The Wagner, along with the other cards from the find, are currently up for sale in the Robert Edward Auctions Spring auction. I have to agree with REA when they state that this is a very attractive low grade example of this hobby gem. I have a particular soft spot for cards that are beat up pretty good. I like to know that they were enjoyed long ago, that someone handled them and showed to friends, carried them around with them, had a bunch of them in a box and they all got banged up over the years.
This card is a great beater as far as I'm concerned. It has evenly rounded corners and even some creasing and a bit of paperloss, but the image is bold and vibrant with a great background color. Even Hans' rosy cheeks are clear in this image.
We all know this is the "Holy Grail" of baseball cards and that it has legendary status, and most people outside the hobby (I assume) attribute this to the rarity of the card. There are, however, a great deal of cards that are more rare that the T206 Honus Wagner card. In fact, there are many Wagner cards that are more rare than this one. But, this Wagner is from the greatest of pre-war baseball card sets; the T206 White Border set. I am not trying to argue that this is not a rare card though. People have different opinions about how to define "rare" when talking about baseball cards. But with around 50 examples estimated to exist of this card, let's call it rare for now.
In the not so distant past this card would bring headlines when it would become available for sale. The Gretzky/McNall Wagner would get national headlines (okay, maybe not headlines, but at least national coverage) when it came up for sale each time. But right now, as I type this, there are TWO of them up for auction at the same time! Simply amazing! The example pictured above is being sold in the Robert Edward Auctions Spring 2008 Auction and the second example, an SGC10 example, is being sold in the Heritage Auction.
But wait, this gets better. The uncataloged Joe Jackson card pictured to the left is quite rare as well. In fact, in Mastro Auctions, Inc. current auction catalog they say that "just two examples, in total, are known to exist". I would say that is pretty rare. This example is the exact one that Mastro is offering up right now.
Well, if in fact there are only two examples known to exist then you can see them both right now. The other one is currently for sale in the same REA auction mentioned above. Regarding the card's rarity, REA says in their catalog that the one they are offering is "the only example of this card we have ever seen".
This is amazing folks. This is one of the things that I love about this hobby. Most people can not afford the T206 Wagner, and a lot of people can not afford one of the Joe Jacksons here, but we can all enjoy them because of these auction houses and the internet.
I have no idea what this Jackson will end up at when the bidding ends, but we all know it will be nowhere near either of the two Wagners being offered. And I don't think that is a surprise to anybody. I guess rarity isn't the only thing that puts value on a card.
I, for one, am very interested to see where the hammer falls with these four cards. Not to mention all the other amazing items in these auctions. There are even three T206 Magie Errors being offered just in REA alone. And Heritage has three of the four biggies from the T206 set, Wagner, Plank and Magie.
Enjoy the hobby everyone. It really is a wonderful place to spend some time.