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View Full Version : Interesting Provenance for High Grade Wagners


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07-14-2008, 04:38 PM
Posted By: <b>barrysloate</b><p>Lot #95 in the summer Mastro Auction is a PSA 5 MK Wagner, as most already know. I went online earlier and read the description. Included is a list of all known Wagners that would ostensibly grade Excellent or better, as well as a detailed provenance of all previous and current owners.<br /><br />While we haven't seen much of this in our hobby, it is commonly found in other collectibles fields, such as numismatics to name one. <br /><br />But what I find most interesting is that several collectors who prefer to keep a low profile in the hobby are now outed. And I spoke to one who was not aware such a list was even being put together.<br /><br />I think it is useful to know who owned certain cards, especially those as high profile as high grade Wagners. But this is the first time I have seen a list of current owners identified by name. Was any line crossed? I think it is okay to do what they did, but I also recognize they likely ruffled a few feathers. Any thoughts?

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07-14-2008, 04:43 PM
Posted By: <b>Jodi Birkholm</b><p>A terribly unwise decision in my estimation. What purpose does this even serve? Outside of "The" card (Gretzky/McNall), it's not as if anybody truly cares whether a Wagner was owned by Joe Blow or John Doe, as long as it's genuine.

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07-14-2008, 04:46 PM
Posted By: <b>barrysloate</b><p>I suggested they could have used terms such as "East Coast Collector", "Midwest Collector", etc. I know the names give more credibility to the list, but I too wonder why they needed to be that specific.

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07-14-2008, 04:51 PM
Posted By: <b>Matt</b><p>Maybe I missed it, but I didn't see anywhere in their description where they provide the provenance for the one they are auctioning. I guess that's probably because the consignor didn't want to be outed...

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07-14-2008, 04:55 PM
Posted By: <b>barrysloate</b><p>That's a good point Matt. That is the only party given anonymity.

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07-14-2008, 04:58 PM
Posted By: <b>Jodi Birkholm</b><p>The way I see it, there are two types of modern-day Wagner owners. It goes without saying that both types have entirely too much money. <img src="/images/happy.gif" height=14 width=14> One type of Wagner owner loves the spotlight and collects such pieces more for the bragging rights. Fittingly, we will call him "Type A". Type A would be more than happy if an auction house outed their prized holding--they get their picture in the paper ["You love me (vicariously, through my cardboard)! You REALLY love me (vicariously, through my cardboard)!"] The second type of collector collects more for his own enjoyment and wants such a card to enjoy it, and the rest of their collection, on a more personal basis. They didn't purchase their Wagner for the bragging rights that go along with it, and therefore would rather have such matters kept in confidence by those in the know.<br /><br />Of course there are other types of Wagner owners (investors, as well as those who purchased their copy for a lot less than the six to seven-figure hammer prices of today).

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07-14-2008, 05:11 PM
Posted By: <b>jeffdrum</b><p>Barry,<br />I think it serves no purpose @ all other than if the owners want to be outed, sort of Jodi's "Look at me" scenario. This card really does not have to be hard sold, does it?<br /><br />And Jodi, there's the other type of Wagner owner, Type C - the Heine Wagner owner, that's me.

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07-14-2008, 05:14 PM
Posted By: <b>Jodi Birkholm</b><p>Jeff,<br /><br />Heinie Wagner! <img src="/images/happy.gif" height=14 width=14> Do you ever think that he was confused with Butts Wagner (Honus' brother)?

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07-14-2008, 05:21 PM
Posted By: <b>JimB</b><p>I would have thought they would have checked with current owners to see if they minded. One of them has his card listed on the PSA registry, so I suppose that is fair game, but if it were me, I would have checked first. It is never a good business idea to piss off one's best customers.<br /><br />By the way, I think there are a lot of reasons why people who own Wagners have them. No need to fabricate caricatures based on little to no evidence.<br />JimB

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07-14-2008, 05:21 PM
Posted By: <b>Jay</b><p>Barry--Who are you concerned about on the list other than Corey? Seems like all the others are well known.

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07-14-2008, 05:28 PM
Posted By: <b>barrysloate</b><p>I'm not concerned about anyone. I was merely bringing up this topic because to my knowledge, this has never been seen in our hobby before.<br /><br />Others who were mentioned by name beside Corey were MacRae and the Fritsch estate, and I have no idea how they feel about it. Perhaps nobody cares, I don't know.

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07-14-2008, 06:27 PM
Posted By: <b>Steve</b><p>I saw that too. Not sure how I feel about it.<br /><br />Steve

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07-14-2008, 06:33 PM
Posted By: <b>rand</b><p>i thought it was a very interesting read on the changing hands of the cards. bill mastro had his hands on all of them it seems. pretty amazing. i will never meet any of those folks, but it is interesting. the 3 wagner find in the 1970's by one family was really amazing. i would have been interested to know the background of this card, as the story would have been a good read.

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07-14-2008, 06:38 PM
Posted By: <b>barrysloate</b><p>I never heard about that find of three Wagners either. What do you think the family got for them in the early 70's? Maybe $1500 apiece.

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07-14-2008, 06:40 PM
Posted By: <b>Jodi Birkholm</b><p>Fritsch paid either $1200 or $1500 for his in around 1972-73, so that estimate is likely spot on (provided the family was properly compensated). One friend told me that he was offered a Wanger for $500 in the late 1960's, but to him that seemed like a fortune at the time!

