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  #1  
Old 11-22-2018, 10:21 AM
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Default "RESTORED" Wagner - how should we feel about this as collectors?

ML auction opened this week, there is some great stuff in there. Got my catalog in the mail yesterday. Was excited to see how the T206 Wagner did. Not a card I can afford, but always like watching the action on these.

The catalog had the regular write-up for a card of this caliber, which in my opinion has gotten so overdone. These cards don't need that level of description and hype, but that's a discussion for another day. What I didn't realize was just how extensive the "restoration" was on this card. The catalog doesn't show the back, but you can see it on the website. The back makes it much easier to see signs of just how much "grafting" of the borders was done. The description almost hypes the $14,000 spent fixing this thing up.

Sure - it looks nice I guess, but as a collector, this thing isn't REALLY a T206 any more.

I've been saying for years now that high end cards act much more like artwork when it comes to pricing, so maybe in some way this kind of thing was to be expected. However, at some level for me, this card has been so altered at this point, it's not really an "original" anymore. Using the artwork analogy, this seems more like a lithograph or a limited edition print than it does an original.

Or maybe think real estate - we can now just invest in some "remodeling" costs to make cards look better? I know there's other things like bleaching, etc. that have been done, not a fan of that either really but this was pretty extensive.

Just wondering how other people view this sort of restoration project.

EDIT: Added pictures of before and after, courtesy of t206resource.com


Last edited by bounce; 11-22-2018 at 07:22 PM.
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  #2  
Old 11-22-2018, 10:25 AM
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I agree 100%. What happened to the day when this sort of thing was frowned upon?? Maybe I’m too much of a purist, but even soaking for me is borderline.

The amount of money in the hobby these days ensures the “old days” of considering anything done to the card to improve condition being sac religious are gone.


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  #3  
Old 11-22-2018, 10:47 AM
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At least it has been fully disclosed! With the skyrocketing prices for high-end cards, there is too much at stake to believe that many (most?) PSA 8 and above pre-war cards have been altered to some degree or another without full disclosure.

I agree with the OP, cards are not like fine art or real estate that are enhanced by restoration. I prefer my cards to have a little wear and tear on them, it makes them more genuine. But I collect as a hobby, not as an investment, and I am not trying to beat the market.

I can see the interest in having an authentic sample of the hobby's most iconic card, even if it has been altered, for some collectors. It will be interesting to see how much this card brings versus recent low-quality, unaltered versions.
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  #4  
Old 11-22-2018, 10:55 AM
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I look at it more like restored cars with new parts vs a numbers matching survivor. I dont need my cards soaked, grafted, bedazzled, or recolored. The character is lost when you give them a tummy tuck.
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  #5  
Old 11-22-2018, 10:57 AM
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I actually think that this type of restoration is a sign of the hobby maturing. All others areas of collecting - art, cars, books, musical instruments - have fully embraced restoration. If we reconzize what we collect as beautiful and worthy of perseveration it is a natural step to do this type of work.
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  #6  
Old 11-22-2018, 11:03 AM
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There is still an obsession within the hobby to prevent any profiteering off of the enhancement and alteration of cards, even if those enhancements are so discreet that they are barely noticeable, or not noticeable at all. Collectors are willing to "punish" the card at auction with a deep price cut.

With that said, collectors don't seem to have a problem at all with the "natural" alterations, such as pinholes, dirt, or the creases from the kid who used the card as a bicycle spoke.

It's a philosophical problem. One of perception.
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  #7  
Old 11-22-2018, 11:12 AM
Throttlesteer Throttlesteer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SetBuilder View Post
There is still an obsession within the hobby to prevent any profiteering off of the enhancement and alteration of cards, even if those enhancements are so discreet that they are barely noticeable, or not noticeable at all. Collectors are willing to "punish" the card at auction with a deep price cut.

With that said, collectors don't seem to have a problem at all with the "natural" alterations, such as pinholes, dirt, or the creases from the kid who used the card as a bicycle spoke.

