1909 T206 Wagner
See also : Sport Baseball
Chronology : 1909
Next Sale by Heritage on May 6, 2021
The Honus Wagner card was printed in the first year and almost immediately withdrawn. Honus Wagner was one of the best baseball players of all time, whose prestige is almost equal to that of Ty Cobb. This withdrawal can not have any other explanation than a disagreement between the champion and the publisher. Wagner was probably not hostile to tobacco but he was indeed a keen negotiator.
It 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 just after the original release is obvious but not documented in period.
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 including premium by Goldin on 29 March 2013 and for $ 3.2M by Goldin on October 1, 2016, lot 1.
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
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.
1909 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.
2012 SOLD 1.23 M$ by Goodwin
It is illustrated in the pre sale release by Sports Collectors Daily.
2020 SOLD for $ 1.17M by Mile High Card
1909 The Gretzky Wagner
1996 SOLD for $ 640K by Christie's
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.