1909 T204 Ramly Tobacco Walter Johnson SGC MINT 96 - 1 of 1 - Highest Graded!

Sold For: $59,250

Auction Year: 2014 spring

Lot: 6

Item Year: 1909

Category: Prewar Baseball Cards (1900-1941)

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Graded MINT 96 by SGC. This is the ONLY example graded at this level with none higher! Remarkable ultra high-grade example of Washington Senators Hall of Famer Walter Johnson from the T204 Ramly set, one of the most popular of all 1910-era tobacco issues. One of Walter Johnson's rarest cards and one of tobacco-card collecting's greatest classics, it is also universally recognized as the key card from the Ramly Tobacco set. Our consignor has long considered this card to possibly be the single greatest prize of his entire extremely advanced card collection, which is really saying something as his collection (which was assembled many years ago) included so many many legendary and iconic cards (among them the T206 Ty Cobb with Ty Cobb back and 1933 Goudey Lajoie PSA 7 NM, which both appear in this auction). The Ramlys were his favorite set and the one he spent the most time perfecting, always searching for the highest-grade examples he could find (and even picking up duplicates if they were in sufficiently high grade because "one can never have too much of a good thing!"). Ramlys, which are highly prized among collectors for their distinctive style and rarity, are among the most condition-sensitive sets in existence with fragile gold borders easily susceptible to chipping. This card, which is an early SGC-graded example, is one of only thirteen T204 Ramlys (of any subject) ever to be graded MINT by SGC according to its Population Report. As noted in the introduction to the Ramly section of this auction (which features the balance of our consignor's Ramly collection; this card merited a lot of its own in the front of the catalog in the Featured section), we believe that some of the early SGC-graded T204 Ramlys were sheet-cut decades ago by legendary hobby pioneer Frank Nagy, who in the 1970s had a pristine T204 Ramly sheet (the only one in existence), and this fact is almost certainly related to the unparalleled perfection of this card. The offered example shows no evidence of any chipping along the borders or at the corners. It is perfectly centered with four sharp corners, a clean and crisp image, and a boldly printed reverse. This is a spectacular card! It is also by far the highest-graded example of this iconic card: The next highest-graded example listed on the SGC Population Report is a NM+ 86. The highest-graded example ever evaluated by PSA is NM-MT 8 (two cards have reached this level) out of twenty-eight cards evaluated to date. This is a most spectacular example of the key card to one of tobacco-card collecting's most highly respected and beautiful sets. An absolutely stunning T204 Ramly of Walter Johnson, one of card-collecting's truly classic cards, in unparalleled MINT condition, and which would be an extremely significant highlight in even the most advanced collection. Reserve $10,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $59,250

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