It's a philosophical problem. One of perception.
Perhaps, but the natural alterations tell a story. A grossly restored t206 does not; it becomes a piece, not a card.
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  #8  
Old 11-22-2018, 11:30 AM
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Perhaps, but the natural alterations tell a story. A grossly restored t206 does not; it becomes a piece, not a card.
What story can you possibly glean from a crease? That's just romantic gobbledygook, IMO.

The Wagner is a valuable commodity first, and a card second, and it should be thought of as such.
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  #9  
Old 11-22-2018, 11:33 AM
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1a & 1b are the after and before for this card:

http://www.t206resource.com/Wagner-Gallery.html

Here is a recap of what was done:

http://www.t206museum.com/page/perio...KJgXVTDKOQ1U2I
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  #10  
Old 11-22-2018, 08:55 PM
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Spot on, Anson. I am into collecting comics just about as deeply as cards, and the term "restored" is frequently used to describe books that are in some way (color, staples, "married" pages, etc) artificially "improved" to enhance appearance. As is proper, these comics do not command the price values of real books of the same issue and title. For those of you who convince yourself that "restoration" is okay because it is done with cars or books, consider that those objects can be made up of hundreds of separate pieces. Cards are just front and a back. Seems pretty cheap to "restore" something like the Wagner compared to restoring a 1940s Rolls Royce, doesn't it? Those of you who can convince yourselves it is okay won't be dissuaded. I, for one, wouldn't own a "restored" card- it is cheating ( it is just that other folks KNOW you are cheating). Sermon over.
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  #11  
Old 11-22-2018, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Jason19th View Post
I actually think that this type of restoration is a sign of the hobby maturing. All others areas of collecting - art, cars, books, musical instruments - have fully embraced restoration. If we reconzize what we collect as beautiful and worthy of perseveration it is a natural step to do this type of work.
+1

The hobby has matured in many ways the last 10 or so years...not all for the good...nut maturation has occurred!

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  #12  
Old 11-22-2018, 03:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason19th View Post
I actually think that this type of restoration is a sign of the hobby maturing. All others areas of collecting - art, cars, books, musical instruments - have fully embraced restoration. If we reconzize what we collect as beautiful and worthy of perseveration it is a natural step to do this type of work.
I agree, Jason. What makes cards different is the grading aspect, and most card collectors preoccupation with it for better or worse.
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  #13  
Old 11-22-2018, 07:30 PM
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Originally Posted by GaryPassamonte View Post
I agree, Jason. What makes cards different is the grading aspect, and most card collectors preoccupation with it for better or worse.
that's not entirely accurate. i believe restoration is pretty common for comic books isn't it?

i probably view restoring a comic as being somewhat different than what happened here, but it's also why i asked the question originally.

good discussion so far, obviously there is no "right" answer. however, if this sort of restoration work becomes more prevalent with cards, what does that lead to? somewhat loaded question obviously, since there are disclosure issues, TPA issues, among others.
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  #14  
Old 11-22-2018, 07:49 PM
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the nice thing about buying a card that has a border added is you're really getting two cards for the price of one.
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  #15  
Old 11-22-2018, 09:37 PM
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Originally Posted by bounce View Post
that's not entirely accurate. i believe restoration is pretty common for comic books isn't it?

i probably view restoring a comic as being somewhat different than what happened here, but it's also why i asked the question originally.

good discussion so far, obviously there is no "right" answer. however, if this sort of restoration work becomes more prevalent with cards, what does that lead to? somewhat loaded question obviously, since there are disclosure issues, TPA issues, among others.
I don't think there will ever be a "right" or "wrong" answer--just preferences, together with price differences between an original and restored version. IMHO, the latter will vary in proportion to the rarity, significance and popularity of the card.

Good thread,

Larry

Last edited by ls7plus; 11-22-2018 at 09:40 PM.
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  #16  
Old 11-22-2018, 09:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason19th View Post
I actually think that this type of restoration is a sign of the hobby maturing. All others areas of collecting - art, cars, books, musical instruments - have fully embraced restoration. If we reconzize what we collect as beautiful and worthy of perseveration it is a natural step to do this type of work.
+1. Nothing wrong with it as long as there is full disclosure, and in fact I too believe future collectors will embrace it on that basis. Not that such a restored example of any rare and valuable card will bring the $$ an original would in the same condition, but I think it will eventually be commonplace for such a restoration to be accepted as significantly more valuable than the rag it originally was. After all, who wants to brag they have a Wagner, but when asked to show it, they are too embarassed by it's supreme beater condition to even show it?

