1909 T206 WAGNER
The advertising back identifies a brand of tobacco that can be Piedmont, Sweet Caporal or 14 other varieties of cigarettes and tobacco then offered by this company. The cards were inserted in the packs.
The views are not numbered but on the back the cumulative number of the announced subjects allows to establish a chronology of the impressions : 150 subjects then 350 and 460, then 'Large Assortment' for the last runs.
The Honus Wagner card was printed in the first year but the player rejected the proposal from a delegate of the ATC. He was probably not hostile to tobacco. The hypothesis that he would have expected for a better retribution is plausible. Wagner was one of the best baseball players of all time, whose prestige almost equaled Ty Cobb.
The T206 Wagner is only known with the advertising back variants for the two most common tobacco brands of the American Tobacco Company, Sweet Caporal and Piedmont, the former being known in two tobacco plant identifications, 25 and 30. All copies indicate the series at 150 subjects which is the original edition from 1909 before it was extended. The withdrawal of the Wagner card at the time the original release is obvious but not documented at that step.
In March 1991, Sotheby's sold the best copy if the T206 Wagner for $ 450K to Wayne Gretzky supported by the owner of his hockey team. It changed hands again four years later and was sold for $ 640K by Christie's in 1996. In 2007 this copy graded PSA 8 was sold privately for $ 2.8M. In 2013 a previous owner admitted to the court that he had trimmed the "Gretzky" Wagner card in the mid-1980s to increase its value.
uncut strip of five
You’ve seen a T206 Honus Wagner before, but have you ever seen the uncut strip?!— The Collectibles Guru □ (@ericwhiteback) November 12, 2022
In 1909, this strip was sent to Wagner as proof that his card had been pulled from production.
In 2008, @KenGoldin sold this from his personal collection for $150k.
Today, it’s worth ~$4 Million. pic.twitter.com/proXryn5Ml
Very Good 3 SGC
2021 SOLD for $ 6.6M by Robert Edward
It was sold for $ 6.6M on August 15, 2021 by Robert Edward, lot 1. It is illustrated in the pre sale release by Sports Collector Daily. Its SGC holder has been changed some time after the 2012 auction.
It's Wagner Wallpaper Wednesday and our Summer Auction is heating up! Bidding ends this Sunday August 15th! Head over to https://t.co/XI1djwlZVL@REAOnline #wallpaperwednesdays #honuswagnercard #t206cards #baseballcards #thehobby #Auction #tangibleassets #cardcollector pic.twitter.com/ww2qpKIydr— RobertEdwardAuctions (@REAOnline) August 11, 2021
2021 SOLD for $ 3.75M by Goldin
This well centered card with a Sweet Caporal 'Base Ball Series, 150 Subjects' back is graded Good 2 by PSA taking into account large horizontal creases, tiny smudges and round corners.
It had been collected by the consignor's father half a century ago and is fresh on the market.
2022 SOLD for $ 3.7M by Goldin
EX 5 Jumbo Wagner
2016 SOLD for $ 3.2M by Goldin
Jumbo is a wording introduced around 1970 to designate stamps with larger margins than average while maintaining an excellent centering. Its unwanted origin is due to the uncertainty in positioning the perforating wheels. Philatelists love these pieces where the margins provided an additional protection of the image against accident and contamination while also increasing the visual appeal by a nicer framing.
Probably we will never know why a T206 Wagner got a Jumbo feature. The original printed sheet included adjacent images of other players. The perfectly parallel and sharp edges make implausible the hypothesis of a cutting hazard. I guess that a fan of Honus Wagner cut it with the focus to get a better framed image of his champion at the expense of the rest of the sheet.
This card surfaced in the early 1970s in a collection where it was kept with other T206s by its first owner, reinforcing the hypothesis that its Jumbo cut was contemporary to its printing.
The one and unique Jumbo Wagner is graded EX5 (MC) by PSA. The general condition is excellent (EX) despite some rounding in the corners and a very slight oozing from the image below it at its bottom edge. The image of Honus Wagner remains in mint condition with perfect color (MC).
