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1916 Tango Eggs PSA-Graded Near-Complete Set (16 of 18) #1 PSA Registry!

  • Sold For: $58,750
  • Year: 1916
  • Auction: 2007 spring
  • Lot #: 358
  • Auction Category: Prewar Baseball Cards (1900-1941)

Presented is the most extraordinary collection in existence direct from one of vintage-card collecting's most legendary finds: the Tango Eggs card find of 1993. The near-set is comprised of sixteen of the eighteen cards known to exist (missing only Cobb and Schaefer for completion). It is the number-one set on the PSA Registry and will likely remain in that position forever. Included are sixteen of the eighteen different cards known to exist of 1916 Tango Eggs, all purchased by our consignor direct from the family who owned the entire original find, and all graded and encapsulated by PSA. Included are the highest-ever graded examples of twelve cards, and the only known examples from the find of three cards (Felsch, Evers, and Morgan). The PSA grading report is as follows: Seven NM-MT 8: Bob Bescher ([OC], none graded higher), Eddie Collins (HOF, one graded at this level with none higher), Red Dooin (none graded higher), Hughie Jennings (HOF, none graded higher), Billy Meyer ([OC], one graded at this level with none higher; this card actually pictures Fred Jacklitsch), Danny Murphy (one of only two at this level with none higher), and Buck Weaver (Black Sox, none graded higher; this card actually pictures Joe Tinker). Two NM 7: Hal Chase (none graded higher) and George McQuillen (one graded at this level with only two higher). One EX-MT 6: Ray Morgan (only one ever graded; this card actually pictures Mike Doolan). Four EX 5: Roger Bresnahan (HOF, one graded at this level with none higher), Al Bridwell (one graded at this level with only one higher), Happy Felsch (Black Sox, only one ever graded; this card actually pictures Ray Demmitt), and Heinie Zimmerman (one of only two at this level with none higher). One VG-EX 4: Sam Crawford (HOF, only one ever graded). One VG 3: Johnny Evers (HOF, only one ever graded). Many myths surround the Tango Eggs card find. Few card issues are characterized by as much intrigue and mystique. Most vintage collectors are aware that there was a big find of cards many years ago, and that the distribution of players among these cards was very uneven. As the years have gone by, the exact circumstances, the exact quantities found, even the exact players which were included in the find, have been remembered differently by different people, leaving a misty trail of fact and fiction which has been repeated and sometimes exaggerated, both as the story has been passed on verbally from collector to collector, and in print. Memories fade and people can be mistaken. Everyone knows that different witnesses to the same event can often be completely sincere but give conflicting reports. The same goes for some great card finds of years ago. We believe that it is possible that Tango Brand Eggs cards that are unique have been documented as one of several examples known, and Tango Brand Eggs cards that don't even exist have been checklisted (Wagner and Tinker). When the Tango Eggs cards were discovered by a family whose grandparents were merchants in the New Orleans area, there were a total of approximately 500 cards (some reports suggest 700+ cards), but with extremely poor distribution. There were, for example, well over 100 examples each of Bescher and Jennings (representing by some accounts over half of the entire find), but only one to four examples each of seven other cards. Before the find, to the best of our knowledge, there was never a single card from the Tango Brand Eggs set ever seen in the collecting world, and to the best of our knowledge, not a single additional Tango Brand Eggs card has surfaced since. Our consignor purchased these cards direct from the find, which was sold over a period of several years, when these cards were still in the possession of the original family members. We are fortunate to be able to present significant firsthand information about the find directly from the find family in the form of a letter provided to our consignor. The letter, dated January 27, 1995, and signed by all four members of the family whose grandparents originally owned the cards, details the circumstances of the find, including information relating to how many of each card were in the find. According to the letter, there were exactly eighteen different cards (as opposed to the twenty different subjects reported on checklists), and there were four cards in which a quantity only of one card was found (as opposed to three examples each of Felsch and Morgan as often reported). This near-set includes three of these four unique cards (Evers, Morgan, and Felsch). If the family's 1995 statement documenting the quantities of each card in the find is accurate, this written declaration defines exactly what players exist and how many of each exist of the lowest population cards. The letter does not list Honus Wagner or Joe Tinker, though Wagner and Tinker are listed on all Tango Eggs checklists. There is also no second pose of Cobb according to this letter, though some collectors have reported that this card also exists. No additional examples of Morgan and Felsch have been confirmed to exist, though legend has it that three examples exist of each. Based on the letter from the family, only one example each of Morgan and Felsch exists and they are here, included in this collection. Is it possible that Tango Eggs cards of Wagner and Tinker and others that appear to many to be rumours - the baseball card equivalent of an "urban myth" - actually exist but are for some reason are impossible to verify in any way? Absolutely! Anything is possible. REA is in no way intending to be disrespectful or questioning the sincerity of some of the hobby's most highly respected card historians who believe that cards of Wagner, Tinker, and the others in question do, in fact, exist. We acknowledge that this is a possibility, but think this is less likely than collectors remembering cards in error, or repeating mistaken accounts of the existence of cards that do not exist. We are hereby offering a $100,000 reward - yes, a reward! - if the Tinker, Wagner, and the two additional examples of Morgan and Felsch (six cards in total) can be produced for our inspection prior to the close of this auction, and are graded by PSA for authenticity (we will pay for grading as well). We're taking a risk, but a small one, we think. At the very least, we have highlighted that what cards actually exist in some rare card issues, and are even listed in guides, are sometimes clouded by uncertainty. By all accounts this near-complete set of all known cards (missing only Cobb and Schaeffer) is the most complete collection of the Tango Brand Eggs cards in existence. A copy of the 1995 letter from the family as well as two checks written by the consignor directly to family members in payment for the cards accompanies. This is literally a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to acquire the definitive collection of Tango Brand Eggs, one of vintage card collecting's most fascinating rarities. Total 16 cards. Reserve $5,000. Estimate $10,000+. SOLD FOR $58,750.00

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