An anonymous East Coast collector purchased the card from Robert Edward Auctions. According to the auction house’s website, the T206 baseball card was issued between 1909 and 1911 with packs of cigarettes. The auction card was discovered in 1973 in New York City and was “one of the earliest (if not the first) documented public auctions of a Wagner.” It was then sold for $ 1.2 million in 2012, with its valuation having risen significantly since then.
“The rarity and legend of the T206 Honus Wagner, coupled with the quality of this example, excited bidders who recognized that it could be a very long time before such an opportunity presented itself again,” said Robert Edward Auctions in a press release.
The card was released as Wagner was on the verge of winning his seventh batting title and about to lead the Pirates to their first World Series victory. He holds such a place in baseball history that he has his own Cooperstown Hall of Fame plaque.
Perhaps the most remarkable thing about this baseball card is that it is one of the rarest in existence. The auction house said it “would not be at all surprising if this example was the last of the top Wagner’s to appear publicly at auction for many years to come.”
Collectibles, such as comics and trading cards, are gaining more and more value for investors. For example, an “extremely rare” copy of a comic book that first featured Superman sold in April for $ 3.25 million.