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  #101  
Old 11-19-2022, 05:42 PM
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Originally Posted by bnorth View Post
If you read the entire story on the book in the link the counterfeiter left a tell it was fake so when/if he got caught he would do way less time. Watching the PBS special is highly recommended. I know I really enjoyed it.
I saw it when it aired a couple years ago. There were other differences found, not intentional ones, after people finally started to question the too good to be true story. I see this article specifically highlights the library seal.

I donít disagree that it is feasible such fakes could theoretically be made. To believe that that they have been for 30, 50, 70 years would require some evidence, if we are reasonable people. The world is replete with stories of this nature, of perfect crimes, of on-the-surface-plausible things happening but constructed into a perfectly clean story, without any attribution, without any source origin, without any evidence at all. It is precisely why they linger for decades, because they are on the surface possible and vague enough to make it impossible to prove the negative. And so they linger, are retold, and many seem to suspend logic and a reasonable criteria of evidence to believe the old tale. We would have a much better understanding of sets and the T cards if we didnít believe gossip rumors or base belief on who is pushing what theory, and simply stuck to the actual evidence.
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  #102  
Old 11-19-2022, 05:45 PM
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LOL, If it is undetectable how would you ever see it.
Ha
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  #103  
Old 11-19-2022, 06:39 PM
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Is this the other known Piedmont Wagner? (from t206resource) Does it have a history? Grandpa's Attic, under a doll house, etc? Is the caption darker? maybe not a good scan?

If you found a Van Gogh in the 1980's and wouldn't tell anyone where it came from, would it be old lady gossip to ask questions about authenticity? The burden of proof is not on the skeptics. I don't have a position, I'm just trying to learn.
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  #104  
Old 11-19-2022, 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted by RCMcKenzie View Post
Is this the other known Piedmont Wagner? (from t206resource) Does it have a history? Grandpa's Attic, under a doll house, etc? Is the caption darker? maybe not a good scan?

If you found a Van Gogh in the 1980's and wouldn't tell anyone where it came from, would it be old lady gossip to ask questions about authenticity? The burden of proof is not on the skeptics. I don't have a position, I'm just trying to learn.
Asking questions and looking for evidence is the opposite of old lady gossip. If an assertion is made and said to be true, that claim should be supported by evidence.
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  #105  
Old 11-19-2022, 07:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RCMcKenzie View Post
Is this the other known Piedmont Wagner? (from t206resource) Does it have a history? Grandpa's Attic, under a doll house, etc? Is the caption darker? maybe not a good scan?

If you found a Van Gogh in the 1980's and wouldn't tell anyone where it came from, would it be old lady gossip to ask questions about authenticity? The burden of proof is not on the skeptics. I don't have a position, I'm just trying to learn.
That card sold for 86k back in a 2001 Mastro auction I'm not sure but I think the image was copied from a catalog but regardless it's not a great image plus it has other things going on with it like a grey layer shift and some other transfer on the front. With that said the caption looks like normal color for a T206 caption to me everything else is hard to judge with small low detail image.
One thing that does look odd is the G in Pittsburg is higher than the other letters and other Wagners.

Here it is brightened up a little
00b.jpg

Last edited by Pat R; 11-19-2022 at 07:12 PM.
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  #106  
Old 11-19-2022, 07:15 PM
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Yeah, the caption looks more normal on your image. It's difficult to say looking at scans. It has a wavy left border.

I was around the boards in 2001. I don't recall this auction, but posters used to talk about his auctions a lot. I wonder if anyone remembers talk of that sale, or still has the catalog.
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  #107  
Old 11-19-2022, 07:30 PM
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Reprints are now and have been undetectable for decades. Seriously people have counterfeited complete historic books that have fooled ALL the experts. When entire books can be counterfeited a beyond simple baseball card has to be like childs play.

But don't worry everyone the cards you collect isn't the typwe of cards anyone would counterfeit or alter.

