Friday, February 6, 2009

Rare T206 Wagner Sells for $791,000!!!

As orginially published on

A rare T206 Honus Wagner baseball card – one of only a handful of known examples released into circulation in the early 1900s by the American Tobacco Company and often called the Holy Grail of sports collectibles – soared to $791,000 at a three-day multi-estate sale held Nov. 21-23 by Philip Weiss Auctions. The card, graded SGC 40 by Sportscard Guaranty, was the top lot in a sale that grossed about $1.8 million. The card now holds the distinction as the highest price realized for an SGC graded card at public auction.

"The pre-sale estimate was $500,000-$800,000, and it ended up selling toward the high end of that range. What added to its allure was the fact that it was fresh to the market, consigned by the original owner's family and never before offered.

The Honus Wagner card was issued as part of the 1909-1911 T206 series. The cards were inserted into packs of cigarettes as a promotional item. Last year, the highest graded example known to the hobby, and once owned by Wayne Gretzky, sold for $2.8 million.

The auction also featured a collection of original-owner T205 and T206 cards from the same era. The star lot was a highly desirable error card of Ray Demmitt from the same T206 set as the Wagner. The Demmitt card, graded an SGC 50, sold for $7,625. Another coveted sports collectible to sell was a Babe Ruth signed baseball, obtained by the chairman of the American Legion league Shibe Park. It brought $67,800.

Over 1,200 lots came up for bid over the course of the three days, in an array of categories, not just sports items. Nearly 300 people attended the Philip Weiss Auctions' facility, located at #1 Neil Court in Oceanside. Online bidding was strong as over 2,000 registered users submitted their bids via the internet. "There were also numerous phone and absentee bids," Mr. Weiss offered. "It was a very active sale."