Masterpieces & Uncommon Commons XXII
This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 7/17/2009
In 1894, the Mayo Tobacco Works of Richmond Virginia issued a 35 subject Football card set that included ONLY Ivy League college football players from Harvard, Yale and Princeton. Considered the rarest football set ever distributed as well as the only 19th century set solely dedicated to football, there is one subject amongst the 35 that is, most likely, the “Holy Grail” football cardboard collectible. From a “gridiron” perspective, Harvard’s John Dunlop N302 “Anonymous” card sits at the pinnacle of the football cardboard collecting industry. Labeled by the hobby circuit as “Anonymous” due to Dunlop’s name inadvertently being left off the card, every elite football card collector dreams of one day being the fortunate owner of this museum worthy relic. Similar to the famous T206 Wagner, it is indeed the football “Holy Grail”, with no other football card “grade for grade” matching its rarity, desirability and value! With that in mind, courtesy of Goodwin and Company, we are extremely proud to present the N302 “Anonymous/Dunlop” in an SGC 10/1 holder. How scarce is this offering? Currently, SGC has only encapsulated a mere 4 other examples with PSA only grading a single copy! That is correct. The two major grading companies have combined to encapsulate only 6 copies, a diminutive fraction or ONLY 10% of the total known T206 Wagners! First and foremost, let’s put aside the technical grade considering that “low end” fair/poor conditioned T206 Wagner’s are now exceeding $300,000! As most advanced enthusiasts would claim…”find another one”! Unfortunately, you might not have a second chance since the N302 “Anonymous” Mayo Cut Plug seldom surfaces at any auction. For every “Anonymous” made available to the public, we can safely say at least four or five Wagner’s are accessible. This unparalleled football card offered here does provide overall aesthetics far surpassing its technical assessment. Dunlop’s classic sepia toned portrait pose depicts strong contrast and clarity, with only several faint creases, barely noticeable, passing through his sanctified image and extending to the lower black border. Corner wear is consistent with a “Good/Vg” example, exhibiting slight rounding and layering, especially for the two right side borders. Enamel/surface loss along the top border is chief adversary accounting for the technical grade, and the standard Mayo Cut Plug border chipping primarily along the right and lower edges is evident. The bold black reverse side portrays some moderate spotted chipping, likewise consistent with many other Mayo Cut Plug subjects. To reiterate, no technical grade could possibly diminish the desirability directed towards this football cardboard “Rembrandt”. Like the T206 Wagner, it is “THE” football card to own, an incredible transcendent artifact that after 105 years continues to link us back to the evolution of the game’s prevalent ancestors. There are a myriad of advanced football cardboard purists faced with the painstaking task of finding an N302 “Anonymous” card to elevate their collection to “world class” status, but with only 6 graded examples available from the two major vintage grading companies, a majority of these collectors will continue to remain highly disappointed at the absence of this hallowed artifact. Furthermore, from an investment potential, while it is never a simple task to place a guarantee on any commodity, this offering provides low risk assurance for future prosperity based on the Economic 101 rule of “demand exceeding supply”. Therefore, it would be in any enthusiast’s best interest to strike now and place your winning bid, before you are paying six figures for the next available N302 “Anonymous”/Dunlop specimen that will forever reign as the “Holy Grail” of football card collecting!
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