Here is a thread I posted on counterfeiting. https://net54baseball.com/showthread.php?t=289753
Thanks for linking to that. I just watched the PBS special referred to in your post, and I enjoyed it. The video includes a lot more context and information than the short article.

Hereís a direct link to the full episode:
https://www.pbs.org/wnet/secrets/gal...n-i3gwo5/4400/

Steve
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  #108  
Old 11-19-2022, 07:46 PM
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Originally Posted by RCMcKenzie View Post
Yeah, the caption looks more normal on your image. It's difficult to say looking at scans. It has a wavy left border.

I was around the boards in 2001. I don't recall this auction, but posters used to talk about his auctions a lot. I wonder if anyone remembers talk of that sale, or still has the catalog.
You can read the story on that Wagner pages 5,6 & 7 of part 7 it's an interesting story.


https://www.t206resource.com/Article...gner-File.html
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  #109  
Old 11-19-2022, 08:23 PM
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Thanks for the link to the Bob Lemke Wagner file. Very fun to read.

A few takeaways: It doesn't seem like Bray actually saw the card. Family says grandpa pulled it from a pack. Interesting note about the Sep. 4, 1909 Sporting Life magazine ad depicting Wagner and saying, "now in all 5-cent packages of Sweet Caporal, Piedmont, and Sovereign cigarettes." Also, I wonder if the Trader Speaks Piedmont is a 3rd example sitting in a desk drawer somewhere.
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  #110  
Old 11-19-2022, 08:55 PM
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Originally Posted by RCMcKenzie View Post
Thanks for the link to the Bob Lemke Wagner file. Very fun to read.

A few takeaways: It doesn't seem like Bray actually saw the card. Family says grandpa pulled it from a pack. Interesting note about the Sep. 4, 1909 Sporting Life magazine ad depicting Wagner and saying, "now in all 5-cent packages of Sweet Caporal, Piedmont, and Sovereign cigarettes." Also, I wonder if the Trader Speaks Piedmont is a 3rd example sitting in a desk drawer somewhere.
They were generic ads on what they planned on printing here's a Hindu ad that has subjects that weren't printed with Hindu's for example Waddell throwing, Nicholls, Lobert, and Dooin weren't printed with Hindu backs, most of them also show the names on top of the cards.

img653.jpg

Last edited by Pat R; 11-19-2022 at 08:57 PM.
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  #111  
Old 11-20-2022, 12:00 AM
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If it's a twice cut sheet cut reprint, then OMG.
I would wager a lot of money on this being the case if it were something that could be proven. It just doesn't pass the smell test to me.
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  #112  
Old 11-20-2022, 12:01 AM
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I had forgot that there was talk of a ghost on this Wagner on here but the images are gone now. It's an upside down ghost of Doolin.

PD150-3.jpg

Last edited by Pat R; 11-20-2022 at 12:04 AM.
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  #113  
Old 11-20-2022, 12:24 AM
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I would not assume the card is authentic though, and suspect that eventually our hobby will be ruined by correct ink and correct stock reprints.
We already have the correct stock. Making paper is easy. Just take some T206 commons, peel off the faces, and any places with ink, and keep the rest of the paper. Toss it in a blender with some water and make new paper with it. I'm pretty sure this is how the card doctors are rebuilding bad corners to get higher grades at PSA.
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  #114  
Old 11-20-2022, 12:27 AM
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We already have the correct stock. Making paper is easy. Just take some T206 commons, peel off the faces, and any places with ink, and keep the rest of the paper. Toss it in a blender with some water and make new paper with it. I'm pretty sure this is how the card doctors are rebuilding bad corners to get higher grades at PSA.
I do think the stock is the easiest part here. However, I am not aware of any evidence that there are correct stock reprints of T206's. As is the common refrain for this thread, I would love to see any actual evidence before subscribing to a belief that a thing is true, as reason dictates.
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  #115  
Old 11-20-2022, 01:22 AM
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I had forgot that there was talk of a ghost on this Wagner on here but the images are gone now. It's an upside down ghost of Doolin.

