Why? Because everyone needs a little fake Wagner in their life. To most card people, it is obvious. For those that are not as familiar with the T206 Wagner, here are some quick basics:
1909-11 T206 cards were printed using beautiful, crisp lithography inks. The details that could be obtained were amazing for their time and frankly in my opinion, not again since. An original color lithographic print from this time can look like an amazing mini watercolor painting. Having said that, does the card above appear like a beautiful watercolor painting?
Well, it is dirty from 100 years of grime you might say. To that I would suggest you look at some inexpensive common T206 cards in comparison. Remember, the famous and expensive Wagner card was printed along side the lowly common cards. Printed using the same inks and the same stock. These were inserts inside of packs of cigarettes that were used to increase sales among young boys (more on that in a future posting). American Litho. did not setup a “special” printing press to print just one card. Old Wags was printed just like all the other cards.
Take a look at any dirty old common T206. Do you still think they look the same?
Well, what about the missing black border surrounding the image? Original cards have a solid black ink line border around the player image. For some reason, many of these mass produced reprints lack that border. That alone doesn’t stop some from thinking the treasure they unearthed from their grandmothers Bible isn’t the real deal.
If there are any skeptics ledt at this point, lets look at the stock. Sure it’s glossy. Sure the image is printed using technology not available until decades after the cards were made but what about the stock itself? If you were to peal a small portion away and expose the paper, it will most likely fluoresce under UV light. Paper whiteners were added to most commercially available paper starting in the late 1950s.
But, if all else fails, there’s the old smell test. This one does not smell like 100 year old paper stock. No, it smells like the coffee it was soaked in to make it appear “aged.”
Signed copies now available!