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Extraordinary 1910 Honus Wagner Signature
Starting Bid - $400.00 , Sold For - $3,231.25
Offered is perhaps the finest Honus Wagner cut-signature example one could ever hope to obtain. Wagner's signature ("John H. Wagner") has been flawlessly scripted in black fountain pen on the reverse of a "J. Hans Wagner - Automobile Garage" preprinted receipt or form (5.5 x 5.5 inches) and grades a perfect "10." Ideally, Wagner has added the date, "Nov 15-10," above his signature and his team affiliation and position below, "Pittsburg B. B. Club - Short Stop." This particular cut-signature (which is far more substantial in every way than what is usually referred to as a "cut signature") is not only exceptional in grade but unique in that it is new to the hobby. It was discovered by an employee of Robert Edward Auctions during an initial evaluation of a vintage scrapbook containing mounted M101-2 Sporting News supplements and M116 Sporting Life cards (that scrapbook appears as a separate lot in this auction). At the time, our consignor was not aware that this cut was in the book. We found it! The scrapbook was originally given to him by his brother, an antiques dealer, in 1938 and he never bothered to closely examine a number of loose pieces contained in the book. Needless to say, this Wagner cut has never before been seen by today's collectors. Its provenance is further enhanced when one examines the opposite side of the sheet. The slip of paper is actually a piece of stationery from one of Wagner's business ventures in his hometown of Carnegie, Pennsylvania, and bears the preprinted letterhead "J. Hans Wagner - Automobile Garage." In addition to its unparalleled quality, this Wagner signature is all the more desirable in that it was penned in 1910 ("Nov 15 - 10") during the height of his legendary playing career. Wagner's signature, like that of most players, changed over time and this example represents a very early and rare style. Today, the overwhelming majority of Wagner signatures circulating within the hobby date from his coaching tenure with the Pirates (1933-1951). This sheet is a perfect candidate for grading and encapsulation. While we cannot guarantee what grade the signature would receive from any third-party grading service, we would be amazed if it received anything less than a perfect "10." The sheet, which has been neatly trimmed to its current dimensions (5.5 x 5.5 inches), is slightly toned and displays a horizontal fold (not affecting the signature) as well as a few slight creases and tiny border tears. In Very Good to Excellent condition overall. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $400. Estimate $800/$1,200. SOLD FOR $3,231.25
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