T206 Proof Collection of Six Including Wagner sold for $6,899
Mastro Auctions (March 2001)
Robert Edward Auctions sold six T206 proofs for $6,899 in March 2001 auction.
The following was the auction description:
OK - it's Heinie Wagner, not Honus, but each of these six proof cards is unique, and of a rarity approximately
50 times that of card collecting's most famous and valuable card. Included are the following: Wagner (Boston Amer),
Niles (Boston Amer), Graham (Boston Amer), Alperman (Brooklyn), Dougherty (Chicago Amer), and Conroy (Washington, Amer).
All are in Excellent to Mint condition. As with all T206 proof cards, all have blank backs, printer's proof marks
on the borders, and have been neatly hand cut. Two of the six cards do not have the name or team printed along the
bottom border (Dougherty and Conroy). These six T206 proof cards were a part of one of the most famous finds in hobby
history. In the mid-1970's the family of the printer of the T206 and T3 sets discovered an assortment of proof cards
in their attic, and ventured out to one of the most well established baseball card conventions of the day which at
the time was held annually in New York at the old District 65 Center . So significant was the find deemed to be even
at that time that a free table was given to the family to display and sell the cards, which they did, charging a
large premium above what regular cards sold for so as to allocate the cards, and not be cleaned out by the very
first collector or dealer to approach the table. As an interesting aside, Robert Lifson, (the author of this
description), purchased the T206 proof Eddie Collins batting pose at this show for all of $12. Before the reader
marvels at Lifson's astute purchase, it should be noted that he did not realize he had purchased an unissued pose
of Collins, and sold the card at the Indianapolis convention later that year to future MastroNet President Bill
Mastro for $17. Mastro purchased the card sight unseen as a sample, as he did not attend the New York convention
where the cards were first offered. Upon viewing the card he was puzzled that he did not recognize the pose, and
some quick research soon revealed that a great T206 related hobby find had been discovered. Mastro was unmoved by Lifson's whining and complaining (Mastro was, after all, the master of that art even in the 1970's).
After much negotiation, Mastro finally agreed to sell the Collins card back to Lifson for $1500 in cash and trade.
Lifson sold the card to Barry Halper for $1750, and Collins remained in the Halper Collection until offered at
auction by Robert Edward Auctions in January of 1994, where it sold for $56,000. In all, there were fewer than
100 T206 proof cards in the find, and these cards have long since been scattered to the four corners of the T206
collecting world. This is a rare opportunity to acquire six cards from this legendary find.
Final bid (with 15% premium): $6,899
Periodicals -T206 Museum Eddie Collins Unique Proof Gallery