Extremely rare and desirable preproduction "proof" card of Johnny Bates (Boston Doves) 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 (with a slightly uneven cut to the right edge). 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) that 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, 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. In total, there were fewer than 100 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 almost certainly originates from this legendary find. The card presents as Vg-Ex+, with bold colors, a perfect image, and light, even corner wear. The blank reverse is entirely clean. 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. Reserve $1,000. Estimate (open).
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