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Lot # 212 (of 1560)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1909-1911 T206 Eddie Plank

Starting Bid - $2,000, Sold For - $38,188

Graded PR-FR 1 by PSA. The T206 of Hall of Famer Eddie Plank has always been one of card collecting's greatest and most sought after rarities. This particular card has an interesting story. It was consigned by a noncollector from central New York, who contacted us with only this single card. The consignor was aware of its great rarity and value from preliminary research. We should note that REA gets calls and emails, literally on a weekly basis, from noncollectors who believe they have an authentic T206 Plank, when they in fact have a reprint. This has been going on for years, because there are some T206 Plank reprints that state on the back of the card that Plank is rare and very valuable. So people are always finding these old reprints, reading the back, and then contacting to sell them as if they were real cards. (We know that to collectors this doesn't sound like it makes sense, but to those that are totally unfamiliar with the card-collecting field, apparently this makes a lot of sense.) Anyway, when we got an email on this Plank, we assumed that it, too, would be a reprint. But when the scan came, it was obviously an original. That had never happened before! The card was sent in for auction, and we could not help but call to ask how the consignor happened to have only this one extremely rare and valuable card. The consignor was happy to share the story: In 2008, she was cleaning out the attic of her mother's aunt, and in the process found the Plank. In fact, a total of four tobacco cards were found in the attic. They were not neatly stored, but in various places on the floor like scrap, and had probably been there since 1910. The other cards were two T206s (Flick and Willetts) and one T205 (Murray), all also in low grade. When she looked these up in a price guide she was shocked to learn the Plank was very valuable, and investigated how to best sell it for the family. So, that's the story, and we thought it was a good one, worth sharing! The card is low grade but still has great visual appeal. The image of Plank is crisp and clear. The portrait is bold. The background color is an ideal deep blue. The virtually flawless back features an advertisement for Sweet Caporal Cigarettes (350 Subjects, Factory No. 30) crisply printed in red. The few creases and a small stain on the border in the upper left are not extremely significant distractions. The two surface abrasions on his face (one larger, touching his chin, the other a very small surface chip in his hair) are more serious, and significantly impact the grade of the card, but still leave the card very appealing visually, especially for a PSA 1 PR-FR example. One of the great things about card collecting is that cards are valued by collectors in all grades, and serious collections can be assembled on different budgets. Not many can afford the $200,000+ that a T206 Plank would sell for in Nr/Mt-Mt condition, if one were to be available, but many more collectors of T206, the most important and popular set of the era, can consider a lower-grade example. This is a very attractive newly discovered T206 Plank, representing an outstanding opportunity to acquire a relatively affordable example of this legendary rarity. Reserve $2,000. Estimate $4,000/$8,000. SOLD FOR $38,188

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