1909-1911 T206 White Border "Proof" Heinie Wagner - Bat On Left Shoulder

Sold For: $7,200

Auction Year: 2017 spring

Lot: 531

Item Year: 1909

Category: T Tobacco Cards

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Extremely rare and desirable preproduction "proof" card of Heinie Wagner (Boston Red Sox) from the classic T206 White Border series. Encapsulated by SGC as "Authentic." As is the case with all proof cards from this series, the card has a blank back, printer's proof marks in the border margins, and is neatly hand cut (presenting as Excellent). While not all T206 proof cards have complete player and team names printed at the bottom, this one does, and the printer's marks are visible on all four borders. Proof cards from this series very rarely become available for sale. Virtually all T206 proof cards (as well as all T3 proof cards) which exist today first surfaced in the hobby in the mid 1970s. These cards came directly from a find belonging to the family of the printer. When family members of the printer showed up at one of the very first card shows in New York City (which at the time was held at District Center 65) this cache of cards was immediately recognized as so special that they were given a table to display and sell cards from the find to interested collectors and dealers, among them REA's Robert Lifson, who had the great fortune of buying the proof card of Eddie Collins in a batting pose, an unissued card and a remarkable hobby discovery. (Unfortunately he did not realize what he had at the time: He bought it for $13 and later sold it for $17!) In total, there were fewer than one hundred T206 proofs in this incredible find, all of which were scooped up at the show and over the years have been scattered across the collecting landscape. The offered card, which almost certainly originates from this legendary find, was purchased by our consignor many years ago. As previously mentioned, the card presents as Excellent, with bold colors, a perfect image, and light wear at the corners. The blank reverse is clean except for the number "12" written in pencil in the lower right corner. (This notation is a factory-related reference to the front design.) This is an extremely rare opportunity to acquire a proof card from the T206 set, affectionately known as "The Monster," which is the most popular of all 1910-era sets. As collectors have become more sophisticated, there has been a growing appreciation for all great rarities and unusual cards associated with this landmark set. This is an incredibly attractive and extraordinarily significant rarity that will be very much appreciated by collectors of the iconic T206 set. From the Dan Gantt Collection. Reserve $1,000. Estimate (open).

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