This tintype dates from the late 1870s to early 1880s - about the time this carte de visite styled mount began to fade in popularity. The style become widespread during the Civil War.
Although unmarked as to who either the sitter or photographer may have been a small pencil inscription on the reverse side reads “N. Mex” which would seem to indicate the then
territory of New Mexico. The well-dressed young man wears an expensive example of what most today would call a cowboy hat. Its ribbon bound brim was a feature usually reserved
for hats of a higher quality. He also wears a bandana or neckerchief in place a tie. Men’s clothing styles were very regional during the days of the Old West and hat were no exception
to that rule. Generally hats of all qualities were sold unstyled with flat brims and plain rounded or “sugarloaf” crowns. It was the accepted practice for the hats new owner to shape and
style the hat to his (or her in some cases) own liking. This young man’s hat appears unshaped except for the front of the crown which looks to have been punched in. This may have in
fact been a popular look in New Mexico at the time. Existing photographs of Billy the Kid’s compadre Dan Dedrick and one of the Kid’s victims – Sheriff Robert Olinger – show both
men wearing hats almost identically styled.”

Carte de Visite Formatted Tintype (Ferrotype)
Unknown Photographer
New Mexico Territory, United States
c. 1880