1909-1911 T206 Eddie Plank - Sweet Caporal "150 Subjects" Reverse - Extraordinary Restored Example!
Starting Bid - $5,000, Sold For - $18,960
Encapsulated "Authentic" and noted as "Altered" on the label by SGC. Presented is one of the most extraordinarily high-grade-in-appearance examples of the rare T206 Plank in existence. This is a remarkable card that has to be seen to be believed! It is a spectacularly crisp, clean, and absolutely flawless-in-appearance example of this legendary rarity. Prior to restoration, we are told that the card was in Very Good condition, with corner wear but no creases, and some small hints of white in the background. This card has undergone a very sophisticated restoration process in which paper fibers have been added to the corners and it is our understanding (though we cannot actually see evidence of this) that some extremely minor blue inpainting has been painstakingly and most professionally applied to a few tiny pinpoint areas of wear to the blue background. This restoration is so well done that there is no evidence visible even under a black light. The natural flaws of the card obviously made this example ideal for restoration, as the result is remarkable. If this card had no work and had this incredible appearance, it would easily grade Near Mint to Mint and would be one of the most extraordinary high-grade T206 Plank examples in existence (perhaps trailing in overall appearance only the incomparable "Authentic" PSA-encapsulated T206 Eddie Plank Gretzky-McNall Wagner Mate with Piedmont Back that sold for $111,625 at REA in 2009). It is almost unbelievable to us that the card can possibly look so sharp and the work be essentially undetectable. It is obvious that no expense was spared in the process, and while it is so incredible that on the one hand it is a little scary, on the other hand, thankfully, the work can be detected by professional graders. Obviously, not every T206 Plank with flaws (and this includes all examples) lends itself to the extremely sophisticated microscopic professional restoration to minor flaws that allow for such a stunning result. It is impossible for us to detect the few tiny pinpoint areas of inpainting that have improved the background, or the rebuilding of the corners. The central image of the card and the reverse have had no restoration and are simply spectacular. The portrait is bold and crisp with perfect registration. The colors are extraordinary.
The incredible crisp boldness to the portrait and the superior boldness of the blue background are related to the rare Sweet Caporal 150 Subjects reverse. Almost all T206 Planks have the Sweet Caporal 350 Subjects reverse. The portrait and background on this example, like the Gretzky-McNall Plank match and the very few other Sweet Caporal "150 Subjects" Plank examples known to exist, has a much stronger portrait and a much deeper, bolder background than Planks with a Sweet Caporal "350 Subjects" reverse. This is just one of the many reasons this card looks so incredible, and it has nothing to do with restoration. While it will never be assigned a numerical grade by PSA or SGC, this is a tremendous card, and represents a potentially extraordinary value for the collector who wants a beautiful T206 Eddie Plank at a far more affordable level than a graded example with a similar appearance (which if available would easily be valued well into six figures). The card is crisp and clean, both front and back, with perfect centering, perfect registration, flawless bold colors, four strong, sharp corners, and perfect, bold printing on the rare Sweet Caporal "150 Subjects" reverse. This card has sold at auction twice previously, within months of each other in 2010. The card first sold (at another auction) in March 2010 for $21,300. The buyer then immediately auctioned the card again just two months later in REA's May 2010 sale where it realized $18,800. (When items come to auction again so soon after previously selling, it is not uncommon for the second sale to be at a lower level, if for no other reason than the previous buyer is no longer a bidder.) In our opinion, this card was a bargain both times! The card has been consigned directly by the purchaser from REA's 2010 sale. We have seen an ever increasing appreciation for the exceptional value offered by cards such as this example. (For instance, the T206 Wagner offered in REA's 2011 spring sale, with far more significant restoration, realized $188,000.) This is a unique collecting opportunity to acquire a T206 Eddie Plank with a MINT appearance (and with the ideal rare Sweet Caporal "150 Subjects" back with accompanying superior obverse image) at a modest fraction of the SMR MINT 9 list price of $550,000. Reserve $5,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $18,960