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1910 Tip Top Bread Honus Wagner Pittsburgh Pirates PSA EX 5. While the issue may not be familiar to the casual collector, the image most assuredly is. It's an artful reimagining of Carl Horner's definitive photographic portrait, the same image utilized for the creation of the short-printed T206 tobacco card which serves as the hobby's most coveted and valuable cardboard. Though the Tip Top issue has never achieved the pronounced level of fame that the industry's leading tobacco set enjoys, it's a strong contender in considerations of scarcity, aesthetics and historical import.

Just twenty-seven Tip Top Wagners have found a home in a PSA capsule as of the writing of this auction copy, with only three achieving an EX 5 designation. None have graded higher. The rather flimsy paper stock utilized in the set's creation is largely to blame for the scarcity and condition issues, but we find none of the typical creasing and tearing here that plagues the decimated surviving population. Mild corner wear and a negligible eastward centering shift accounts for the rating of the presented specimen.

Though the primary method of distribution of this set honoring the 1909 World Championship team was individually within packaging of bread loaves, it is our belief that this card was part of a redemption set. Text on the verso elaborates, "Save 50 labels from Tip-Top Bread and secure this entire series (25 cards) free." Certainly cards spared the turmoil solo missions within bread bags would have a leg up on the competition in terms of healthy survival. And Wagner, as the undisputed leading star of the Steeltown squad, would be more susceptible to wear from trading and handling under ordinary circumstances. When considering the catalyst for its creation and its improbable fine condition, this is a card more than worthy of its presentation upon the collecting hobby's grandest stage.

Service and Handling Description: Sportscard (view shipping information)

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Auction Dates
August, 2011
4th Thursday
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 10
Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
Page Views: 3,703

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