Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Another Blue Old Mill Discovered

It appears a second example of a blue backed Old Mill T206 has been found.

At the 2012 National Convention the very first blue Old Mill was unveiled to much fanfare.  Many collectors doubted the authenticity.  Many others who held the card in hand said it was the real deal. 

The card that surfaced in 2012 was this Ed Walsh, pictured here with the blue back.

At the time I was skeptical and even wrote as much here.  I mean the only example of a blue Old Mill just happens to be HOFer Ed Walsh.

Something I asked in my last post about the Walsh was how long it would take for a second example to show up.

Well, six and a half years later apparently.  This one is not a Hall of Famer but is instead the horizontal pose of Powell.  The back of the Powell definitely looks blue like the Walsh. 

Ron Kornacki is the proud owner of the Powell and he has provided several very high resolution scans of his card.  Here is a side by side of the Powell and Walsh backs for comparison.
The Powell is on the left and the Walsh is on the right.  You can see the similarities in the blues.  I actually like the Powell more than the Walsh.
Here is a side by side comparison of the Powell blue back next to a regular black back Old Mill.  The black example is on the left below and the blue is on the right.
One theory is that the blue ink, which is darker than the blue used in Piedmont backs, is the same ink as was used on the Polar Bear backs.  Polar Bears are commonly mistaken for being black backs but they are actually dark blue.
Here is a comparison of the blue Old Mill next to a Polar Bear back to show the similarity.  The problem with the theory that the Old Mills were printed after a Polar Bear printing was complete is that the two backs weren't printed during the same period. 
To quote long time collector and T206 expert Ted Zanidakis,
The Powell & Walsh are 150/350 series subjects which were in OLD MILL print runs circa late 1909 / early 1910.  The first POLAR BEAR print runs were circa Summer 1910.
So it appears they couldn't have been printed at the same time.  But that doesn't mean the ink wasn't used for other print jobs by the American Lithographic Company during the period the Old Mills were being printed.  It's possible that a mix up occurred. 
I recently spoke to Ron about his card and his collecting in general.  He's been collecting for the past 41 years but has spent the last 8 years focused on his master front/back T206 collection.  And what a collection he has. 
He has a near complete 250 card Polar Bear set with 245 examples and he has all 28 of the Sweet Caporal 350-460 Factory 30 Full Color "No Prints".  He's also 513 cards in to the 524 card Monster.
Ron collects more than just baseball cards too though.  He is also an active collector of coins, stamps, comic books and non-sport cards. 
I was curious if Ron had the Powell in 2012 when the Walsh was presented to the hobby and he said no, he picked it up in October 2015 and didn't realize it was a blue back when he bought it.  He didn't notice the difference in color until a couple years later when he was looking at backs of other cards in his collection. 
I also asked him the big question, what are you going to do with it?  He'd really like to get it in a PSA slab but isn't sure if PSA will grade it as a legit blue Old Mill like SGC did with the Walsh.  If he can get it graded he's not sure what he'll do with it. 
Ron created a video on YouTube showing the card in detail so I've posted the video below. 

So what do you guys think?  Is this another legit blue Old Mill?  I believe it is and wish the best to Ron no matter what he decides to do with it.

Enjoy the hobby all...it's a great one.

No comments: