Tag Archives: T206

Everyone’s Wagner is real, right? We all want to find treasure.

If I had a dollar every time I have heard this at a show…

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I know everyone wants to find treasure. I do too.
But we can get blinded by “what could be” and forget about facts.
What got me into wanting to learn more about fakes and alterations in the first place was buying a small stack of reprints at a flea market in the late 80s. I really thought I had found treasure according to the price guide values. When I figured out they were not real, I decided that I would not let that happen to me again. I learned a great deal over the years but it did happen again. Each time I have learned from it.
I have learned plenty about cards and I’m still learning. There will always be new types of fake cards and alterations coming in.
Are there still cards like T206 Wagners out there waiting to be discovered? You bet. In fact, we graded one in 2008 that literally came out from under someones bed. It had been in the family for many years.
One thing that makes such big finds special is that they are few and far between. Like the Black Swamp find, it’s a once in a lifetime find, but it was right there in an attic all those years just waiting for someone to find.
The thought of unearthing treasure can also blind us from the obvious. There are hundreds of “cards” listed on ebay stating they are reprints because ebay requires them to do so. If someone has a potential six-figure card in their hands, do they get it authenticated or do they dump it on ebay as a reprint? If a seller is savy enough to use ebay, they are generally savy enough to figure out exactly what they have. They have given the buyer all the info they need.
It’s that potential of getting rich quick that blinds some to make bad purchases.

1906 Fan Craze advertisement

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The Fan Craze game card sets are designated as either WG-2 or WG-3. The WG-2 designates the American league deck of cards that have a blue back. WG-3 is the National League deck. The NL cards have a red back.

Once upon a time, there was a thought that the 2 decks were issued separately and at different times. As the above ad shows, the 2 decks were issued at the same time, and you could order 1 or the other. It is interesting to note the ad mentions the player images are halftone pictures. This just means the images are made up of small black dots of different sizes. The larger the dot, the darker the image. This is the type of printing we see on other pre-war cards like  M101-4/5 Sporting News, and 1928 Fro-Joy. A type of halftone is still used on cards today, but there are 4 colors instead of just black. And today’s cards are digital halftone printing. Halftone printing in newspapers was still a relatively new process when these cards were printed. Widespread use of the technology began only the decade before these cards.

The cool thing about these cards is that they fill a gap in card issues. There was not much in the way of baseball cards between the 1895 N300 Mayos and the 1909 T206 cards. This means there are some first appearances to be found. There are also plenty of cool images to be found. The Fan Craze company obviously used images taken by the Horner Studio. The Eddie Plank and Honus Wagner, for example, have the same image as found on their T206 cards.

Now if I only had $0.39, and a time machine.

 

 

 

Signed copies now available!

 

 

 

 

 

Counterfeit Alert – 1909 T206 Speaker

Not a difficult fake to spot today. I am going to skip ahead and start with the back:

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The instant giveaway here is the color. No, there are not Piedmont backs found with red ink. All Piedmont backs were printed in a blue ink. There have been a few different reprint sets of T206 that feature back with wrong colors in an attempt to differentiate real from fake for the novice collector. Notice here, this card has damage to the surface along the bottom of the card. This is where “REPRINT” was removed.

Now to the front of the card:

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Remember the black line border I talked about in the T206 Wagner post? That black line border found on real T206 cards is not here on this fake. From a distance, the colors do not look too bad but up close, the printing is obviously not 1909 period lithography. Also notice the name and team city at bottom. On this fake, they are printed in black. Real cards have the name and city printed in brown ink.

 

 

 

Signed copies now available!