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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
Throttlesteer Throttlesteer is offline
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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
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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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Originally Posted by Throttlesteer View Post
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, 11:51 AM
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That 1a/1b job is not a restoration, that's a huge reconstruction.

I suppose if the card is doctored and then sold it would only be right if the before/after pictures are disclosed during the auction or prior to the private sale.

How would you feel if the front was used but the back was completely changed with a period back?

I'm not against restoration/reconstruction as long as there is full disclosure. Perhaps this is a turning point in the hobby where this is going to be more widely accepted and common place.

Does anybody know how many hours were spent on the Wagner ($14K) reconstruction job?
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  #11  
Old 11-22-2018, 11:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jobu View Post
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
Jobu - Thanks for posting this, I was hoping someone knew where a picture of the original was.

Yes, they disclosed the card had work done to it, but the side by side gives a much better indication of just HOW EXTENSIVE that work was, not just on the borders but on the back.

Anyone want to change their opinion now?!?!

Jason19th - I thought about this and was wondering if someone might suggest it's a sign of the hobby maturing. I'm not sure I agree, but it is something to consider. I think it's a very complicated issue, especially if the concept of these being "commodities" is going to continue.

I do worry that while these sorts of issues have certainly brought more interest and money into the hobby, it's not necessarily improved education and knowledge. For permanent sustainability, I think it all needs to go hand in hand.
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  #12  
Old 11-22-2018, 12:12 PM
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Default I was

going to start a thread just like this....


I agree 100% .... with poster
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  #13  
Old 11-22-2018, 12:13 PM
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That's a pretty cool web page with the different Wagner's shown in pre-restoration and pre-slabbed states.

Is there a reason the McNall/Gretzky Wagner isn't shown side by side with the uncut panel and the slabbed card?
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  #14  
Old 11-22-2018, 12:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SetBuilder View Post

The Wagner is a valuable commodity first, and a card second, and it should be thought of as such.
And you've made my point.
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  #15  
Old 11-22-2018, 12:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SetBuilder View Post
The Wagner is a valuable commodity first, and a card second, and it should be thought of as such.
The Wagner, as is any sports card, is many things to many people. I'm not sure it's helpful to portray any card as solely one thing first and all else second.

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 don't have an answer, but this makes me wonder why the sports card hobby
HAS to follow the lead of other hobbies when it comes to restoration. I'm sure there are differences, perhaps subtle or not, in how each of the other hobbies you mentioned handles restored works (not to mention differing reasons for the restorations). But there's nothing that should dictate that sports cards follows suit and plays by another hobby's book.
I think (stress: think) that it's probably a sign of the health of the hobby that there are enough people to be on various sides of the restoration debate. And I hope that there is enough respect for those who are against restoration, of which there are a large number, that all restoration work is divulged. If that can happen, I think both sides can be happy.
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  #16  
Old 11-22-2018, 01:15 PM
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I don't have any issue with the restoration. It is fully disclosed and the card looks 1000% times better now.
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  #17  
Old 11-22-2018, 01:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SetBuilder View Post
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.
+1
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  #18  
Old 11-22-2018, 01:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jobu View Post
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
Wow thats not a touch up thats a recreation. I think id rather keep it the way it was

I dont know... taking tobacco off the back, retouching a scrape on the front, even slight a trim maybe, but just creating a card on over an origional isnt what id like
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  #19  
Old 11-22-2018, 01:27 PM
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I think all of us would prefer an unrestored to a restored copy of a card. However, sometimes because of price or rarity this is impossible. In those cases I am fine with restored copies. The Wagner is nice looking and will sell for a fraction of what a similar appearing unrestored copy would sell for, bringing it into the availability of more collectors. This is not the only restored copy of a rare card in s current auction. LOTG has a restored Ward Four Base Hits in it's auction ending Saturday. In this case it is literally the only way for a collector to get the card. There are two known copies and the unrestored copy, which sold for between $150,000 and $200,000 in a private sale, is buried in an advanced collection and not coming out. In both cases and others, the restored copy should sell for 10-20% of the unrestored copy, depending on the appearance and the amount of restoration.
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  #20  
Old 11-22-2018, 01:37 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

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

Last edited by ullmandds; 11-22-2018 at 01:37 PM.
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  #21  
Old 11-22-2018, 01:52 PM
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I don't think that photo has been made public. I believe the original seller says he has a photo but won't share it. The cutter is in the clink and there is little hope of getting an image out of him - even if he kept one.

