Description1909-11 T206 Sweet Caporal Honus Wagner SGC Authentic - A Newly Discovered Example! We'll call it divine intervention. In truth, the discovery of any new Wagner card could be properly characterized as such. They turn up about as often as bottles of 1921 Dom Perignon, as Action Comics Number One, or as a diamond as big as your fist. But the presented example, unearthed just months ago, makes the rest seem downright secular. It is consigned to Heritage by a nun at a Virginia diocese who intends to utilize the proceeds to support charitable missions both domestically and abroad, left to her by her collector brother with a note informing her, "Although damaged, the value of this baseball card should increase exponentially throughout the 21th century! TVC."
For the first time ever, this coveted rarity is placed upon the hobby's auction block, adding one to the tally of genuine representations, generally agreed to hover right around fifty. While a very limited original print run owns the blame for Wagner's intense scarcity today, the debate over the cause for this quick cessation remains a century later. Historians agree it was Wagner himself who pulled the plug, denying the use of his image in what would become the hobby's most popular tobacco issue. But why?
The most popular story to explain this refusal is that Wagner wished to play no role in the promotion of the use of tobacco, though it has been justly stated that he was himself a user, and had appeared in advertisements for many tobacco products previously. Another theory notes Wagner's reputation as a fierce negotiator, arguing that it was nothing more than a case of a failure to agree upon a dollar figure that led the American Tobacco Company to end production of Wagner's card almost as soon as it started.
This unsolved mystery has only served to further enhance the mystique of the treasure presented here, one of just a few dozen examples of the famed Honus Wagner T206 known to exist. A colorized version of a studio portrait by celebrated early baseball photographer Carl Horner, the unmistakable image on the card face finds the superstar shortstop gazing into the middle distance, set against a backdrop of solid orange. The early spelling of his hometown "Pittsburg" is applied across the chest of his high-collared jersey, and again beside his block lettered surname at the bottom border. The verso provides an advertisement for Sweet Caporal Cigarettes, and the trading cards within, noting "Base Ball Series, 150 Subjects."
Condition is admittedly imperfect, though this is the case for all but a few of the tiny supply of surviving examples. The borders were trimmed and the card coated in shellac ages ago. Creases snake across the body of the card and a tack hole hovers over Wagner's head. Scrapbook removal has skinned some paper from the "Sweet Caporal 150 Subjects" advertising on verso. Yet, as our catalog imagery should indicate, the undeniable beauty of the card shines through regardless, still able to quicken the pulse of the avid collector.
The card is housed and preserved within an "Authentic" slab by SGC, though if the winning bidder should prefer PSA encapsulation, Heritage will handle the implementation of this crossover service as a courtesy. For one enterprising collector, the card presents the most attainable option for completing the fabled T206 set, and planting his flag atop one of the most challenging and scenic mountain tops in the hobby.
More Information: The other cards from this collection are being put up for auction in our monthly Auction #410111 which ends this Sunday night, November 7, 2010.
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