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1909-1911 T206 White Border Deacon Phillippe - Extremely Rare "No Name" Printing Anomaly!
Starting Bid - $300, Sold For - $2,400
Fascinating printing anomaly of Deacon Phillippe (Pittsburgh Pirates) from the classic T206 White Border series. The offered example is missing the entire nameplate (Phillippe, Pittsburg) from the particularly large and full bottom border. "No name" T206 cards are the subject of intense debate among card collectors who have spent years attempting to understand the ways in which T206s were printed and the countless nuances that accompany a set of this size and magnitude. According to T206Resource.com, a six-color lithographic process was used to produce a final-issue card. The third step in this process added the brown color, which was responsible for the name and team captions along with any brown in the image area. This would suggest that any card missing the name also had to be missing brown from the player illustration. This is not, however, the case with the offered card, as can be seen from the scan, which boasts a particularly bold brown color in Phillippe's glove. One might be tempted to say that this was a closed case with this information in mind - that if a card has brown printing, then it cannot be a true "no name." But that is not the case with this extraordinary example.
In discussions with various collectors whom we consider to be experts in T206s and printing, they suggested that a few possibilities did exist to debunk the "no-name theory" and perhaps explain how the offered card was indeed a factory-issued "no name" example, but not missing all brown printing. The first explanation concerned a broken, missing, or covered up area of the printing plate used to produce the sheet on which this card was printed. If the area of the plate where the name was supposed to be was broken or missing, it would not print a name or team caption and would have no effect on the other brown areas of the card (such as the glove). The second explanation involved a shifting of the printing plate that could have caused the nameplate to "fall off" the card. Examples of other T206s exist with variations in the placement of the nameplate, either to the extreme top or bottom (REA sold a Donie Bush card in Fall 2014 where the nameplate was almost entirely inside the image area).
One thing that all the collectors we spoke to mentioned, along with many other collectors who voiced an opinion on the popular vintage-card message board Net54Baseball.com when the card first surfaced on eBay in the summer of 2014 (see thread here: http://www.net54baseball.com/showthread.php?t=191524) was that intense examination should be made to the bottom border to determine if any alterations had been carried out to give the card the appearance of a "no name" variation. Our consignor commissioned the services of collectors Scott Forrest and David Cycleback, who are knowledgeable in the areas of paper collectibles and printing patterns and were able to examine the card with high-powered microscopes and infrared cameras. Their results found that the card did not appear to be altered in any way and compared as expected to other T206 samples used in their study. REA then had the opportunity to examine the card in hand in ungraded form using a loupe, blacklight, and high-power scanner. No evidence of alterations in the area were detected. There is not so much as even a surface abrasion in the area, which we often see when people attempt to alter a nameplate, such as in the case of the very valuable T206 variations of Magie, Doyle, and Snodgrass. A vertical crease passes through the nameplate area of the bottom border and does not break the paper or show any signs of alteration. Finally, the card was submitted to PSA for review and professional grading, and they too did not find the card altered in any way, grading the card PR 1 (MC). (Neither PSA nor SGC label cards "no name," which is why there is no special designation on the label from PSA.)
The T206 set, affectionately known as "The Monster," is the most popular of all 1910-era sets and is still yielding new and exciting discoveries more than a century after its production. Incredible research is conducted on a daily basis into the intricacies of this legendary set, and perhaps one day, this research will be able to conclusively determine whether or not the offered card is a factory-issued "no name." While we cannot be 100% certain, and neither can the collectors we spoke to, there do not appear to be any traits that make this card's status anything other than a legitimate "no name" printing anomaly. Several collectors are convinced it is one of the most noteworthy T206 discoveries in many years, while others have reserved judgment, hoping that one day more information might become available. As collectors have become more sophisticated, they have become increasingly appreciative of great rarities and unusual cards associated with this landmark set. This is an extremely unusual printing anomaly that we believe will greatly interest collectors of the various nuances found within this iconic set. Reserve $300. Estimate (open).SOLD FOR $2,400
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