Presented is an extraordinary example of one of card collecting's most legendary rarities: the T206 Ty Cobb with "Ty Cobb" back. The offered example has the incredible distinction of originating from the famous "Lucky 7 Find," which refers to a grouping of seven Ty Cobb with "Ty Cobb" back cards found in 2016 by a noncollecting family in a paper bag while sorting through family possessions in the southeastern United States. None of these seven cards was known to exist previously, which coupled with a few other finds in recent years, brings the approximate number of confirmed examples to nearly two dozen. This exciting find served to increase the profile of the Ty Cobb with "Ty Cobb" back card and bring one of the hobby's most legendary and revered rarities to the forefront in the minds of collectors and noncollectors alike. Each of the seven cards from the "Lucky 7 Find" was professionally graded and encapsulated by PSA and pedigreed as originating from the find. Grading of the cards yielded the highest-graded example on record, a stunning VG-EX+ 4.5, along with one VG+ 3.5, four GOOD+ 2.5s, and a single FAIR 1.5.
Offered here is the latter example, but do not let the modest assigned grade fool you! The seven "find" cards were immediately heralded for their exceptional color, flawless registration (which can sometimes be a problem with this card), and crisp advertising print, an extremely important quality with this card. Because so few Ty Cobb with "Ty Cobb" back cards exist in total, it is easy to look up images of most other known examples, almost all of which have been sold at auction over the years. It is immediately apparent that the "Lucky 7 Find" cards are brighter, crisper, and more flawlessly registered than almost every other known example. This is especially true with the offered card, which possesses a flawless image of Cobb set against a brilliantly bold deep red background. The card is well centered with light, honest wear at the corners. It compares extreme favorably with the GOOD+ examples from the find but has been downgraded due to very minor creasing along the bottom border, underneath the Cobb nameplate, which has also caused a small area of stock loss. This is of no consequence whatsoever, in our opinion, when reviewing the card's incredible overall visual appeal. The important "Ty Cobb" brand back is entirely clean and boldly printed in green ink, which is of course of monumental significance on an ideal Ty Cobb card with "Ty Cobb" Tobacco back.
This card, along with the other six cards from the find, was offered for sale privately by a representative of the family immediately upon the cards' return from professional grading in early 2016. It appeared for the first time at public auction as Lot #1 in REA's Fall 2016 sale, realizing an auction record price of $192,000, on behalf of a collector who purchased it in the first hours of availability following the find. Now, three years later, we are offering it again on behalf of the winner from the 2016 auction. It is our opinion that this find served to increase the stature and value of the T206 Ty Cobb with "Ty Cobb" back in the years following the find, and will continue to do so into the future, as a result of the increased availability of, and increased attention to, this iconic rarity. The Ty Cobb with "Ty Cobb" back is several times rarer than the legendary T206 Honus Wagner, a card that has consistently risen in value in all grades throughout the years. While T206 Ty Cobb with "Ty Cobb" back cards have realized strong prices, especially in the last several years (including $408,000 for the PSA 3.5 example from the find and the $154,050 sale of a PSA 1 example in REA's Spring 2014 auction, which originally realized $22,224 in REA's 1997 auction), it is a card that we view as still undervalued given its extreme rarity and the fact that it features one of the premier baseball Hall of Famers as part of the most popular and widely collected prewar-card set ever produced. Cards of Ty Cobb from the T206 set are among the most recognizable of all vintage cards, and they are on almost every single list compiling the greatest cards ever issued. Over the last several years, cards of all top-tier Hall of Famers, including Cobb, have enjoyed a tremendous appreciation in prices realized, with the finest examples and rarest examples driven to unparalleled heights. T206 Cobbs are never going out of style with collectors, and a top-quality example of the rare Ty Cobb with "Ty Cobb" back combines all the important elements of name recognition and extreme rarity. The seven examples from the "Lucky 7 Find" represent the finest ever discovered, and the offered example represents, in our opinion, the greatest value of the seven cards as it shares an almost identical display value with the higher-graded examples.
A T206 Ty Cobb with "Ty Cobb" back is one of tobacco-card collecting's greatest prizes in any grade. This is an exceptionally attractive card that, as can easily be seen, presents at a level that is superior to many of the known examples that do not originate from the “Lucky 7 Find.” Exactly how these cards were distributed has always remained one of the great mysteries of the card-collecting world. The T206 set is the premier set of the era and the single most significant and widely collected of all baseball-card sets. A strong case can be made that the T206 Ty Cobb with "Ty Cobb" back should be assigned its own catalog number as a "one-card set," but due to its great similarity to the T206 series, this card has always been considered a T206. This is an exceptional example with tremendous eye-appeal of one of card collecting's most significant rarities originating from one of card collecting's most iconic finds! Reserve $50,000. Estimate (open).