A CONTENTIOUS photograph of Ned Kelly and two of his gang has been bought for $16,000.
The image was sold to a Victorian phone buyer at an auction held in Sydney by Lawsons auctioneers.
Australian history specialist Tom Thompson, who helped bring the photo to auction, said the photograph sold under the hammer for $12,500 with a buyer's premium bringing it to $16,000.
He declined to say who bought the lot and whether the buyer was a private collection or institution.
However, Mr Thompson said they were Victorian and would display the image publicly at some point.
Presale internet bids saw the photograph's auction room sale start at $9000 with $500 increments taking it to $12,500.
A Sydney collector had owned it since 1988.
Wangaratta Kelly devotee John Suta questioned its authenticity before the sale and remains sceptical.
He has doubts the middle figure is Ned Kelly and questions why a photo would be taken at Euroa when the gang was on the run.