Masterpieces and Uncommon Commons XLII
This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 7/20/2012
The 1911 T205 Gold Border Tobacco cards are widely considered the most artistically ornate cards ever issued due to their gold embossed borders, unique color hues and baseball diamond designs. Unfortunately, due to their gold borders being extremely susceptible to surface wear and/or flaking, they are among the most condition sensitive vintage cards in the hobby with near mint specimens few and far between. Other than the famous “Hoblitzell error card”, the set’s most desirable and valuable subject is the fiery Tiger’s Hall of Fame outfielder Tyrus Raymond Cobb, and it is his astounding T205 specimen offered here in a seldom surfacing PSA 6 holder. While an “EX-MT-6” grade may not lead to avid enthusiasts “skipping a beat”, due to the aforementioned T205 gold border flaking, technically assessed examples at this plateau or higher are few and far between. Substantiating that notion is the PSA population report indicating only 2.3% of the Cobb subjects carrying a higher technical assessment, with nearly 93% of the approximate 440 encapsulated Cobb specimens falling short of this brilliant PSA 6 offering! The “Georgia Peach” is one of baseball’s five Hall of Fame 1936 charter members, and one of the greatest “5 tool” players in baseball history. His unparalleled .367 lifetime batting average reigns supreme, as well as his 12 uncontested batting titles, of which 9 were achieved in consecutive seasons from 1907 thru 1915. Adding to his legacy was his overall vitality, playing each and every game as if it was his last, undoubtedly leaving him as the fiercest competitor the game has ever seen.
Avid T205 set collectors completely understand that the negative aspect of gathering these artistic cardboard gems is the consistent poor eye appeal associated with the typically surface worn gold borders. For that reason alone, elite enthusiasts actively pursue examples retaining a majority of the border color, with most of these assigned to “EX-MT-6” or superior holders. Unfortunately for any subject in the set, let alone one representing the immortal Ty Cobb, it is an excruciating task to ascertain specimens carrying aesthetically pleasing gold borders, justifying why this spectacular Cobb memento seldom surfaces in the hobby. Cobb’s hallowed T205 portrait image is virtually immaculate via its sparkling facial tints, set against a robust red/green shaped baseball diamond that reveals no glaring surface flaws. More significantly, the only gold border chipping evident appears at the utmost corner tips, with the classic Cobb illustration well-centered “top-to-bottom” and slightly favoring the right edge. The corners still exhibit nearly all of their original right angle shapes, and the reverse side “Piedmont Cigarettes” advertisement and brief Cobb biography are completely intact. In closing, only ten of the PSA encapsulated T205 Cobb’s have managed to surpass this cardboard masterpiece’s assigned grade, a remarkable fact considering its “EX-MT 6” assessment and a perfect testament to the unequivocal condition sensitivity associated with the renowned T205 Gold Border issue!
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