Lot #8006
1904-11 W600 Sporting Life Cabinet Honus Wagner - SGC 1 (Type 4)

This lot has closed

Estimate: $8000+

Description

We dare not attempt to compare value of the offered card to the Mona Lisa of baseball cards, the famed T206 Wagner, but in the terms of population, a W600 Sporting Life Cabinet of Wagner in uniform is by far rarer and seen in far fewer auctions or collections.

Famed photographer Carl Horner originally shot the most recognized image on a baseball card sometime after 1900, and based upon Wagner's appearance in age, we surmise the image is closer to 1909. The W600 portrait in uniform is the exact same photograph used by Sweet Caporal for the famed T206 card. Sporting Life offered its cabinets for sale as premiums by mail-in offer, while T206s were inserted for free in packs of cigarettes. We also speculate the Sporting Life Cabinet was probably offered before the T206 card but due to cost (10 cents was a lot to pay for a baseball card over a hundred years ago), distribution was very limited as few were seen today. These cabinet cards are substantial premiums, 5.25 x 7 inches, printed on thick stock with subtle embossing on the borders. Absolutely beautiful miniature artworks, which due to their size, didn't hold up well to decades of storage and moving.

Sporting Life offered many of the players in two poses, street clothes or uniform, and among collectors the uniform cards command a premium. But the jumbo twin of the T206 "Holy Grail" Wagner is arguably the most desirable if all the W600 Sporting Life Cabinets. The offered card is on a Type 4 mount and is one of two Wagner's graded by SGC. While there is significant wear to the mount garnering the appropriate SGC 1 grade, the famed portrait image is dominant, and obviously the essence of any baseball card, but never more so than with this iconic piece.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Sports
  • Dates: #542 - Ended February 21, 2019