Ultra-Scarce Honus Wagner Pinkerton T5 #853 "Fielding Pose" Cabinet (SGC VG/EX 4) – "1 of 2"; Only One Example Graded Higher on the Combined SGC & PSA "Pop" Charts!
No one will argue that the T206 Honus Wagner tobacco marvel stands as the hobby's true "Holy Grail". While the T206 Wagner is unquestionably scarce (roughly 60 known examples), other c.1910's cardboard issues far surpass its obscurity, including this incredible 1911 T5 #853 "Fielding Pose" of the Flying Dutchman that has only been bested by a single example on the combined SGC and PSA "Pop" Charts, for all of Wagner's T5 subjects! The "T5" Pinkerton Cabinets issued in 1911 are among the scarcest and most valuable cabinet cards in existence, with only five Wagner subjects listed on all professional grading services' census reports for BOTH of his hallowed images (batting & fielding). An original silver gelatin photo is affixed to a cardboard mount, substantiating why T5 Pinkerton's are considered "true" cabinet cards from that by-gone era.
Pinkerton was the parent company for Red Man and other tobacco products, and offered the cabinets in exchange for what is believed to be 10 different coupons found in cigarette packs. Advertising sheets from that era indicate that 376 different photographs were available from the 16 Major League teams and various minor league organizations, but hobbyists speculate this number could conceivably surpass 500 specimens. Most of the photos measure approximately 3-3/8" x 5-1/2" with the thick cardboard mounts measuring some 4-3/4" x 7-3/4; however, sizes do tend to vary. One of the many outstanding attributes of this issue is that it includes all of the period's legendary baseball stars including Cobb, Wagner, Mathewson, "Shoeless" Joe, Johnson, Young, etc., just to mention a few. Due to the extraordinary mystique of Wagner's T206 marvel, all of his early cardboard subjects are highly coveted by the collecting community, and this T5 rarity surely resides as one of his most elusive and breathtaking issues.
Most historians place Hans Wagner as their "all-time" shortstop, with this 3,000-hit member and slick fielder a 1936 Charter member of baseball's illustrious Hall of Fame. Legendary field-general John McGraw always insisted Wagner was the greatest ballplayer he ever saw, an extremely bold statement since McGraw witnessed the exploits of Ruth, Cobb and Jackson throughout his managerial career. Hans is portrayed leaning over to effortlessly scoop up another ground ball, with the classic sepia-toned clear image slightly faded and revealing a small degree of surface spotting. The borders are clean with sharp corners, except for a little rumpling at the upper right edge. The cardboard mount has handling wear along the perimeter, and the blank verso has evidence of small amounts of paper flaking near the top and bottom. One of Wagner's most elusive and remarkable c.1910 keepsakes, it effectively turns back the clock to an era when the Pirates superstar shortstop depicted his unequivocal world-class skills on a virtual daily basis, enamoring his captivated fan base at a pinnacle level reserved for only a handful of our National Pastime's most immortal players!
MIN BID $5,000