Attachment 543300
Whatever the origin, it looks like the Wagner was face up and offset against the face of another card for a long time. Is this humidity and wear, or something that occurred at the printer?

On the Gretsky Wagner, and current reprints, the problem is recreating aging. If you rolled out a BSF style story with 900 Sov 150 Wagners in Gem Mint, I don't know if people would buy it.

I think if the Piedmont Wagners are not original, they were made too long ago to be nefarious reprints.
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  #116  
Old 11-20-2022, 01:29 AM
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I do think the stock is the easiest part here. However, I am not aware of any evidence that there are correct stock reprints of T206's. As is the common refrain for this thread, I would love to see any actual evidence before subscribing to a belief that a thing is true, as reason dictates.
I would think that anyone who succeeds in making a counterfeit Plank or Wagner that passes grading would be highly motivated to do it again. That said, I'm reminded of a conversation I had with a hair stylist several years back that was talking about hair transplants. I had mentioned something about them looking bad and not wanting one for my receeding hairline, and she said, "only a bad hair transplant looks bad. You've seen good ones, you just didn't know it."
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I'm a data scientist who works on problems that are very similar to the problem of "AI" card grading. Here are some links to some of my thoughts on the topic.

https://net54baseball.com/showthread...35#post2132535

https://net54baseball.com/showpost.p...2&postcount=46
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  #117  
Old 11-20-2022, 02:08 AM
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I would think that anyone who succeeds in making a counterfeit Plank or Wagner that passes grading would be highly motivated to do it again. That said, I'm reminded of a conversation I had with a hair stylist several years back that was talking about hair transplants. I had mentioned something about them looking bad and not wanting one for my receeding hairline, and she said, "only a bad hair transplant looks bad. You've seen good ones, you just didn't know it."
Again, I am more than happy to believe any credible evidence that Wagner and Plank are fakes, and people have been fooled. I do not care if the card is legit, or if it or another copy has passed grading and is not legit. My interest is purely one of knowledge, there is much we can learn about printing and/or distribution out of this saga if any evidence was presented. Again, I am not willing to subscribe to a belief, without any evidence presented whatsoever, because someone has heard gossip. It would be absurd and stupid to do so. If I followed that path I would believe a huge number of crazy things. That is patently unreasonable, to place gossip in front of evidence.

Let us follow actual facts, if there is any evidence at all to support these conclusions, let those facts and evidence be presented, as I keep asking. So far, we have multiple claims being made about high quality fakes and NY discoveries, and not a single shred of evidence at all for them. To follow the evidence, instead of what one hears without evidence, is not some weird standard I have made up but a foundational cornerstone of western knowledge and logic for over 2,400 years. I firmly believe we are capable of applying it.
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  #118  
Old 11-20-2022, 07:47 AM
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Originally Posted by RCMcKenzie View Post
Whatever the origin, it looks like the Wagner was face up and offset against the face of another card for a long time. Is this humidity and wear, or something that occurred at the printer?

On the Gretsky Wagner, and current reprints, the problem is recreating aging. If you rolled out a BSF style story with 900 Sov 150 Wagners in Gem Mint, I don't know if people would buy it.

I think if the Piedmont Wagners are not original, they were made too long ago to be nefarious reprints.
Definitely something that occurred at the printers and I think original but not from a regular production sheet.
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  #119  
Old 11-20-2022, 07:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Snowman View Post
We already have the correct stock. Making paper is easy. Just take some T206 commons, peel off the faces, and any places with ink, and keep the rest of the paper. Toss it in a blender with some water and make new paper with it. I'm pretty sure this is how the card doctors are rebuilding bad corners to get higher grades at PSA.
But they weren't doing it 50-60 years ago. Now if a new Wagner shows up that is in question you could present that argument.
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  #120  
Old 11-22-2022, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by RCMcKenzie View Post
Whatever the origin, it looks like the Wagner was face up and offset against the face of another card for a long time. Is this humidity and wear, or something that occurred at the printer?

