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Forgery T206 O'Hara N.Y. Nat'l

Written by Cycleback Press (July 28, 2000)

Recently in Chicago, a forgery of the 1909-11 T206 O'Hara N.Y. Nat'l with a El Principe de Gales back was detected by a vintage card expert David Rudd. Due to the quality and type of printing used, the card obviously had been made by a printer with professional skill. Advanced tests, however, have determined that the printing technology, ink and cardboard stock used were all modern. Further tests have indicated that card was intentionally and skillfully stained in order to make the card look old.

For the collector, the forgery has the following details which distinguish it from an original. While skillfully made, the collector familiar with T206s should be able to detect a difference when the forgery and a genuine card are held side by side. The forgery is slightly though noticeably taller and wider than most T206s, and the forged image of O'Hara is less crisp and colorful than the original. The person who bought the card in Chicago later realized that while she couldn't pinpoint what was wrong, it just didn't look right when compared to a real T206. Under magnification, the images of the forged O'Hara is clearly different then a genuine. The forgery image is made up of tiny dots, On a genuine T206 the image are made up of dots, except the dots are much larger and more irregular. Also, the image on a genuine card is bordered by a thin black line which is solid under magnification, while the forgery does not have such a solid line. On the back of the forgery there is no factory information, as would appear in small letters as would appear below 'Base Ball Series.' The lettering on front ('O'Hara N.Y. Nat'l') is a slightly taller then genuine lettering. Also the lettering is jet black, while genuine lettering would be dark brown. The forgery's borders are darker than most T206s (a result of the staining to make it look old). The forgery is glossier, both on front and back. While the card stock of the forgery is nearly the same thickness as a genuine, it is much more rigid, almost a plastic-like appearance. Finally the forgery is more opaque than a genuine T206. This means that when up side by side to a desk lamp or flashlight, more light shines through the forgery than a genuine T206. This indicates a difference in card stock.

It must be noted that unlike most forgeries, the lettering on the front and the lettering and design on the back are completely solid under magnification, just like an original. This means that the forger was skilled and totally redesigned the text and back design. This also explains why the front lettering is different and the factory text on the back is missing, and that the forger didn't do a careful enough job. Also, since this was a professional job, it is reasonable to believe than many of these cards were made.

As the genuine card is common, though with a rather scarce back, this shows that not all forgeries are T206 Wagners, Goudey Ruths, Mantles and other premium cards.

T206 O'Hara N.Y. Nat'l unlike the tougher verison of O'Hara St. Louis Nat'l, O'Hara St. Louis Nat'l can only be found with Polar Bear advertisement.

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