Spring 2020 Premier Auction - Closes April 11
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 4/12/2020

The T206 Ty Cobb with the reverse advertising Ty Cobb brand smoking tobacco is one of the most sought-after rarities in the hobby.  The T206 issue is easily the most popular and widely-collected of all the prewar baseball card issues, and the "Cobb with Cobb back" is one of the most important and desirable cards in the entire set.  Cobb is, of course, one of the most important players of his era, with four unique poses in the T206 issue.  Though the "Red Background" is found the most frequently of the four, the Cobb with the Ty Cobb Smoking Tobacco advertisement on the reverse is one of the key rarities of the issue, a card many collectors will live their lives without holding or seeing in person.

Long considered one of the most important cards of the tobacco era, the T206 Cobb with "Ty Cobb" back has seen an increase in visibility in recent years, thanks to an exceptional 2016 find of eight examples of the card, all discovered among the belongings of a southern family, tucked away inside a paper bag.  The story generated significant news coverage as seven of the cards were dubbed "The Lucky 7 Find" (the family elected to keep the eighth card as a memento of the exciting discovery).  Prior to the discovery of these cards, just fifteen examples of the T206 Cobb with "Ty Cobb" back were thought to exist.  The increase in population and the flurry of news coverage served to heighten awareness of the card, and sales of those seven cards - through a combination of private transaction and public auction - saw record prices as the cards were absorbed into the hobby during the ensuing years.  Despite the influx of eight new examples into the hobby, the card remains as desirable and highly prized as ever.

Presented here is a recently-discovered example which was introduced to the hobby nearly two years ago, bringing the total number of known T206 Cobb with Cobb backs to approximately 24.  The card has been graded POOR 1, as the majority of the surviving examples remain at the lower end of the grade scale.  As with all extreme rarities in the hobby, the technical grade of the card is of little importance, but in this case, of particular note is the fact that the striking, green "Ty Cobb" ad printed on the reverse remains bold and visible, despite some visible surface dirt and wear.  While heavy creasing and corner wear is visible on the card front, the showpiece remains that special ad on the reverse.

The card sits in a class by itself as one of the T206 issue's most important rarities, with the two dozen known examples bearing a striking contrast to approximately 65 known examples of the legendary T206 Honus Wagner card, the most valuable and legendary card in the hobby.  The parallels between the Wagner and the Cobb with "Ty Cobb" back are significant: perhaps the two greatest (and most widely-collected) position players of the deadball era, both cards offer striking portrait artwork, and an unsolved mystery regarding their distribution.  The Cobb is, however, significantly more rare than the Wagner - so rare, in fact, that it is debated by some as to whether or not the card should even be considered a T206!  Cooler heads typically prevail, however, and the Cobb remains on T206 checklists, rendering a fully-complete master set or Cobb back run possible to no more than 24 collectors.  An outstanding example of one of the hobby's most important cards.

The reserve has been met on this card.

1909-11 T206 Ty Cobb (HOF - Red Background) w/Ty Cobb Back - Recently Discovered1909-11 T206 Ty Cobb (HOF - Red Background) w/Ty Cobb Back - Recently Discovered
1909-11 T206 Ty Cobb (HOF - Red Background) w/Ty Cobb Back - Recently Discovered
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Current Bidding (Reserve Has Been Met)
Minimum Bid: $25,000
Final prices include buyers premium.: $84,042
Number Bids: 13
Auction closed on Sunday, April 12, 2020.
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