On the Gretsky Wagner, and current reprints, the problem is recreating aging. If you rolled out a BSF style story with 900 Sov 150 Wagners in Gem Mint, I don't know if people would buy it.

I think if the Piedmont Wagners are not original, they were made too long ago to be nefarious reprints.
It's not reversed, so not an offset.

Dual offsets may be possible, but are so rare I've only ever seen one item that I believe is a double offset. (I own it, and the only other possibility is that it's an item printed on the wrong side of the stock in a totally different alignment than the other presumed unique example. To me it's a coin toss, so I won't call it either.

Water absolutely will not create an offset on a T206. I tried, under fairly extreme circumstances and it did absolutely nothing towards an offset.
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  #121  
Old 11-22-2022, 12:46 PM
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Steve, I was using "offset" as a generic term, or layman's language. I certainly am not an expert on printing or T206 Wagner's. I thought Pat's point about an image appearing on the non-Gretsky Piedmont Wagner, made the card less likely to be a reprint. It's possible I misunderstood or misinterpreted the significance of the ghost-like image on the Wagner.
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  #122  
Old 11-23-2022, 11:54 AM
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Ok, I may have misread things a bit too.

The added image does make it less likely to be fake, as that sort of extra image is hard to duplicate convincingly. It would also require a faker to choose an image that could have been in production around the same time as the Wagner, and most aren't that clever.

Terminology confounds us all at times.
For instance, I and I think Pat think of "sheet" as meaning a complete sheet as it would have come off the press. I have to remind myself that to someone else, "sheet" could mean a few as 2 T206s on the same piece of paper/cardstock.
It's very possible the Sheet cut/trimmed Wagner was cut from a sheet fragment. If it was a horizontal strip, there was probably only one Wagner.

I think it's also likely that if the Wagner was pulled, most of the finished sheets that didn't already have backs would have been used for random stuff around the printers. Cardstock makes a decent dustpan, and a sheet or part of a sheet would make a nice dustcover for some finished work. And always use scrap to adjust the press.
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  #123  
Old 11-23-2022, 12:25 PM
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The percentages by back are really interesting.

I think it appears clear that Plank and Wagner weren't on the same sheet. Or perhaps the same part of the sheet. But it's possible that isn't right.

It's very curious that for two cards that were probably pulled from production, multiple different backs are available.

That points to the different backs being produced at the same time, probably on different presses from a common stack of fronts.

Then the question is exactly how were the cards pulled from production, and is it possible they were on the same sheet for the 150 series?

I think even with the numbers being so different, we might look at the cutting. It's probable that a large number of sheets with Wagner and maybe Plank were produced with blank backs to be used as needed to fill orders for each brand and factory. So what's the best way to pull a card from production?
If you're both cheap and need to get product out the door, step one is to cut the finished sheets that already have backs in strips and simply discard the withdrawn card. But strips isn't how cutting is usually done with big sheets, as it makes for a very awkward second step, cutting a 2-4 foot long stack of strips into individual cards. So maybe after a short time, you decide that cutting the sheet essentially in half and discarding everything from the Wagner to the edge is much more cost effective especially if it's sort of near the edge and the discarded portion would also include Plank who you hear is also making a fuss about being included.

While you're working through the stack, the plate guys are resurfacing the stone and redoing it less the Wagner and Plank. Or possibly only redoing those areas, none of the references I've found get into plate repairs much if at all. With the labor to resurface a stone and start again, I think a repair is likely. With the more modern photographic plates making a new plate is the way to go.

If you're very cheap, and have little labor cost you cut down the big sheets into smaller sheets and print backs on them.

Or if labor is costly, you simply scrap the finished fronts, redo the plates and carry on.

