Even when they’ve been attacked by a scissors, T206 Honus Wagner cards still draw a crowd ready to fork over some significant cash to own one. Robert Edward Auctions closed out its Spring Auction late Monday night and when the dust settled, a trimmed copy of the world’s most famous baseball card had sold for $1,528,066.
In the current market, it wasn’t surprising that a low grade Wagner had again reached seven figures, but like the ripped Wagner that sold a few months ago, this one wasn’t even whole with three of its four borders having been trimmed away at some point, probably not long after it was pulled from a pack of cigarettes in 1909.
The final price generated quite a short term profit for the consignor who paid $540,000 for it in 2019. It had sold to David Hall, the founder of Collectors Universe and avid T206 collector for just $198,850 ten years ago. Hall crossed it from SGC to PSA during his ownership.
In all, the auction of about 3,500 items generated $19,555,612 in sales. Nearly 300 items sold for $10,000 or more.
In addition to the Wagner, the auction’s other star attraction was the breakup of the hobby’s longstanding top-ranked E93 Standard Caramel set. Built by collector Jim Blumenthal, the set has spent 20 years atop the PSA Registry with a GPA of 8.10. The 30-card set was issued in 1910 by the Standard Caramel Co. of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The PSA 9 Cy Young—the only copy in existence—sold for $522,000, the most ever paid for an E93 card.
The PSA 8 Ty Cobb went for $234,000, the PSA 9 Mordecai Brown sold for $210,000, the PSA 8 Christy Mathewson and Honus Wagner cards each netted $156,000 while the Nap Lajoie reached $138,000. In all, the set brought in $1,486,650.
An autographed Ty Cobb 1912 T202 Hassan Triple Folders card soared to $300,000, a record for any signed Cobb card. The accompanying envelope, which features Cobb’s return address (Menlo Park, California) preprinted on the back, is addressed to “George W. Hitner” (a Yale graduate and dear friend of Cobb) and is postmarked “Jun 12 1940.”
Football card collectors zeroed in on a PSA 8.5 copy of Jim Brown’s 1958 Topps rookie card. Challenging to find in high grade because of the tendency for the black background to show scuffing, the card rocketed to $288,000. A 1969 Topps football wax box of 24 packs reached $210,000.
One of nine PSA 9 1962 Topps Willie Mays cards sold for a record $120,000. Three years ago, a 9 sold for $29,381, a 308% increase. A 1963 Topps Mickey Mantle #200 PSA 9 (pop 40) set a new mark at $90,000.
“This auction confirmed that the hobby is continuing its rapid expansion and the highest quality material is consistently rewriting the record books,” REA President Brian Dwyer told SC Daily.
Other sales included:
- 1957 Topps Mickey Mantle PSA 9 $180,000
- 1931 W517 Autographed Babe Ruth card $150,000
- 1939 Play Ball Joe DiMaggio PSA 9 $132,000
- Autographed 1951 Bowman Mickey Mantle rookie $132,000
- 2001 Upper Deck SP Future Watch Limited Albert Pujols rookie BGS 10 $126,000
- 1933 V353 World Wide Gum (Canadian Goudey) Uncut Sheet with three Babe Ruths and Lou Gehrig $132,000
Complete results can be found here.