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  #1  
Old 11-22-2018, 11:21 AM
bounce bounce is offline
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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 08:22 PM.
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  #2  
Old 11-22-2018, 11:25 AM
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Mike Biggans
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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, 11:47 AM
LeftHandedDane LeftHandedDane is offline
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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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Old 11-22-2018, 11:55 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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Old 11-22-2018, 11:57 AM
Jason19th Jason19th 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.
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Old 11-22-2018, 12:03 PM
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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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Old 11-22-2018, 12:12 PM
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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Old 11-22-2018, 12:30 PM
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Quote:
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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Old 11-22-2018, 12:33 PM
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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, 12:51 PM
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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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