One of the seven Ty Cobb Tobacco cards from the Lucky 7 Find earlier this year is going on the auction block.
Robert Edward Auctions’ fall catalog includes the PSA 1.5 example that was part of a jaw-dropping hoard of seven cards found in a paper bag during a South Carolina house cleaning project last winter. It’s the first of the seven cards to be offered in an auction format. The auction will start at $25,000 with no reserve. REA President Brian Dwyer told SC Daily he expects the card to sell for at least $200,000.
The T206 “Ty Cobb back” is among the hobby’s rarest and most valuable cards. While considered a T206, it’s not believed to have ever been distributed in standard cigarette packs. Cobb began smoking in 1909 and as we reported earlier this year, newspaper accounts show his own brand of tobacco hit the market early in 1910. Many believe the cards, with a “King of the Smoking Tobacco World” moniker on back, may have been distributed inside the Cobb Tobacco tins sold at that time. The tins themselves are also collectible and rare, but not as valuable as the cards.
Only about 20 Cobb Tobacco backs are known to exist, including the seven that were uncovered by a family clearing out the home of a deceased family member. South Carolina-based MINT State brokered the sale of four cards days after they were authenticated and graded by PSA. The highest graded example, a 4.5, sold for an undisclosed seven-figure price. Three of the cards are currently being offered on eBay by MINT State.
The card being offered by REA beginning Thursday was among the four cards purchased almost immediately and that buyer is the consignor.
“The Ty Cobb with Ty Cobb back has always been one of the most legendary rarities within the hobby and we feel that collectors will relish the opportunity to bid on, and hopefully acquire, such a striking example with the incredible provenance of originating from the “Lucky 7” find,” Dwyer stated.
While receiving a low technical grade, the card compares well in overall appearance to those graded slightly higher. There is some minor creasing along the bottom border under Cobb’s name and some moderate border wear but there are no creases or noticeable flaws on the face of the card or the back.
REA sold a PSA 1 Cobb with Cobb back for $154,050 during its 2014 Spring auction. The auction opens Thursday at RobertEdwardAuctions.com.