1909-1911 T206 White Border Near-Complete PSA-Graded Set (520 of 524)

Sold For: $176,250

Auction Year: 2008 spring

Lot: 5

Item Year: 1909

Category: Featured

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Presented is the tenth highest-graded T206 set on the PSA registry, a total of 520 cards, offered as a single lot. The completion of any T206 set is an extraordinary achievement. The completion of a set in such spectacular and desirable high grade, and great consistency, as presented here, represents one of the most incredible card-collecting achievements possible. This is a remarkable high-grade complete set. The entire set (missing only the "Big 4") is graded and encapsulated by PSA. The grade point average is 5.11. The set includes twenty-eight PSA NM 7, 163 PSA EX-MT 6, 239 PSA EX 5, eighty-two PSA VG-EX 4, six PSA VG 3 (including Demmitt, St. Louis), and two PSA GOOD 2 (including O'Hara, St. Louis). The 1909-1911 T206 "White Borders" set is universally regarded as the single most important and popular baseball card set of the 1910 era. Of all of the complete sets ever assembled, the fact that this is the ninth finest complete set on the PSA Registry speaks volumes and communicates more than we could ever say in words. Of special note with reference to value is the fact that T206s graded NM-MT 8 and MINT 9 by PSA often sell for many times the SMR list price, and in many cases for thousands of dollars each. The offered set is comprised not of PSA 8s and PSA 9s, but is almost exclusively comprised of cards in grades which we define as representing the "sweet spot" of value for collectors: Near Mint, Ex-Mt, Ex, and Vg-Ex condition. All but a few cards (512 of the 520 cards in the set) range in grade from PSA NM 7 to PSA VG-EX 4. Of the seventy-four Hall of Famers, five are graded PSA NM 7, twenty-three are PSA EX-MT 6, thirty-seven are PSA EX 5, eight are PSA VG-EX 4, and one is graded PSA VG 3. The overall PSA grade point average of the seventy-four Hall of Famers is 5.23. The remarkable consistency of condition is a subtle but very significant positive attribute of the set. This set was not put together indiscriminately; this set was very carefully assembled card by card, with an eye for quality and value, and with the intention of assembling one of the best T206 sets in the world.

The individual grades for the entire set can easily be accessed online on the PSA Registry under "The Michael Wachs T206 Collection." For convenience, we are also providing here the grades of all seventy-four Hall of Famers and additional key cards: PSA grading composite: 28 cards are graded PSA NM 7: including Beckley, Chase (black cap), Evers (Chicago), Jennings (one hand, El Principe De Gales back), Joss (hands at chest), and Speaker (MC, 1/99 top to bottom). 163 cards are graded PSA EX-MT 6: including Bender (trees, Cycle back), Bresnahan (port.), Bresnahan (bat), Brown (Chicago), Brown (Cubs), Chance (batting), Chance (yellow), Chase (blue), Chase (white cap), Clarke (port.), Flick, Gandil (Black Sox), Johnson (hands at chest), Lajoie (throwing), Mathewson (dark cap), McGinnity, McGraw (finger in air), McGraw (no cap), McGraw (cap), Tinker (bat off), Tinker (hands on knees), Waddell (port.), Wallace, Walsh, Wheat (El Principe De Gales back), and Young (glove shows). 239 cards are graded PSA EX 5: including Baker, Bender (no trees), Bender (port., Sovereign back), Brown (port.), Chance (red), Chase (pink), Chesbro, Clarke (bat), Cobb (green), Cobb (bat off, Old Mill back), Cobb (bat on), Collins (Phila.), J. Collins (Minn.), Crawford (throwing), Crawford (bat), G. Davis, Evers (port.), Griffith (bat), Griffith (port.), Huggins (hands at mouth), Huggins (port.), Jennings (port.), Johnson (port.), Joss (port.), Keeler (port.), Keeler (bat), Lajoie (port.), Lajoie (bat), Lundgren (Chicago), Marquard (hands at thighs), Marquard (follow thru), Marquard (port.), Mathewson (white cap), McGraw (glove), Tinker (port.), Willis (Pitt.), Willis (throw), Willis (bat), and Young (port.). 82 cards are graded PSA VG-EX 4: including G. Browne (Wash.), Cicotte (Black Sox), Cobb (red), Dahlen (Bklyn), Duffy, Elberfeld (Wash., port.), Evers (Cubs), Jennings (both hands, American Beauty back), Kelley, Kleinow (Bos.), Mathewson (port.), Smith (Chi. and Bos., Old Mill back), Tinker (bat on), and Waddell (throwing). 6 cards are graded VG 3: including Chase (holding trophy), Demmitt (St. Louis), and Young (bare hand). 2 cards are graded GOOD 2: including O'Hara (St. Louis).

One of the striking qualities of this set is that it is so carefully assembled, with an eye for centering and the overall visual appeal for each card across the board. There are no weak cards. And as anyone who has collected PSA-graded T206s can attest, cards which are graded VG-EX often appear to be EX, cards which are graded EX can often appear to be EX-MT, and cards which are graded EX-MT can often appear to be NM. That is certainly the case here, as each card was added to this set not based on the numerical grade provided by the PSA label, but dictated by the merit and visual appeal of each individual card. This set was not just assembled with a discerning eye; it was assembled with an appreciation for value. Conservatively graded PSA 4, PSA 5, and PSA 6 T206s provide an extraordinary value compared to higher-graded examples, which sell for such an extraordinary premium that assembling a set in NM or NM-MT condition would not be practical, and might not have even been possible. A T206 set of this quality can be looked at by any buyer as an investment commodity that comes with a built-in "insurance policy." It can always be broken up, and depending on what it sells for, a buyer might actually be rewarded for doing so. A great deal of time and effort over a period of years has gone into the assembly of this set. Whatever this set sells for, it is possible that a greater price would have been realized by breaking the set down into smaller units. The offering of the set as a single unit was the vision of the consignor, so we must accommodate his wishes. This is an extraordinary collecting opportunity. The SMR lists T206s at far more modest values than we usually see in the marketplace. Common cards in PSA VG-EX 4 are listed at $70; common cards in PSA EX 5 list for $125, and common cards in PSA EX-MT 6 list for $190. Hall of Famers are in most cases similarly low. At these modest levels, the SMR value of the set (not including the rare Demmitt and O'Hara variations) exceeds $114,000. We realize that potentially few collectors can seriously consider buying a complete set of this caliber, but for those who can consider such a commitment, this set represents a remarkable and unique opportunity. Total 520 cards. Reserve $50,000. Estimate $100,000+. SOLD FOR $176,250.00

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