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Famed Wagner Card Highlights Massive T206 Collection

Beckett Media (January 18, 2008)

For the past month Beckett Grading experts have been verifying and grading more than 550 T206 Sweet Caporal tobacco cards including a rare Honus Wagner card, from a single collection previously unknown to the hobby. This collection, submitted by a private collector, is thought to be one of the most extensive T206 private collections of raw, ungraded, turn-of-the-century tobacco cards uncovered in the past 30 years. There are believed to be just 55-60 T206 Honus Wagner cards in circulation.

"The story behind this find, and the fact that the entire group is from the Sweet Caporal brand, suggests it is likely an original collection from an early 20th century collector who smoked Sweet Caporal cigarettes. There is no doubt that unearthing a T206 collection of this breadth, headlined by a Wagner, is one of the most significant trading card finds in recent memory. Beckett Grading Services is very pleased to have been selected to grade not just our first Wagner but also over 550 of exceptionally well-preserved tobacco cards from that era," said Mark Anderson, Director of Beckett Grading Services. "Having been hidden away for decades, the color on these cards is extraordinary, and a very large percentage of these cards should grade Excellent or better."

The entire collection will be auctioned off through multiple auctions overseen by the Beckett Select Auctions division of Beckett Media beginning in March of this year. The single card and lot auctions will culminate with the multi-day auction of the T206 Honus Wagner ending on April 10th.

"The history and lore that surround the previous Honus Wagner cards makes this one of the most exciting announcements Beckett Media has ever made. We expect this card alone to sell for well over $100,000 at auction and based on the exceptional appearance and condition of many of the other cards in the collection we feel that many collectors will be able to enhance their T206 collections dramatically in the coming months," said Grant Sandground, Beckett Media's Technical Director of Hobby Development.

"The T206 set has and remains to this day, by far, the most important pre-war set of trading cards ever issued. In fact, you could make a viable argument that it's the most important set of trading cards ever issued. Period. The set represents every element that comes to define a collecting masterpiece," added Sandground." The Wagner is, of course, the centerpiece of the set. It's gotten to the point where it's virtually an iconic image when discussing American pop culture. The set is loaded with multiple cards for benchmark Hall of Famers like Ty Cobb, Christy Mathewson and Cy Young. The artwork and images, to this day, remain universally compelling. The cards have a perfect balance of scarcity and commonality. Low grade copies are affordable for options almost any collector and high-grade cards and scarce short prints continue to grow in popularity with aficionados."

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