Using scrap to make more product was absolutely done with stamps, creating some real rarities. I believe Intaglio press operators and Lithograph press operators were roughly equal at the time.

Knowing that the 150's were done 3 different times, it would be interesting to see if there's any correlation between the less printed brands that would lead us to think that they were printed from partial sheets. Like if the remaining portions of the Wagner sheets were used up doing some Old Mills or Hindus. Or if those sheets were not cut and used for the less popular brands.
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  #124  
Old 11-23-2022, 12:37 PM
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Reminder that we are still awaiting the research and evidence that this card was not discovered in Florida, but in New York.

If it did come from a sheet, I think it almost certain it is not a complete sheet, and we are being too literal, what is meant is surely a strip or sheet fragment.
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  #125  
Old 11-24-2022, 08:22 AM
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The percentages by back are really interesting.

I think it appears clear that Plank and Wagner weren't on the same sheet. Or perhaps the same part of the sheet. But it's possible that isn't right.

It's very curious that for two cards that were probably pulled from production, multiple different backs are available.

That points to the different backs being produced at the same time, probably on different presses from a common stack of fronts.

Then the question is exactly how were the cards pulled from production, and is it possible they were on the same sheet for the 150 series?

I think even with the numbers being so different, we might look at the cutting. It's probable that a large number of sheets with Wagner and maybe Plank were produced with blank backs to be used as needed to fill orders for each brand and factory. So what's the best way to pull a card from production?
If you're both cheap and need to get product out the door, step one is to cut the finished sheets that already have backs in strips and simply discard the withdrawn card. But strips isn't how cutting is usually done with big sheets, as it makes for a very awkward second step, cutting a 2-4 foot long stack of strips into individual cards. So maybe after a short time, you decide that cutting the sheet essentially in half and discarding everything from the Wagner to the edge is much more cost effective especially if it's sort of near the edge and the discarded portion would also include Plank who you hear is also making a fuss about being included.

While you're working through the stack, the plate guys are resurfacing the stone and redoing it less the Wagner and Plank. Or possibly only redoing those areas, none of the references I've found get into plate repairs much if at all. With the labor to resurface a stone and start again, I think a repair is likely. With the more modern photographic plates making a new plate is the way to go.

If you're very cheap, and have little labor cost you cut down the big sheets into smaller sheets and print backs on them.

Or if labor is costly, you simply scrap the finished fronts, redo the plates and carry on.

Using scrap to make more product was absolutely done with stamps, creating some real rarities. I believe Intaglio press operators and Lithograph press operators were roughly equal at the time.

Knowing that the 150's were done 3 different times, it would be interesting to see if there's any correlation between the less printed brands that would lead us to think that they were printed from partial sheets. Like if the remaining portions of the Wagner sheets were used up doing some Old Mills or Hindus. Or if those sheets were not cut and used for the less popular brands.


IMO it's because the T206's were printed in phases and a % of certain backs were printed at the same time together in each different phase. The pop numbers and print flaws reflect that.

Here's an example of flaw on Tenney that was probably printed in the phase that Wagner was printed.

Tenney.jpg


I think we might eventually be able to break down the different phases by using print flaws and pop numbers for example the flaws and pop numbers show that for print group 1 the Sovereign 350's weren't printed in the phase with the PD350's, Old Mills and Sweet Caporal 350 25's and 30's. I think there was another phase where The Sovereign 350's were printed with PD350's Sweet Caporal 350 30's and 25's but not Old Mills.

Old Mill phase
Stats Killian.jpg

Stats Schlei.jpg

0Walsh Stats.jpg
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  #126  
Old 11-24-2022, 12:14 PM
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Just to add on, this structure is present in other sets that were part of the 1909-1912 project popularly credited to the ATC and AL. It is rare that cards were corrected, but when they were they typically had multiple backs. For example, the 3 spelling errors corrected in T218-1 all exist on 2 of the 4 backs, even though they represent a small percentage of surviving copies and the majority of those same 2 backs are the corrected version.

