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Post-1910 Piedmont Pack with T206 Card Enclosed! (Recently Opened)

T206museum.com (May 18, 2008)

Robert Edward Auctions sold an opened Piedmont pack with T206 card for $823 in May 2008 auction.

The following was the auction description:

This is an original pack of Piedmont cigarettes (Factory 25, Dist. VA.) dating from the era of T206 tobacco cards! This was originally purchased by our consignor as an unopened pack. He wanted the thrill of opening an original T206 pack and actually was successful in doing this. We would not recommend anyone purchasing packs to try this! Not only could this be very expensive, but so many of the tobacco packs that are represented as being from the T206 era are, in fact, not T206 packs, are often not even from the correct era, and do not even include a card. Even if one found a pack that was believed to have a T206 card, so many different sets were issued in the 1910 era, one could easily be disappointed and wind up with a flag or a fish card, or a card from some other nonsport tobacco-card set. This is a real T206 pack, one that has been confirmed with 100% certainty. The pack has been opened and inside was discovered the T206 baseball tobacco card, as hoped and expected. Over the years we have seen many empty boxes, but do not recall seeing an unopened 1910-era Piedmont cigarette pack. The good news is that it was a baseball player inside the pack, and this pack shows us precisely how cards were packaged in Piedmont cigarette boxes, with the card well protected from the tobacco by a protective interior lining. The bad news is the pack did not contain a Cobb, Mathewson, Johnson, or Wagner, but a minor league player by the name of Herman Armbruster of St. Paul. Aside from the consignor peeking at the card, and our pulling it partially out to properly identify the player, this card has never been touched by human hands! It is miraculous to actually see a Nr/Mt card inside the pack exactly as issued in 1910. Even though the pack was already opened, it was still very exciting for us to reopen the pack and see the card inside. Occasionally empty boxes that once held T206s surface, but this is in a whole different league. The pack was originally purchased encapsulated and graded by GAI as an unopened pack in NM 7 condition, and the GAI holder (seal broken) accompanies. This would be a fascinating and exciting item for both a T206 or unopened-pack collector.

Addendum: Attention by collectors with a specialty in tobacco packs have encouraged a healthy debate and further research regarding the pack presented in this lot. Because this pack is a “Liggett & Myers” pack, it is a given that it could only date from 1911 or after (1911 was the year of the breakup of the American Tobacco Company into several smaller companies, including Liggett & Myers). 1911 is still among the years of issue for T206; however, it is contrary to conventional wisdom that this particular style pack (with twelve cigarettes, as opposed to ten) was issued this early. This twelve-cigarette pack style is believed by tobacco pack collectors to have been issued years later, beginning in 1917. Either 1) this is not accurate, and twelve-cigarette Piedmont packs of this style were issued earlier than 1917; 2) T206s were in some instances inserted into packs in later years after 1911; or 3) the pack was somehow expertly tampered with and the card was somehow inserted in to it and resealed. We are certain that the consignor opened this pack and found the card. We even have pictures of the pack being opened. We have checked the card and found that it is a “Factory 25” card, which is the same as the factory of the packaging. It would be easy to say that the pack must have been tampered with, and we are presenting this as a possibility, but we are then left with the question of why anyone would put a virtually perfect T206 into a Piedmont cigarettes pack and sell it, with no claim that there is a T206 in the pack, and with the knowledge that the pack would probably never be opened. That would have to be the case here. Anything is possible. Much is not known with certainty about T206s. Maybe more information will surface in years to come. We appreciate the great interest and scholarly approach to addressing the merits and questions raised by this pack by the collectors on the Net54 message board, and especially the great efforts of Jon Canfield. We encourage anyone interested in T206 packs in general, or this lot in particular, to read the thread on the Net54 message board devoted to it at the following web address:


At the very least this lot represents an extremely high-grade T206 card, a perfect opened Piedmont pack that is over eighty years old, and the subject of a fascinating and informative discussion about T206 packs. At the very most, this pack and card represent a missing link to our incomplete total understanding of how T206s were issued, and may have some yet unknown significance to our understanding in the future. We know that we have learned a lot about T206 packs just from working with this lot. Once again, we thank Jon Canfield, and we also thank our consignor, for helping us to present this fascinating lot as accurately as possible.

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