Honus Wagner Original T206 Pose Carl Horner Photograph sold for $18,560
Written by T206museum (May, 2005)
Robert Edward Auctions auctioned a Honus Wagner
Original T206 Pose Carl Horner Photograph and sold for $18,560 in their April 30th auction.
This is the auction description:
Extremely significant Honus Wagner original photograph (4 x 5.5 inches) by Carl Horner,
circa 1905. This original photograph of Honus Wagner by Carl Horner is so familiar to
collectors because this is the very image used to create the famous T206 of Honus Wagner,
the most valuable baseball card in the world. Carl Horner was the premier baseball
photographer of his day. This original formal studio portrait dates from about 1905
and features Honus Wagner in his Pittsburgh uniform. It is very interesting to note
that in the original photograph there is no lettering across Wagner's uniform, revealing
that the "Pittsburg" which appears so prominently across Wagner's uniform on his T206
card has been added by an artist. Paper remnants on reverse and the number "3" which
appears at the bottom center of the obverse suggest that this photograph was originally
used by Horner in the creation of a Pittsburgh team composite photograph. In creating
such a composite, the individual portrait photographs are mounted onto a larger board,
and a second generation photograph is then taken of the mounted originals together,
along with added design art. This is the original photograph of Wagner, long ago
carefully removed from a display used in the creation of a team composite photograph.
Team composites were created by Horner for many purposes, including illustrations for
popular guides. Only three original Horner photographs of this iconic image are known
to exist. Pencil notations on the reverse read "Pitts Nat, Wagner, Pitts." A dated ink
stamp on the reverse reads "Reference Dept. Aug 22, 1913," suggesting that this photograph
was filed and may have been used for various projects over a period of years. A very
small pinhole in each corner is also consistent with use as original composite art. The
contrast and clarity of the photograph are flawless. Light creases in the extreme corners
(also related to use) and a chip in the lower right corner do not significantly detract.
This is an extremely rare original Horner print of the legendary photographer's most
famous image, one of only several known of the most recognizable, and highly prized,
of all baseball portrait photographs.
Minimum Bid: $2,000
Final Bid: $18,560