This ‘printing in waves’ appears to be a significant factor. The ATC ledger gives some evidence that some series were issued in waves; like the discordant dates for different sport subjects of T218-3.

Some 50 card sets seem to have had 25 unique cards to a sheet, and sometimes a back gets only half the subjects, like we see in T42. It seems to suggest wave printing again, not just a 2 sheet construction but those 2 sheets being done at a time gap during which decisions were made. I think our evidence suggests this happened with T220 also. The gap in between sheets saw multiple decisions made, to expand the back distribution, to cheapen the borders, to modify a couple cards, and to change the entire art style between at least four production runs over ~6 months.

While advertised and thought of as series, the traditional idea that all cards of a series were basically printed and issued together like Topps cards does not seem to be the case.

Last edited by G1911; 11-24-2022 at 12:28 PM. Reason: I typed “ARC” for “ATC” originally and changed it. Corrected a misstated “waves” to “series”
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  #127  
Old 11-25-2022, 06:30 PM
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Reminder that we are still awaiting the research and evidence that this card was not discovered in Florida, but in New York.

If it did come from a sheet, I think it almost certain it is not a complete sheet, and we are being too literal, what is meant is surely a strip or sheet fragment.
I don't think you're going to get a response on the New York evidence Greg.

I'm not claiming it as proof of how the sheet or partial could have been discovered in Florida but I think it could certainly be a possibility.

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Old 11-25-2022, 06:43 PM
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I wonder if Alan Ray is still living.
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  #129  
Old 11-25-2022, 07:12 PM
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I don't think you're going to get a response on the New York evidence Greg.
I know, unfortunately. Itís a shame people will post fictions they have made up and try to pass off as evidenced fact. Nothing wrong with speculation, but speculation is very different from claiming there is evidence and research leading to X conclusion when there clearly is absolutely nothing.


Ray said he was saving the juicy bits for his book that never came to be. Wonder if thereís a manuscript or something that will eventually come out. Mastro is a lying fraudster with a long history of both that makes whatever he says difficult to give much reasonable credence too, as his stories change with the winds of the moment. Sevchuk is a relevant, deeply involved participant and eyewitness but his testimony alone is not a whole lot, and Ray was not necessarily honest to him about the origin in the first place.


Do we know what the other cards were in the find? I recall there were 50 or so from OíKeefeís interviews (AKA - Lifson told him, who seems to be his only source for this part). I assume a number of the long slabbed high grade cards are these, but which ones I have never seen beyond the Wagner and Plank. A single Wagner and Plank could be present on a partial sheet, a panel, but there should be much duplication between the other cards from it. If there isnít, these cards cannot be from an actual panel, they might be from small strips (probably not even from the same sheet) at best.

I still see no reason to think Wagner and Plank were on the same sheet. The evidence leans against it.
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Old 11-27-2022, 09:30 PM
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maybe they were all made in the 80s with the square corner bond bread jackie
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Old 11-27-2022, 10:00 PM
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Maybe we will see even one tiny shred of evidence the card(s) from this find are fake.

Maybe. I expect that evidence is about as real as the alleged research showing the sheet was secretly found in NY.
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  #132  
Old 11-28-2022, 02:17 AM
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Maybe we will see even one tiny shred of evidence the card(s) from this find are fake.

Maybe. I expect that evidence is about as real as the alleged research showing the sheet was secretly found in NY.
Let me flip it on you. What is the evidence the card(s) are real? Yes, they pass the visual test, and that does mean something. But, to me, for items of sufficient value to create incentive for counterfeiting, not enough. So that leads to the next inquiry -- credible provenance -- which in this instance IMO is lacking. Let's take off the table the allegation of T206 reprints made in the 1950's from the original printing plates, an allegation I was not even aware of when I was first offered the card by Sevchuk. I felt then, as I continue to feel now, that a NrMt-Mt T206 Wagner popping up out of nowhere with no documented provenance -- and, yes, allegedly first turning up in a flea market far from the point of original manufacture is something I would characterize as popping up out of nowhere with no documented provenance -- creates legitimate concerns about authenticity. I recognize it is not easy to make replica T206s that pass visual inspection, and for that reason I feel it is entirely possible the card is real. But in this instance, to satisfy my comfort level, I would require forensic examination.

