A 1909-11 T206 Honus Wagner has changed hands for a seven-figure price. The PSA 2 (Good) example sold privately for $1.2 million, according to SCP Auctions, which brokered the transaction. It’s scheduled to be offered at public auction later this fall through Mile High Card Company.
The same card has sold twice at auction in the last five years, realizing $657,250 through Lelands in 2014 and $776,750 via Heritage Auctions in 2016. The 54 percent increase in value ($423,250) this time reflects a long-term steady rise in prices for the most noteworthy card ever created.
“This sale demonstrates that even in a frothy stock market, a low-grade Wagner card can still fetch over one million dollars,” said David Kohler, president of SCP Auctions. “It’s truly a remarkable amount for a card in PSA 2 grade.” Kohler believes “it’s only a matter of time” before even the lowest grade Wagner cards will broach the million dollar mark.
The highest price ever paid for a Wagner was $3.12 million for the PSA 5 “Jumbo” example, which sold through Goldin Auctions in 2016 and remains the most valuable baseball card ever sold, just ahead of the PSA 9-rated 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle which sold last year for $2.88 million.
A heavily restored Wagner graded Authentic sold for $420,000 through Memory Lane Auctions last December. A PSA 1 (Poor) sold for $609,294 via SCP in June of 2017 while a different PSA 2 reached $600,000 in May of 2017 through Memory Lane.
The mystique and rarity behind the T206 Wagner card remain its most ardent selling points. Wagner – an eight-time National League batting champion – was said to be upset with his likeness being used within an American Tobacco Company product. His refusal of the company’s request for permission to use his image led the ATC to end production of the card almost as soon as it started. Only a few dozen examples of the famed Wagner card are known to have survived in the 110 years since it was first produced. Only six have ever been graded higher by PSA than the one sold by SCP.