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07-14-2008, 06:46 PM
Posted By: <b>DD</b><p>"This treasured collectible's distinctive, large-size attribute, in combination with its sublime illustration and its praiseworthy state of preservation throughout, dictates that the offered piece stands as the 5th-, 6th-, or 7th- best of its kind known to exist. <br /><br />The foregoing claim relies on a body of scholarship that's too comprehensive to be recounted in a single description (though a sidebar is provided to substantiate it)."<br /><br />How about the 9 Wagner's that Alan Rosen claims to have handled? Even though all the provenance according to Mastro is not shown, I don't see Mr. Mint in there at once. Does this mean he never handled a Wagner better than any on the list?

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07-14-2008, 06:52 PM
Posted By: <b>barrysloate</b><p>Most of the Wagners that trade wouldn't make the list.

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07-14-2008, 06:59 PM
Posted By: <b>John</b><p>Barry you are not alone I agree...if this is without the other collectors nod I think it's in very poor form.

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07-14-2008, 07:26 PM
Posted By: <b>MVSNYC</b><p>"One friend told me that he was offered a Wanger for $500 in the late 1960's, but to him that seemed like a fortune at the time!"<br /><br />Jodi- i wouldn't pay $500 for a "Wanger" even today...<br /><br /><img src="/images/wink.gif" height=14 width=14>

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07-14-2008, 07:28 PM
Posted By: <b>Frank Wakefield</b><p>Barry- I think that the previous owner's identity should stay confidential so long as he wishes it so. If he was against disclosure, then yes, a line was crossed there.<br /><br />Jodi- some Wagner owners acquired their card years ago when the card was just difficult to locate, back when the card cost a lot, but not an outrageous amount, like today. Those guys don't have that much tied up in theirs. They may well not be independently wealthy, a Regulation D accredited investor, or the like... they just nabbed a Wagner when the nabbing was good. There aren't many of those guys, but there are a few, and they are a bit quiet about their cards, like the guy Barry mentioned.

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07-14-2008, 07:30 PM
Posted By: <b>davidcycleback</b><p>In the expensive fine art market a lot of stuff has been stolen, which is in part why knowing the provenance is essential when buying a Picasso or Modigliani painting. In some European countries, disclosing the ownership history is legally required for high end art because of the theft issues ... Obviously, good provenance simultaniously helps substantiate the artwork's authenticity.

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07-14-2008, 07:36 PM
Posted By: <b>MVSNYC</b><p>"One type of Wagner owner loves the spotlight and collects such pieces more for the bragging rights. Fittingly, we will call him "Type A". Type A would be more than happy if an auction house outed their prized holding--they get their picture in the paper ["You love me (vicariously, through my cardboard)! You REALLY love me (vicariously, through my cardboard)!"]"<br /><br />Jodi- i doubt there are many Wagner collectors who fit this profile...i'd imagine if a person plops down the bucks for a Wagner, they are true collectors and know what they are getting...<br /><br />the only owners that come to mind that fit your "Type A" are maybe Gretzky & McNall (just for bragging rights)...

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07-14-2008, 07:37 PM
Posted By: <b>Jodi Birkholm</b><p>Frank,<br /><br />Of course, and I did realize that. It seems as though my one reply in this thread was taken as being enitrely serious! Although I meant my generalizations to be tongue-in-cheek, I <i>do</i> feel that there is some truth contained within.<br /><br /><br />Sarno,<br /><br />That's cool. I know how you swing. <img src="/images/happy.gif" height=14 width=14>

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07-14-2008, 07:43 PM
Posted By: <b>DD</b><p>Nice choice by Mastro of not indicating the full provenance of # 1 on the list. I always assumed Santa left it for him. But, it would be nice to find out prior to Bob Sevchuk (I think that's his name from Blue Chip) where the card came from.

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07-14-2008, 08:35 PM
Posted By: <b>rand</b><p>going back to the post about Fritsch passing on a wagner in the 60's for $500... didnt he buy the psa 3 lindstrom (us caramel) for $70- 80,000+ ? also i believe lionel carter passed on a wgner because he thought $150 was to high.....

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07-14-2008, 08:40 PM
Posted By: <b>Jodi Birkholm</b><p>You should re-read my post. The Fritsch story and the $500 Honus were two different incidents.

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07-14-2008, 08:41 PM
Posted By: <b>Steve Dawson</b><p>"I would have thought they would have checked with current owners to see if they minded. One of them has his card listed on the PSA registry"<br /><br /><br /><br />JimB...<br /><br />Actually, there are three Wagners in the PSA Set Registry, in the T206 Hall of Famers sets (2 sets are at 100% and another isn't complete, but the Wagner is there).<br /><br />Steve

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07-14-2008, 10:52 PM
Posted By: <b>JimB</b><p>Steve,<br />I was referring to one of the cards mentioned in the Mastro catalogue. The others are not ex or better.<br />JimB

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07-15-2008, 02:24 PM
Posted By: <b>Jon Canfield</b><p>In terms of Wagners and especially high grade Wagners, I thought Hagar owned one (or still does) that was extremely high grade. I was told directly by Hagar that the one pictured on the front of his book was his own. Any ideas as to where that Wagner is? Has it ever been graded?

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07-16-2008, 04:06 PM
Posted By: <b>Jason L</b><p>"A terribly unwise decision in my estimation. What purpose does this even serve? Outside of "The" card (Gretzky/McNall), it's not as if anybody truly cares whether a Wagner was owned by Joe Blow or John Doe, as long as it's genuine"<br /><br />I can think of one other Joe that I would definitely want to know if he was a previous owner!!! If so, no go.<br /><img src="/images/happy.gif" height=14 width=14><br />