Meguiar, who never married, said he has now decided to sell it “because I have no one to leave it to in my family.” The ambrotype will be offered at auction in Georgia on August 26. It is estimated to make $8,000-12,000.
According to Meguiar, what’s striking about the image are those obviously light eyes; James’ eye color has raised eyebrows before. Some images that claim to depict James show dark eyes, which is incorrect, said Meguiar. “My image has the right eye color that is well-documented in lifetime descriptions.” Indeed the only image signed and validated by James’ widow (seen here) also appears to show light eyes. The most recently “discovered” tintype, in 2015—also a family heirloom—picturing James with Robert Ford makes James look cross-eyed, and, as Meguiar put it, “My cousin was not cross-eyed.” Nevertheless, it sold at auction for $35,000.