Bidders from around the world caught wind of the T206 Honus Wagner up for bid and when the Goodwin & Company auction closed early Friday morning, the card sold for more than any card in a similar grade: more than $1.2 million.
In all 14 bids were made on the card which was consigned by a Houston area collector.
The auction benefitted from intense media attention after the Associated Press picked up the story of what was an eye-popping collection of T206 cards that also included higher grade examples of the rare Eddie Plank and Sherry Magie (“Magee”) error cards.
Goodwin told the AP he was “thrilled” with the outcome. He told KSDK-TV that bidders came from all over the world.
The bidding has also pushed attention toward another T206 Wagner card up for bid. Memory Lane is offering a PSA 2 example in its current auction. It’s $550,000 opening bid was made late this week and will set yet another record for Wagner sales.
It’s believed no more than five or six dozen Wagner cards have survived and most are “beaters”, plagued by creases, rounded corners or even trimming. The card sold by Goodwin was among the top six known to have sold publicly.
The selling price of the SGC-graded Wagner at Goodwin was more than $300,000 higher than the previous level attained by a publicly sold Wagner in the same “Very Good” condition.
Many of the bidders in the auction were newcomers to the sports memorabilia auction experience.
“A lot of people were talking about investment and return on investment,” said Bill Shelton, who assisted Goodwin with the auction. “I think people are starting to see these high-end cards in the same terms as art and antiques.”
The Plank card(SGC 70) sold for $330,825 while the Magee (SGC 80) sold for $80,077.
Goodwin’s next auction, set to begin in June, will include a set of 1916 M101-5 Famous Barr cards including what’s regarded as Babe Ruth’s big league rookie card and a Jim Thorpe.