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Lot # 5 (of 1641)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1912 Ty Cobb Tobacco Tin - MINT CONDITION! Finest Known Example!

Starting Bid - $40,000, Sold For - $88,875

Presented is one of the most extraordinary treasures of both the baseball-card and memorabilia collecting worlds: the finest example in existence of the Ty Cobb Tobacco tin, one of collecting's most legendary rarities, in unheard of MINT condition. There has not (and we believe never will be) another example that can compare to this incredible gem.

The Ty Cobb Tobacco Tin is one of the most elusive of all baseball tobacco-related items. It has the same rarity as the T206 Ty Cobb card with Ty Cobb Tobacco advertising back (approximately twelve of each are known), and is many times rarer than the famous T206 Wagner. All of the other Ty Cobb Tobacco tins that are known have serious condition problems (as is usually the case with tins), including extensive scratching and rusting. While such condition problems are easily forgiven where a Ty Cobb Tobacco tin is concerned, this astounding example is in essentially MINT condition, with perfect color, and no scratches, dents, rust or any other imperfections. Even the original blue tobacco tax-stamp paper strip is still attached. It is the only Ty Cobb Tobacco tin on which the original tax-stamp strip remains. In terms of condition, this Ty Cobb Tobacco tin is so much better than any other example, only pictures or seeing it in person can possibly do it justice. It is to Ty Cobb Tobacco tins what the T206 "Gretzky-McNall" Wagner is to all T206 Wagners (without reference to whether the "Gretzky-McNall" Wagner is sheet-cut). It is by far - in fact, by an extraordinary margin that is rarely seen when dealing with the greatest treasures in any field of collectibles - the best-looking and highest-grade example that exists or could possibly exist, with no close second even remotely worthy of consideration. The existence of this example requires that, in terms of condition, Ty Cobb tins have to divide into two groups: this tin, and all the others. The condition of this tin is one of the most unlikely and extraordinary occurrences in the collecting world that we have ever encountered.

Robert Edward Auctions has known of this tin for many decades. We finally had the chance to offer it way back in 1994, with a minimum bid of $50,000. At the time it did not receive the opening bid, and immediately after the auction we were contacted by a very interested collector who presented a slightly lower offer, which was accepted. A sale was executed, and we've been trying to get it back for auction again for the past eighteen years! The T206 Ty Cobb with Ty Cobb back card that also appeared in the same auction, with a minimum bid of $7,500, sold for $20,123.

Universally regarded as the "King of All Tobacco Tins," the Ty Cobb Tobacco tin features the T206 yellow background batting pose of Cobb on both sides. This is the only tin with a direct connection to the baseball tobacco-card issues of the day. The connection of the Ty Cobb Tobacco tin to the T206 set is twofold: In addition to featuring an image of the same pose as one of Cobb's classic cards in the T206 set, collectors are very familiar with the related T206 Ty Cobb portrait card with advertising for Ty Cobb Tobacco on the reverse. That card is universally recognized as one of the greatest rarities of all vintage cards and one of the most valuable cards of the T206 set. There are a comparable number of T206 Ty Cobb cards with advertising for Ty Cobb Tobacco on reverse, and Ty Cobb tins. In addition to its great stature as one of baseball collecting's premier rarities, the Ty Cobb Tobacco tin is also recognized as one of the most desirable and important rarities of all tobacco tins, baseball or otherwise. (The collecting of advertising tobacco tins is a very popular and sophisticated field in its own right.) As we have noted and cannot emphasize enough: early tins tend to be subject to considerable wear in the form of scratches, rust, and denting. This tin is in remarkable MINT condition. The Ty Cobb Tobacco tin in any condition is the "Honus Wagner" of tobacco tins. This tin is in its own league, and is one of the most astounding and remarkable baseball tobacco items of any type that we have ever had the privilege of offering. Reserve $40,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $88,875

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