This tintype photograph is one of those vintage historic images that are perfectly suited to playing the “fill in the blanks” game as to who this grizzled old timer was.

Originally mounted in a carte de visite sized paper mount (long since lost) the image (2” x 3 ¼”) dates from anywhere between say 1860 and the early 1870s. His clothes are well worn
but is decent shape and he holds a Colt 1849 Pocket revolver or a Colt 1861 Pocket Navy revolver (basically .31 and .36 caliber versions of the same cap and ball revolver) and has
another larger revolver housed in a military style flap holster which is held in place by a black leather belt and Pattern 1851 U.S. Army belt plate.

Who was he? The possibilities are almost endless. He could have been an irregular from either side during the Civil War – a Union supporting Kansas “Redleg” or a Confederate
sympathizing Missouri guerilla. Perhaps he was the classic prospecting “desert rat” or as I like to think the patriarch of an outside the law cattle rustling family like Old Man Clanton
of Tombstone fame.

Carte de Visite Sized Tintype (Ferrotype)
(without paper mount)
Unknown Photographer
United States
1860s