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T206 Eddie Plank PSA-Auth sold for $33,600

Goldin Auction (May 22, 2021)


Encapsulated and assessed "Authentic" by PSA. Hall of Famer. "Sweet Caporal - 150 Subjects/Factory No. 30" back. The tale of Eddie Plank's T206 card still perplexes cartophilic scholars more than a century after the item's release. Although riding on the coattails of the famous Honus Wagner card since the beginning of the organized hobby, no definitive explanation has ever surfaced to explain Plank's rarity. Some attribute it to the same cause as the purported reason for Wagner's scarcity (an aversion to tobacco consumption), but this is as unlikely for Plank as it was for Wagner. Did Plank follow suit, with Wagner, to demand payment for the use of his image by the tobacco companies? Possibly, but it's doubtful. Did the printing plate break? Not likely.

We do know that when Piedmont produced its first cards in 1909, Wagner was printed on the same sheet as Plank. But only a tiny number of Wagners have ever surfaced with Piedmont backs and only a few Planks are known from that brand. Perhaps when Wagner's card was withdrawn, Plank's had to go, also, because of some obscure, production-related factor? Regardless, the absence of Plank's card remains burningly evident in sophisticated hobby circles, and just a scant number of credible examples have been confirmed. Coupled with the fact that the T206 "Monster" set of cigarette cards is one of the most desirable arrays in the hobby, the scarcity of Plank only adds to collectors' frustration, and fans the flames of the item's value.

The offered card of Eddie Plank exhibits considerable corner wear and a number of creases, as well as obverse-side fading, particularly in its blue-inked elements. Nonetheless, the piece remains fully worthy of envy: it represents a too-seldom-encountered opportunity to add the compelling portrait to an advanced assembly. Acknowledged faults aside, the card's illustration retains its integrity, and the reverse is solid in its clarity. Here is one of the most ardently desired cards in our hobby, featuring a still-mesmerizing overall appearance.

Final Bid with Buyer's Premium (20%): $33,600




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