. One print sold for more than $4,500, and others have sold for thousands or hundreds. But while it has defenders as a genuine portrait of Josie, there are experts who flat-out declare the attribution is wrong. Very wrong.
(To continue with a fascinating story that unravels much of the confusion and controversy, order the new book "Kaloma: The Josie Earp Mystery Photo."
Posted by W.J. Elvin III, Editor & Publisher at 6:58 PM