1914 T216 Kotton Tobacco Honus Wagner Batting 2b.

Sold For: $4,200

Auction Year: 2017 spring

Lot: 770

Item Year: 1914

Category: T Tobacco Cards

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Graded GOOD 30 by SGC. Very attractive card with bright, crisp colors and near-perfect centering. The boldly printed reverse is centered to the left. Corner rounding and several creases account for the modestly assigned grade. 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, which 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 extremely rare example of one of card collecting's most interesting tobacco cards. Reserve $1,000. Estimate $2,500+.

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