The T216 People’s Tobacco issues are the last of the Louisiana-based tobacco sets. Issued during the lengthy period between 1911 and 1916, the cards advertise either Kotton, Mino, or Virginia Extra brands, with Mino and Virginia Extra being the more scarce varieties. The cards are extraordinarily scarce today, with higher-grade commons reaching into the four-figure range on a regular basis, and Hall of Famers fetching considerably more.
Along with Ty Cobb and Christy Mathewson, the Honus Wagner serves as the issue’s anchor, the most valuable and desirable card of the issue. While population reports for this issue are unreliable as they do not accurately reflect either the different variations of the set’s cards or the three different backs, it is our belief that there are fewer than a half dozen graded Mino Wagners in existence – and while we understand and appreciate that so many long-time prewar collectors eschew grading in general, we feel that the population reports remain an excellent guideline when determining scarcity.
A quick scan of VCP reveals just four sales of this particular variation and does not include this example; the most recent sale of this variety was in a Barry Sloate auction in 2008 – a PSA 3 example that exceeded $9,000. Seven years later, we are proud to offer this example in our upcoming Winter catalog auction.
Graded GOOD 30 by SGC, the card actually boasts incredible eye appeal – wonderful centering and large, wide borders that exhibit the majority of the wear at the very edges and corners. The rare Mino Cigarettes back is virtually unblemished, with some very minor flaking at the “O” in “Mino” and some very minor edge wear. Quite a fantastic example indeed, a card that has historically made itself available at public auction only once every few years. One of the rarest and most desirable of all Wagner’s cards, from a highly collectible New Orleans issue.