Masterpieces and Uncommon Commons XLIV
This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 10/5/2012
Over the past year, T206 mania has swept the card collecting industry with the 100-year anniversary elevating these highly desirable tobacco cards to a stratospheric level with elite enthusiasts seeking the premier T206 examples in circulation. If you just happen to be an advanced T206 high-grade collector, then this remarkable PSA 8 “portrait” Fred Clarke Piedmont Cigarette offering is the card for you. Consider that only a single other Piedmont Cigarette specimen exists at this hallowed tier with a SOLE example graded higher for ALL ad backs! Furthermore, attaining any PSA 8 T206 card is tough enough, let alone a Hall of Famer with only 1.6% of the total 144,000+ PSA encapsulated examples achieving this lofty assessment as well as a meager 0.2% graded higher! Hall of Famer Fred Clarke batted a stellar .312 lifetime over a 21 year career with both the Louisville Colonels and Pittsburgh Pirates. In addition, he managed both the Louisville and Pittsburgh clubs from 1897 – 1915, racking up over 1,600 wins and serving as the incomparable Honus Wagner’s manager most of his career. Clarke is one of the few Cooperstown inductees that could have been inducted as either a player or manager, and likewise, his representation on this breathtaking card reflects all of the qualities required for a Cooperstown worthy baseball card. The ultra-desirable classic Carl Horner portrait pose depicts unequivocal facial tints, contrast and focus, ably assisted by a flawless crimson red background. Although the central image favors the upper right edges, the flawless central image, blinding white borders, and extremely sharp corner tips more than offset the off-centering issue. Further complimenting this near pristine example is the bold mid-night blue “Piedmont Cigarette 150 Subjects” reverse side advertisement, the final compliment to a century old card that radiates most of the pristine qualities associated with a “pack-fresh” card. While the possibility of an existing microscopic blemish certainly exists, it is hard to imagine any T206 specimen possibly equaling the sheer brilliance emanating from this virtually supreme rarity. Unquestionably, any “World-Class” T206 collection would gladly welcome this Fred Clarke masterpiece as one of its finest keepsakes!
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