Just my humble opinion,

Larry
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  #17  
Old 11-23-2018, 07:18 AM
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Am not a fan of this at all. Where should one draw the line between restored and counterfeit?

I do wonder, if the owner was willing to do this to his card, why he didn't first cut it into 10 pieces and have the company turn them into 10 restored Wagners.

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  #18  
Old 11-23-2018, 07:21 AM
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Originally Posted by jason.1969 View Post
Am not a fan of this at all. Where should one draw the line between restored and counterfeit?

I do wonder, if the owner was willing to do this to his card, why he didn't first cut it into 10 pieces and have the company turn them into 10 restored Wagners.

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Or to sell it to a manufacturer as a relic card!


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  #19  
Old 11-23-2018, 08:05 AM
ClementeFanOh ClementeFanOh is offline
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Default RESTORED Wagner

Jason and Mike- ahh, the voices of reason! Thanks, guys. You gave voice to what I had trouble expressing late last night (too much turkey, I suppose). In the specific Wagner card that is the topic of this thread, the card is no better than a counterfeit. The original couldn't even be classified as a "card" anymore, it was a rag and thus not even "eligible" (in my mind, merely opinion) for slabbing in the first place. In this case the owner was honest enough to have it marked "restored"- although I think "reanimated" may be closer to the truth. What happens when/if someone does this, breaks it out, and passes it off as authentic- which it is NOT, no argument. It's a slippery slope...
As a comic fan who has an extensive collection, I can tell you I have exactly ZERO comics that have been "restored". The reasons are simple- the restorer had nothing to do with the production of the comic, and less ethical folks will try to pass them off as the real deal.
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  #20  
Old 11-23-2018, 10:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jason.1969 View Post
Am not a fan of this at all. Where should one draw the line between restored and counterfeit?

I do wonder, if the owner was willing to do this to his card, why he didn't first cut it into 10 pieces and have the company turn them into 10 restored Wagners.

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That's right, plant the seed.... That's actually a very good point. Either that or have a card company cut up a poor Wagner and then put them in packs like they do with uniforms and bats.

Fixing/filling a pin hole or adding a little color (black on an N300, for example) is one thing, completely reconstructing a card and adding a lot of material is completely different.
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  #21  
Old 11-23-2018, 11:50 AM
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Does anyone know the selling price of the card before it was restored?
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  #22  
Old 11-24-2018, 01:14 PM
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Some good comments and observations so far.

i was surfing around the internet this weekend, and saw several PSA cards marked
AUTHENTIC
ALTERED

Including things like markers to corners, color touch ups, etc.

I realize PSA put "RESTORED" on the Wagner, but wondering if most wouldn't agree that the card wasn't also "ALTERED"?

It was certainly recolored, along with the extensive work on the back.

I'd sure like to hear some commentary from PSA on how they ultimately made this flip determination.
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  #23  
Old 11-24-2018, 02:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bounce View Post
Some good comments and observations so far.

i was surfing around the internet this weekend, and saw several PSA cards marked
AUTHENTIC
ALTERED

Including things like markers to corners, color touch ups, etc.

I realize PSA put "RESTORED" on the Wagner, but wondering if most wouldn't agree that the card wasn't also "ALTERED"?

It was certainly recolored, along with the extensive work on the back.

I'd sure like to hear some commentary from PSA on how they ultimately made this flip determination.
You can’t restore the card without altering it. Restored is the only term you need.
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  #24  
Old 11-25-2018, 12:17 PM
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As a bit of a purist I like the ragged one better. But it's not by a longshot nor do I matter as I am not spending that kind of money (I don't have that kind of money) on a card. The market will decide. And at the moment it's about a 200k decision. I suspect it gets some more action but who knows? The restored copy looks pretty darned good from a scan on a monitor.