Quote:
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Is there a reason the McNall/Gretzky Wagner isn't shown side by side with the uncut panel and the slabbed card?
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  #22  
Old 11-22-2018, 02:26 PM
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good luck with the four base hits
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  #23  
Old 11-22-2018, 02:56 PM
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Quote:
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I don't think that photo has been made public. I believe the original seller says he has a photo but won't share it. The cutter is in the clink and there is little hope of getting an image out of him - even if he kept one.
Re-cutter. The card had already been cut off the strip when he bought it.
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Old 11-22-2018, 03:00 PM
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I'm not comfortable with the AUTHENTIC designation. An authentic card should be one that is 100% original, but has a major problem like a missing piece or a punch hole that doesn't qualify it for a numerical grade.

But the added paper, coloring, glue, etc. is not authentic to the card. It is foreign material. I think it should read RESTORED in the upper right corner, and the word AUTHENTIC be removed.

Do others agree with this?
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Old 11-22-2018, 03:17 PM
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Anyone see it in person? I'd guess it will be in white plains tomorrow. Almost looks a little amateurish with the black border lines drawn back in, and it looks like the added edge are still slightly separated. Could just be my phone though
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  #26  
Old 11-22-2018, 03:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barrysloate View Post
I'm not comfortable with the AUTHENTIC designation. An authentic card should be one that is 100% original, but has a major problem like a missing piece or a punch hole that doesn't qualify it for a numerical grade.

But the added paper, coloring, glue, etc. is not authentic to the card. It is foreign material. I think it should read RESTORED in the upper right corner, and the word AUTHENTIC be removed.

Do others agree with this?
It says Restored right on the top
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  #27  
Old 11-22-2018, 03:31 PM
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Wow thats not a touch up thats a recreation. I think id rather keep it the way it was

I dont know... taking tobacco off the back, retouching a scrape on the front, even slight a trim maybe, but just creating a card on over an origional isnt what id like
I agree. Am I crazy to think that the card would have actually brought in more money had it not been reconstructed? I think they threw away 14k and lost more $ in the process. For the record, I have no problem with this as long as it is disclosed, but I think collectors will pay more for a rough example.
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Old 11-22-2018, 03:33 PM
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Quote:
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It says Restored right on the top
Yes, I know. I would leave the RESTORED part and remove the AUTHENTIC. I really don't feel that is an authentic card in the strictest sense. Parts of it are, but not all of it. At minimum, a better description is warranted.
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  #29  
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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Old 11-22-2018, 04:17 PM
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Anyone see it in person? I'd guess it will be in white plains tomorrow. Almost looks a little amateurish with the black border lines drawn back in, and it looks like the added edge are still slightly separated. Could just be my phone though
They had it at the National.
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Old 11-22-2018, 04:28 PM
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Restoring the card itself is one thing, but adding "borders" to a borderless card that is just not right.
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Old 11-22-2018, 04:53 PM
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What did the Wagner look like before it was restored?
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  #33  
Old 11-22-2018, 05:02 PM
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good luck with the four base hits
LOL. Yeah that was sorta the same thought I had.
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Old 11-22-2018, 07:03 PM
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$14,000 for restoration? Heck you can buy a reprint for $2.00.
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Old 11-22-2018, 07:10 PM
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I understand that the card is worth at least 200K based on its current price, but I wouldn't pay $100 for it otherwise. I don't mind a trimmed card if the card is impossible to get otherwise -- or prohibitively expensive -- but no way do I want a Frankencard in my collection with unoriginal parts brought into it. It's one thing to color in a border, an entirely different to bring a new border into the card.
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Old 11-22-2018, 07:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jobu View Post
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
I would buy the original, not the restored. No way.
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Old 11-22-2018, 07:16 PM
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Quote:
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$14,000 for restoration? Heck you can buy a reprint for $2.00.
A GEM MINT 10 reprint might cost you a couple more bucks...but at least it's graded and you know it's an authentic reprint.

