Collectibles marketplace Goldin announced Thursday that a T-206 Honus Wagner has sold privately for $7.25 million. USD is a record amount for a sports card.
This figure eclipsed 6.606 million. USD received for another T-206 Wagner almost a year ago.
The recently sold version of Wagner by Sportscard Guaranty Corp. or rated 2 out of 10 by SGC; in 2021 record holder got 3 from SGC.
“There is nothing like the T-206 card on this earth,” said Ken Goldin, Goldin’s Executive Chairman and Founder. “There’s a reason no Wagner card… has ever sold for less than it went before — a card is art, it’s history, it’s folklore.”
The folklore of the card depends on its extreme rarity (50-60 copies exist) and many theories as to why so few Wagners exist, including:
Wagner’s press plate breaks during production
Copyright dispute between an artist and a tobacco company
The most popular theory, offered by the Wagner family and New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, is that Wagner did not want to advertise smoking tobacco to children and asked that the card be pulled from production.
The most logical theory is that Wagner realized that he would not be fairly compensated for his name, image and likeness and objected
Regardless of the reason(s), by 2022 so few copies were produced that Wagner is commonly referred to as the Holy Grail or the Mona Lisa of trading cards.
“The T-206 is one of the reasons I do what I do,” Goldin concluded.
Although the sale is currently the overall record, the 1952 The Topps Mickey Mantle card was transferred to Heritage Auctions, which closes in just over three weeks; its price is 7.08 million. USD with a buyer’s premium and is expected to reach $10 million at the end.