Quote:
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ML auction opened this week, there is some great stuff in there. Got my catalog in the mail yesterday. Was excited to see how the T206 Wagner did. Not a card I can afford, but always like watching the action on these.

The catalog had the regular write-up for a card of this caliber, which in my opinion has gotten so overdone. These cards don't need that level of description and hype, but that's a discussion for another day. What I didn't realize was just how extensive the "restoration" was on this card. The catalog doesn't show the back, but you can see it on the website. The back makes it much easier to see signs of just how much "grafting" of the borders was done. The description almost hypes the $14,000 spent fixing this thing up.

Sure - it looks nice I guess, but as a collector, this thing isn't REALLY a T206 any more.

I've been saying for years now that high end cards act much more like artwork when it comes to pricing, so maybe in some way this kind of thing was to be expected. However, at some level for me, this card has been so altered at this point, it's not really an "original" anymore. Using the artwork analogy, this seems more like a lithograph or a limited edition print than it does an original.

Or maybe think real estate - we can now just invest in some "remodeling" costs to make cards look better? I know there's other things like bleaching, etc. that have been done, not a fan of that either really but this was pretty extensive.

Just wondering how other people view this sort of restoration project.

EDIT: Added pictures of before and after, courtesy of t206resource.com

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Old 11-28-2018, 09:00 PM
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Just wondering how other people view this sort of restoration project.
I don't have a problem with restoration as long as full disclosure happens. People can spend their money how they see fit. Large-scale restoration is expensive and requires a great deal of skill to do well -- I don't see it being done for cards that the average collector could ever afford.

IMHO the hobby has quite a few more serious problems that are not going away any time soon.

Lesser alteration is much more widespread than restoration and it's been going on for a long time and is only going to be more prevalent in the future.

What I think is even more insidious and potentially crippling to the hobby is the proliferation of high-quality reprints and counterfeits. They are being more skillfully produced all the time and even artificially aged when needed. The day is not far off when almost all cards worth $100 or more that are traded or sold on the market will require third-party authentication. Some people say we're already at that point now. For those that are willing to pay the higher cost of graded cards it's not an issue; for collectors just wanting decent raw vintage cards at a decent price it's going to be a rocky road.

As long as people are willing to pay insane prices for small pieces of cardboard (mass-produced so not comparable to most fine art in that respect) then there will be those willing to provide what appears to be real but isn't. It's a target rich environment for the grifters. The people that restore cards with disclosure are not that.
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  #26  
Old 11-29-2018, 04:06 AM
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I don't have a problem with restoration as long as full disclosure happens. People can spend their money how they see fit. Large-scale restoration is expensive and requires a great deal of skill to do well -- I don't see it being done for cards that the average collector could ever afford.

IMHO the hobby has quite a few more serious problems that are not going away any time soon.

Lesser alteration is much more widespread than restoration and it's been going on for a long time and is only going to be more prevalent in the future.

What I think is even more insidious and potentially crippling to the hobby is the proliferation of high-quality reprints and counterfeits. They are being more skillfully produced all the time and even artificially aged when needed. The day is not far off when almost all cards worth $100 or more that are traded or sold on the market will require third-party authentication. Some people say we're already at that point now. For those that are willing to pay the higher cost of graded cards it's not an issue; for collectors just wanting decent raw vintage cards at a decent price it's going to be a rocky road.

As long as people are willing to pay insane prices for small pieces of cardboard (mass-produced so not comparable to most fine art in that respect) then there will be those willing to provide what appears to be real but isn't. It's a target rich environment for the grifters. The people that restore cards with disclosure are not that.
I agree that as long as there is full disclosure as to what was done to the card, to each his/her own as to the card's desirability and value. Collecting by its nature is subjective, and if someone gets pleasure out of owing such a card, what's wrong with that? That said, grading companies might want to consider making a fuller disclosure than simply referring to the card as "restored". As this thread amply demonstrates, restored has different meanings to different people. One remedy would be for the flip to show before and after images of the card, so the prospective purchaser would have more complete info as to what was done.

