When a version of the ultra-rare T206 Honus Wagner card hits the market, it typically sells for at least $3 million.
But as recent sales have shown, even damaged or altered copies of the iconic 1909 tobacco card can attract six or seven figures. In February, a Wagner card that was torn in half sold for $475,960 at SCP Auctions.
Now another damaged and altered card has topped $1 million, selling for $1,528,066 million Monday night at Robert Edward Auctions.
Bidding for the card, which was graded PSA "Authentic - Altered," had an opening bid of $100,000 but soared past $1.5 million after receiving 75 bids during the 17-day auction.
The card has been trimmed, is missing three of its four borders and has creases across Wagner’s face, leading to PSA’s lowest grade for cards that show evidence of alteration.
The buyer’s identity remains anonymous. Though the original history of the card is unknown, it was purchased in 2012 by Collectors Universe founder David Hall for $198,850. After being transferred from a SGC holder to a PSA holder, it was sold again in 2019 for $540,000.
"The results from this auction speak to the ever-present and growing demand for Wagner cards, which transcends the hobby in any condition," said Brian Dwyer, president of Robert Edward Auctions. "This card was sold in 2019 for $540,000; that buyer purchased it in 2012 for $198,850. It's exciting to see this card continue to rewrite the record books."
With fewer than 60 examples in existence, REA has sold several versions of the Honus Wagner card, including a SGC 3 version that sold for an all-time record $6.6 million last year.
The Wagner card was one of several rare vintage cards that topped six figures in REA’s Spring auction, including a 1910 E93 Standard Caramel Cy Young (PSA 9) card that sold for $522,000 and 1912 and 1910 Ty Cobb cards that sold for $300,000 and $234,000, respectively.
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