1914 T216 Kotton Tobacco Honus Wagner - Batting

Sold For: $8,813

Auction Year: 2010 spring

Lot: 459

Item Year: 1914

Category: Prewar Baseball Cards (1900-1941)

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Graded VG/EX 50 by SGC. Magnificent example, the finest we have ever seen or offered, of one of tobacco-card collecting's most fascinating cards! All Kotton Tobacco cards are extremely rare, but an example of Honus Wagner has a special significance to collectors because of the legend of the T206 Wagner. This is a card with a tremendous story. Some collectors point to the Kotton Tobacco of Wagner as evidence that the legend of the T206 Wagner is not true, and that Wagner was willing to allow his image to appear on tobacco cards. We do not agree. The extremely rare Kotton Tobacco series was regionally issued only in the Louisiana area. It is a virtual certainty that the very small People's Tobacco Co. of New Orleans, which produced the Kotton Cigarettes brand, did not bother to obtain Wagner's permission to issue his card, and Wagner was probably never even aware that this set was ever issued. The American Tobacco Company, who issued the T206 set under various brands, was the largest tobacco company in the world. It is not surprising that they would be very careful about approaching advertising and player endorsements in a professional and legally sound manner. It is also fascinating to note that this T216 Wagner is actually considerably rarer than the T206 Wagner, a fact that gives this card of one of baseball's greatest stars yet another dimension of significance. The T216 Kotton Tobacco set has two different poses of Honus Wagner (batting and throwing). This example features Wagner in a batting pose ("2b." listed as his position). This same batting pose was also used for E90-1 American Caramel Company and E92 Dockman & Sons. This is an exceptionally attractive card with bright, crisp colors, clean front and back, perfect registration, even wear on the corners, no creases, and centered slightly to the left. Just a little too much corner wear is responsible for keeping this card from receiving an even higher grade. The reverse has a boldly printed advertisement. This is an extremely rare and exceptional example of one of card collecting's most interesting tobacco cards. Reserve $1,500. Estimate $3,000/$5,000. SOLD FOR $8,813

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