January 2010 Auction
This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on:
Proudly offered is one of the hobby's finest examples of Eddie Plank's famous T206 treasure in the grade of VG 3 from PSA. Far closer in terms of scarcity to the celebrated T206 Wagner than most collectors realize, reports estimate that approximately 100 Plank examples are believed to exist, compared to the scant 60 or so Wagners that continue to make headlines with their six- and sometimes even seven-figure sales records. A perusal of the major grading company's population reports for the T206 issue confirms what we already know to be the truth. The offered piece is one of just 57 total copies on record at PSA and ranks among the top 28 of those select 57, as there exist just 9 like it at the Newport Beach grading firm with only 18 graded higher. SGC reports 21 total copies on record, only 4 of which have ever surpassed the VG 3 level, and only one of which has ever exceeded VG/EX 4. A handful of these 78 total Plank specimens on record at the combined grading firms have no doubt crossed the continent a few times, changing hands between PSA and SGC holders, so we believe 70 is a more accurate number for the total Plank specimens on record in the hobby. Now compare this number to the 41 total Wagners on record, and you'll see that we do not exaggerate. All numbers aside, the featured gem is one of the most presentable circulated examples we've ever seen. Uniform VG corners join VG/EX to EX edges to prove that, unlike some of the higher graded examples believed to have been cut from sheets, this is one of very few original copies that actually made it into a pack of Sweet Caporal cigarettes and then circulated until someone realized just how rare it was. In addition to the aforementioned perimeter wear, a hairline wrinkle can also be observed beneath the top left reverse corner, so light, however, that it hardly shows through to the otherwise NM or better obverse, which proudly showcases a nearly un-improvable image characterized by accurate registration and a virtual absence of any extraneous print larger than a pixel. The Sweet Caporal reverse shows some light soiling, to be expected of the grade, but is completely intact, with no paper loss or other prominent concerns whatsoever. Importantly, and to address the prevailing theory behind the T206 Plank mystery, the Sweet Caporal back shown here reads "Base Ball Series 350 Subjects," which disproves the "broken press plate" theory mythologized in the hobby's earlier years when the Plank card was only known to exist with the "Base Ball Series 150 Subjects" back. Two different backs mean two different printing plates, but we don't entirely disagree with the theory. The plates probably were broken, right after Eddie, like his respected contemporary over in Pittsburgh, requested American Tobacco to remove his likeness from the set, fearing it would promote tobacco use among children. If we are to accept this prevailing theory that the T206 Plank is scarce for the same reason the T206 Wagner is nearly non-existent, then we see no reason it won't eventually and inevitably approach similar sales records as the Wagner. Then again, that's entirely up to you! Very sincerely recommended, ladies and gentlemen: the T206 Eddie Plank.
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