The Jumbo Wagner was sold for $ 1.68M by Mastro Auctions on August 1, 2008, for $ 2.1M by Goldin on 29 March 2013 and for $ 3.2M by Goldin on October 1, 2016, lot 1.
PR-FR 1 the All Star Cafe Wagner
2022 SOLD for $ 3.14M by Mile High Card
This example is referred as the Charlie Sheen All Star Cafe Wagner. A sports themed All Stars restaurant opened in New York City in 1995. Sheen, who was one of the investors, loaned a collection including the Wagner for long term exhibition therein.
This display started between two auction records of the Gretzky Wagner, sold to the hockey champion for $ 450K at Sotheby's in March 1991 and for $ 640K by Christie's in 1996.
The glass showcase near the bar of the All Star was not locked. The new fame of the T206 Wagner excited the greed of someones from the restaurant staff who replaced the Sheen card by a counterfeit in 1998. The conspirators sold it to a dealer for $ 18,000. They were arrested after one of the showcases of the Sheen collection was broken during a further heist.
2021 SOLD for $ 2.5M by Heritage
The top of the scale consists of a few cards graded VG 3 and above. Among the cards graded by PSA, only 6 achieve such a distinction. For the population of lower ranks or ungraded, the T206 Wagner is such a treasure that collectors are no longer satisfied with the identification of the grade.
On February 28, 2021, Heritage sold the Garagiola Wagner. It is in such a pitiful condition that SGC had authenticated it without giving it a grade. Its provenance from the estate of a baseball broadcast commentator certainly did not influence the bidding.
Its margins had been trimmed by a collector to stick it in a scrapbook. The corners are rounded and the back is torn off for almost half of the surface. Its turpitudes ensured its glory because its conservation in the album preserved its colors. It fetched $ 2.5M, lot 80001.
Ty Cobb recalled him as the one man he couldn't intimidate. The T206 Honus Wagner will always be the true king to us, and forever may he reign.⠀— Heritage Auctions (@HeritageAuction) February 16, 2021
February 27 - 28 Winter Platinum Night Sports Sale, No. 50038 #HASports #HonusWagner https://t.co/OAAWPY5C1o pic.twitter.com/1eC76MjtNJ
2022 SOLD for $ 1.53M by Robert Edward
The card is missing its white borders on the top, left, and right edges, and two creases run through the lower part of the face. The colors are fresh.
Another card in the same grade was sold for $ 1.15M by Mile High Card on September 4, 2020, lot 1. It exhibits heavy rounding at the corners and significant creasing throughout both surfaces.
Spring Auction Spotlight: Lot # 1: 1909-1911 T206 White Border Honus Wagner. Bid Now: https://t.co/XjX5n0tj2K @REAOnline @PSAcard #honuswagnercard #T206Wagner #T206cards #auction #collect #cardcollector #baseballcards #thehobby #whodoyoucollect #tangibleassets pic.twitter.com/XvTNHpRixM— RobertEdwardAuctions (@REAOnline) April 8, 2022
2020 SOLD for $ 1.43M by Goldin
2019 SOLD for $ 1.35M by Mile High Card
A Sweet Caporal with Factory 25, graded Good 2 by PSA has changed hands several times in a few years. It is typical of the growing appetite for the T206 Wagner in the hobby.
It did not exceed $ 236K at auction in April 2005. It was then auctioned for $ 660K by Lelands in 2014 and for $ 780K by Heritage on November 19, 2016, lot 50199. Its private sale for $ 1.2M was announced on May 30, 2019 by Forbes informed by SCP. It was sold for $ 1.35M as lot 1 by Mile High Card Company on October 10, 2019.
Very Good 3 The Oceanside Wagner
2015 SOLD for $ 1.32M by Robert Edward
Its only significant anomaly is a crease on the front side at the top right in the orange background, far from the image. The card was graded VG3 both by SGC and by PSA. It was sold for $ 790K by Philip Weiss in November 2008 and for $ 1.32M on April 25, 2015 by Robert Edward, lot 1. Here is the link to the website of the auction house.