1910 D322 Tip Top Bread Honus Wagner PSA 3 VG
In our treasured baseball card hobby, there are a handful of hallowed cardboard artifacts directly correlated to the root of the hobby's sheer existence, with the related value a direct result of their obscurity and historical significance. It is no secret that the pinnacle card personifying this characteristic is the majestic T206 Honus Wagner, with the sheer mention of this sanctified relic inspiring a literal "shortness of breath" to passionate collectors, justifying its "Holy Grail" title. Never could Carl Horner have imagined that his turn of the century portrait representation of the immortal Honus Wagner would ultimately become the central image on a card that would turn the collecting community upside down. While other popular cards do exist in the memorabilia circuit, NONE come close to the stature and prestige of the T206 Wagner, accounting for its stupendous value. The mystique of this card allegedly stems from Honus not wanting to advertise the use of tobacco or possibly not being paid enough (or at all) for tobacco companies printing his T206. Removed from production after a limited printing, a shortfall was created that resulted in a mere few in existence today. Interestingly enough, one of the cards that stands as a similar cardboard collectible as the hallowed T206 Wagner is his 1910 Tip Top Bread D322 issue that likewise portrays the classic Carl Horner pose.
While there are several Wagner issues including Carl Horner's sanctified Honus image, few match the rarity and photogenic likeness as the Tip Top Bread Wagner, regionally issued by the Pittsburgh Ward-Mackey Company in 1910 to commemorate the Pirates 1909 World Championship. Unlike most Wagner portrait cards, the Tip Top Bread headshot portrays the renowned Honus headshot turned towards the right side of the card, mirroring the T206 example (other examples portray Wagner's head turned left and are also more lithographic in nature). Moreover, the Tip Top Bread Wagner headshot appears to be the EXACT replica of the T206, the only difference being a slightly different size due to Tip Top's depicting an almost half body pose that includes "Pittsburg' across the uniform. With most high-end collectors unable to purchase the actual T206 Wagner, we would highly expect that the Tip Top Wagner will continue to climb up the charts with regard to its desirability and value, especially considering its extreme likeness to its iconic T206 Wagner brethren.
Presented here is a superb PSA 3 D322 Tip Top Bread Honus Wagner, with only 3 other specimens at this plateau and a mere 6 PSA examples graded higher. While the D322 condition sensitivity is surely justified by PSA's prestigious population report, even more incredible is the fact that its total 30 "pop" count currently stands at 5 specimens LESS than the 35 PSA encapsulated T206 Wagner's! Indeed, PSA has graded 5 more T206 Wagner's than the ultra-scarce Tip Top Honus, further substantiating its suppressed value that is bound to appreciate over time. The Tip Top's obscurity is due to its isolated Pittsburgh distribution to commemorate the Pirates 1909 World Championship, with any example highly coveted by enthusiasts based on the simple "right to own a copy" premise. While all four corners reflect "VG" wear between four somewhat soiled borders (predominately the upper left and upper borders), they still provide an aesthetically pleasing uniformity.
More significantly, the critical Wagner image portrays spectacular aesthetics with no glaring blemishes whatsoever. Set against an orange/green hued background that somewhat resembles the T206, the image favors the right edge, with the horizontal centering virtual "dead-on" 50/50. For full disclosure, a diagonal crease is situated near the upper left corner, and the verso's 25 player checklist is completely legible, with only some soiling situated along the upper region. In summary, we are certainly not suggesting that the Tip Top Bread Wagner will ever reach the stature achieved by Wagner's T206 marvel, for it is the T206 that will forever reside as the hobby's pinnacle cardboard collectible. The sole implication is amongst the myriad of pre-WWI Wagner cards exhibiting the Carl Horner portrait image, the Tip Top Wagner arguably stands as the closest depiction to the Flying Dutchman's immortal T206 image, with even less D322 PSA encapsulated copies available for the taking!
MIN BID $2,500