My biggest concern, which Dave's post well states, is the day is not far off (and may already be here) when reproductions will be so good that one will not be able to tell a counterfeit from an original. And I am not persuaded that grading companies will be able to tell either, at least not with their current methods. I believe in time provenance will matter more and more as to the value of a card, both as to whether the card has been altered and also as to whether the card is real.

Last edited by benjulmag; 11-29-2018 at 12:17 PM.
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  #27  
Old 11-29-2018, 09:43 AM
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I would consider this - to what degree is this a restored card. A little here, maybe little there, or a major complete 100% overhaul that bears absolutely positively no resemblance of the original? A filled pinhole, maybe ok, a corner press or soak also maybe ok, a tad of color added, ok. But I wouldn't touch this (knowing) with a 10 ft., er 100 ft. pole !
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Old 11-29-2018, 09:55 AM
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Default Where is the line drawn

I'm a purist when it comes to my personal collection. I want my cards to be authentic and unaltered. That being said, it's a free country and others can collect/spend their money however they want. the only things that have been worked more than this card are the Kardashian's and I-95. Do they draw the line at the name on the bottom border? If the bottom border was also gone, it is obviously a Wagner. What about a Doyle or Magie? Do I just send in a borderless one, pay the 14k or whatever and request the card I want? I'm certainly no whale in this hobby but I collect certain items because I enjoy them. Some a few dollars, some are many thousands. I was never looking to flip my cards or make money. I collect what I like and figured if I had to sell years later I could at least break even. I can only imagine the work being done to transform 7's into 8's and 8's into 9's and so on. Between this and the other thread about the fake signed T206's, I'm losing interest in this hobby.
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  #29  
Old 11-29-2018, 11:20 AM
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+1
I can't agree more.....I'm just like you.....

if we accept this as collectors, its hard to draw the line.....

almost like "manufacturing rarity".........if you want that, buy new cards


vintage cards should not be tampered with by altering, once that is done, the card has no more integrity than the seller
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  #30  
Old 11-29-2018, 02:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tothrk View Post
I'm a purist when it comes to my personal collection. I want my cards to be authentic and unaltered. That being said, it's a free country and others can collect/spend their money however they want. the only things that have been worked more than this card are the Kardashian's and I-95. Do they draw the line at the name on the bottom border? If the bottom border was also gone, it is obviously a Wagner. What about a Doyle or Magie? Do I just send in a borderless one, pay the 14k or whatever and request the card I want? I'm certainly no whale in this hobby but I collect certain items because I enjoy them. Some a few dollars, some are many thousands. I was never looking to flip my cards or make money. I collect what I like and figured if I had to sell years later I could at least break even. I can only imagine the work being done to transform 7's into 8's and 8's into 9's and so on. Between this and the other thread about the fake signed T206's, I'm losing interest in this hobby.

That's an excellent question!


Magies can probably be identified by particular flaws on the front/back. I haven't done much with the scans I've saved off lately, but there were specific things that I was seeing only on Magies


So that's a bigger question. How far to go in restoring?
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Old 11-29-2018, 03:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tothrk View Post
I'm a purist when it comes to my personal collection. I want my cards to be authentic and unaltered. That being said, it's a free country and others can collect/spend their money however they want. the only things that have been worked more than this card are the Kardashian's and I-95. Do they draw the line at the name on the bottom border? If the bottom border was also gone, it is obviously a Wagner. What about a Doyle or Magie? Do I just send in a borderless one, pay the 14k or whatever and request the card I want? I'm certainly no whale in this hobby but I collect certain items because I enjoy them. Some a few dollars, some are many thousands. I was never looking to flip my cards or make money. I collect what I like and figured if I had to sell years later I could at least break even. I can only imagine the work being done to transform 7's into 8's and 8's into 9's and so on. Between this and the other thread about the fake signed T206's, I'm losing interest in this hobby.
I think it is fair to say that with respect to the Magie or Doyle, inasmuch as the bottom border is what makes the card the variation it is, it is nonsensical to refer to that card as a Magie or Doyle Nat'l if it did not have the original bottom border and printing. Without it, the card's designation would be counterfeit, not restored.
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