Masterpieces and Uncommon Commons XXIV
This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 11/20/2009
All elite T206 collectors please get ready to “take a ticket” and stand in line; especially the absolute purists that will endlessly scour the market for every possible Hall of Fame subject with their various cigarette advertisements. Presented here is one of the hobby’s most unique artifacts; a T206 Walter Johnson “hands at chest” image with a spectacular “American Beauty Cigarettes” advertisement back! Furthermore, this example has been encapsulated in a PSA 5 holder making it the highest graded American Beauty “hands at chest” Johnson on both the PSA and SGC population reports! That is correct folks, PSA indicates only 4 American Beauty examples of this kind, with NONE at this lofty tier. Likewise, SGC’s only such variation reflects a “VG 3”. While this all sounds straight forward, there are the significant number of “unknown” graded copies within both grading company’s “pop” charts that could include a higher specimen. While no one can possibly distinguish the advertisement backs on the unknown copies, we can suggest that we have NEVER come across a higher graded Walter Johnson “hands at chest” American Beauty T206.
To own any pre-WWI cardboard artifact of the “Big Train” (as he was most commonly referred to) is every vintage collector’s goal, let alone a card that quite possibly stands as the best of its kind! Johnson’s accomplishments are virtually insurmountable, explaining why most baseball experts nominate him as the greatest pitcher who ever lived. 417 lifetime wins, over 3,500 strikeouts, a lifetime 2.17 ERA, and an incredible 110 shutouts (including 38 1-0 wins!) certainly substantiate this notion. Equally important, he succeeded the great Christy Mathewson as the game’s consummate professional and was idolized by thousands of aspiring young ballplayers. That is why it is virtually unfathomable to come across an opportunity to own one of Walter Johnson’s highest graded “type’ cards in existence! His classic “hands at chest” pose is un-improvable with striking color and vivid contrast, encompassed by a bold royal blue background. Typical with T206 American Beauty examples, the side borders are factory cut slightly short than the standard T206 card, with the immaculate image well centered between the smaller snow white borders. Four diminutively touched corner tips are consistent with the technical assessment, no major surface falws are evident, and the reverse side “American Beauty Cigarettes - 350 Subjects - Factory No. 25” bold green typography is completely intact. Considering all of the brilliant technical qualities presented in this museum worthy masterpiece, now is the time to come on board with the “Big Train” and claim ownership of what is, undeniably, one of his most eclectic and breathtaking T206 cardboard rarities!
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