Is there a link to the auction with the Wagner that was restored to the tune of $14K?
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Old 11-22-2018, 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by calvindog View Post
I understand that the card is worth at least 200K based on its current price, but I wouldn't pay $100 for it otherwise. I don't mind a trimmed card if the card is impossible to get otherwise -- or prohibitively expensive -- but no way do I want a Frankencard in my collection with unoriginal parts brought into it. It's one thing to color in a border, an entirely different to bring a new border into the card.
Agreed. If they can add borders, why not just do the corners up as well and make it a gem mint / restored.
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  #39  
Old 11-22-2018, 07:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldjudge View Post
What did the Wagner look like before it was restored?
pics added to the first post for those who aren't able to click through the links provided by Jobu
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  #40  
Old 11-22-2018, 07:30 PM
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Quote:
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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  #41  
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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  #42  
Old 11-22-2018, 08:28 PM
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If the only Wagner I could afford was a trashed one or a restored version of the trashed card, I would probably go with the restored one(assuming most of the card was original). However, I respect Jeff’s opinion; it is a matter of personal preference.
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Old 11-22-2018, 08:38 PM
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Quote:
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If the only Wagner I could afford was a trashed one or a restored version of the trashed card, I would probably go with the restored one(assuming most of the card was original). However, I respect Jeff’s opinion; it is a matter of personal preference.
I agree with this. In this case, I would rather have the restored version. Although I appreciate anyone else's different opinion.

That's one heck of a restoration job though.
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  #44  
Old 11-22-2018, 08:42 PM
Bestdj777 Bestdj777 is offline
Chris
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Originally Posted by Republicaninmass View Post
Anyone see it in person? I'd guess it will be in white plains tomorrow. Almost looks a little amateurish with the black border lines drawn back in, and it looks like the added edge are still slightly separated. Could just be my phone though
I saw it in their case at the Chantilly show in October. I couldn’t see the back. The front looked like an attractive, mid-grade example from a distance. From close up, to me anyway, it looked like someone had hand drawn on some of the lines. The other repairs were not really detectable to my untrained/unassisted eyes, but the lines were.
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  #45  
Old 11-22-2018, 08:51 PM
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calvindog calvindog is offline
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The sad thing is that the original before restoration wasn't so bad.
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  #46  
Old 11-22-2018, 08:55 PM
ClementeFanOh ClementeFanOh is online now
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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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  #47  
Old 11-22-2018, 09:24 PM
ls7plus ls7plus is offline
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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.
+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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  #48  
Old 11-22-2018, 09:29 PM
ls7plus ls7plus is offline
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Jobu - Thanks for posting this, I was hoping someone knew where a picture of the original was.

Yes, they disclosed the card had work done to it, but the side by side gives a much better indication of just HOW EXTENSIVE that work was, not just on the borders but on the back.

Anyone want to change their opinion now?!?!

...
Nope.

Larry
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  #49  
Old 11-22-2018, 09:33 PM
ls7plus ls7plus is offline
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Originally Posted by barrysloate View Post
I'm not comfortable with the AUTHENTIC designation. An authentic card should be one that is 100% original, but has a major problem like a missing piece or a punch hole that doesn't qualify it for a numerical grade.

But the added paper, coloring, glue, etc. is not authentic to the card. It is foreign material. I think it should read RESTORED in the upper right corner, and the word AUTHENTIC be removed.

Do others agree with this?
Now that I would buy!

Hi, Barry,

Larry
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  #50  
Old 11-22-2018, 09:37 PM
ls7plus ls7plus is offline
Larry
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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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