2019 Summer Premium Live and Catalog Auction Lots 1-82 Close Aug 1- 83-end close 8/10
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Absentee portion of this auction is open for bidding.
The live portion of this session will begin Thursday, August 1, 2019 at 8:00 PM EDT.

For half a century the T-206 Honus Wagner tobacco card has been the face of the hobby, and its elusiveness has long been attributed to the great shortstop’s objection to his image being used to sell tobacco products. While this noble stand makes a great story, collectors and historians have long debated the truthfulness of this claim, as Wagner was a life-long chewing tobacco user, and his very first baseball “card” was produced by a cigar manufacturer. This card, advertising the “Henry Reccius Honus Wagner 10-cent Cigar, depicts Wagner as a member of the Louisville Colonels, his first major league ballclub.

That same photograph of Wagner was later used to promote a 5-cent cigar named for the Hall of Famer. Called “The Supreme 5-cent Cigar,” the box prominently displays Wagner’s name on the lid and likeness on the inside. Though this box was once believed to date to 1898-1901, subsequent research has shown that the tax stamp on the front of the wooden box dates this product to the 1919-1926 period. Though the contents have long since gone up in smoke and we do not know the specific origins of this particular brand of cigars, there is at least one newspaper story, found in the October 17, 1909 edition of the Gainesville Daily Sun that reads “Pirate followers are cutting the ‘figure eight’ today smoking ‘Hans Wagner’ cigars” after Pittsburgh won the World Series. This elusive box measures 9 x 5 x 3 inches and is in good condition with some paper loss to the labels and slight inward bow to the cover. A very desirable piece that visually dispels the belief that Honus Wagner was against lending his image to tobacco advertising.

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