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    A hobby "white whale" with extraordinary provenance!

    1909-11 T206 Sweet Caporal Ty Cobb Signed Portrait Red Background Good 2 Auto 7. It's been a quarter century since this dazzling rarity made its hobby debut, as Lot 573 in Hunt Auctions' August 1995 two-day sale. In that auction catalog, viewable on a website link available at our online listing for this lot, you can see it pictured with five siblings and the custom stationery envelope in which Cobb returned them to a visionary collector in the 1940's. In fact, the Green Background variation from that grouping made a huge splash in our recent February 2020 Platinum Night auction, commanding a winning bid of $144,000. Heritage likewise auctioned the rather worn Bat Off Shoulder example from that special six.

    Where the other three cards are now--the Bat on Shoulder T206, a T205 and a T202--is anybody's guess, but the soaring trajectory of the market certainly makes those original sub-$1000 estimates of the 1995 catalog look charmingly petite today.

    The Red Background Cobb has always been our personal favorite, pairing the photographic mastery of the Carl Horner studio with a blood shade that feels perfectly suited thematically to its bellicose subject. It also bears mentioning that the three-season T206 production span began with Cobb's sole Triple Crown season, and ended with his sole MVP Award. This is unquestionably the master at his absolute prime.

    The card finds itself in typical condition for the issue, its official "Good 2" rating certainly fair but perhaps underselling the bold aesthetics that remain. We might be even more inclined to boost the "Auto 7" assessment by a point, as Cobb's black fountain pen ink absolutely pops from the gray flannel of his Tigers jersey, a commanding application from the Georgia Peach. For the cultured collector who appreciates the finer details of provenance, rarity and significance, this will be a prime target when bidding begins. Encapsulated by PSA, Good 2 Auto 7.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2020
    29th-30th Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 34
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 4,776

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    20% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

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