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Lot # 316 (of 1560)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1911 T205 Gold Border Ty Cobb - Unique Blank-Back Proof Card

Starting Bid - $500, Sold For - $1,410

Extremely rare and very likely unique T205 proof card of Hall of Famer Ty Cobb. While at a glance this looks like a normal T205 Gold Border of Ty Cobb, it is not. Close inspection reveals this card has obviously been hand-cut from a sheet long ago, and the reverse has a blank back. T205 cards, of course, were normally issued with a biography of the player and a tobacco advertisement on the reverse. This card was very likely not issued in a pack. Cards that are printed with blank backs strictly for proofing purposes (as opposed to being issued) are often referred to by collectors as "proof" cards. This T205 Ty Cobb proof card is in overall Fr-Gd condition, with crisp colors, heavily rounded corners, and several creases, which do not affect Cobb’s image. Centered 25/75 T/B, with a perfectly clean blank back. Encapsulated as “Authentic” by PSA. While T206 proof cards are very distinctive (hand-cut, with blank backs, and printer's marks on borders), and are very well known, with almost all surfacing from a single find from the family of the printer in the early 1970s, T205 Gold Border proof cards are virtually unknown. But they do exist. Over the years we have seen just a handful of examples, all obviously hand-cut, and all with blank backs. T205 Gold Border proof cards have never gotten the attention of their T206 counterparts. The primary reason is that they are rarer (there may be as few as ten examples that are currently known). They are also simply less well known, because there has never been a legendary find of T205 proofs (as with T206 proofs), and there is no famous unissued T205 proof card (like the legendary T206 proof of Eddie Collins in a batting pose) to put them on the radar of collectors. T206 proof cards are distinctive from normal cards at a glance, also, because they have printer's marks on the white borders. Over the years, we have seen just a few T205 proof cards, but the story of exactly where they came from and how they came to be has always been lost to time. All are obviously hand-cut, and all have blank backs. Maybe the printer brought a sheet home and gave it to his son to cut up, or these cards were printed just to test the presses, and somehow a few cards wound up with collectors. We will probably never know. All T205 proof cards are extremely rare and a sample of any player is almost impossible to find. This example of key T205 Hall of Famer Ty Cobb is an extraordinary rarity that is very likely unique, giving it a distinction that is shared by very few cards, let alone cards of Ty Cobb relating to such an important set. Reserve $500. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $1,410

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