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Old 11-28-2022, 03:15 AM
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Let me flip it on you. What is the evidence the card(s) are real? Yes, they pass the visual test, and that does mean something. But, to me, not enough. So that leads to the next inquiry -- credible provenance -- which in this instance IMO is lacking. Let's take off the table the allegation of T206 reprints made in the 1950's from the original printing plates, an allegation I was not even aware of when I was first offered the card by Sevchuk. I felt then, as I continue to feel now, that a NrMt-Mt T206 Wagner popping up out of nowhere with no documented provenance -- and, yes, allegedly first turning up in a flea market far from the point of original manufacture is something I would characterize as popping up out of nowhere with no documented provenance -- creates legitimate concerns about authenticity. I recognize it is not easy to make replica T206s that passes visual inspection, and for that reason I feel it is entirely possible the card is real. But in this instance, to satisfy my comfort level, I would require forensic examination.

Most cards have popped up this way. 90%+ of T cards we cannot trace the history of back to 1909-1911. I have over 15,000 T cards; only one batch of 50 of them can I trace the custody chain of to before 1940. None can I fully go back to 1909. Other early run uncut ATC material has appeared; with cards much rarer than the Wagner on them. Every single person with any real experience with this card in hand has concluded it is real. Is it possible all of these very experienced hobbyists have been fooled? Yes. Is it reasonable to just assume that this is so? No. Of course it is not. I am happy to believe they have been fooled, if there was any reasonable evidence to support that. But there is not; not one single tiny little bit. It is illogical and absurd to jump to extreme conclusions when there is not one single, tiny iota of evidence to support that leap.

The eye and testimonial evidence say it is an actual Wagner. On the other hand, there is.... well, absolutely nada. The 'original equipment in the 50's' conspiracy theory is especially over the top, but if one is to believe there is some other conspiracy here, either of master counterfeiters from decades ago (who apparently just stopped after a single Wagner and Plank that netted $25,000 in total?) or decades long and widespread hobby cover ups with dozens of participants, then a reasonable person should require some proof, some actual reason to believe it. To believe whatever thought occurs and strikes my fancy, even when other options are the ones supported by evidence, would be foolish.

It's a good question, I'm glad you brought it up, but if the result of that question is that we have some evidence that it is real and no evidence that it is not, well, that writs the answer of what it is reasonable to think. A rational person cannot reject actual evidence in favor of no evidence. When the question is one of actual fact, of history (the card either is or is not real; it's not an opinion like 'what is your favorite card?'), then I cannot fathom why we should abandon the principles of reason and logic that have guided western knowledge for the last 2,400 years in favor of gossip.

I would, truly and not sarcastically, love to see any evidence for this conspiracy theory. I know that you did not posit this as the truth when you brought it up, and said you were just relaying the story and that it was others who then stated as fact that it was a reprint, while being unable to provide any evidence.





More generally, I think Pat asked a great question; there are a lot of mysteries about this and those mysteries, if they could be resolved, would greatly aid genuine research into T card printing, distribution, and series and/or wave composition. I am not surprised the answers have mostly been evidence-free conspiracy theories and claims of 'research' that does not appear to actually exist and cannot be provided. It is disappointing though. Hobby knowledge would be a lot further along if people would step back from their narratives, apply some basic logic, and follow the evidence rather than just advocating for what they want to find as if it is the truth and using gossip, appeals to authority or expertise or their age, and tradition as a defense against having no evidence whatsoever for what they are insisting is the truth. That using an evidentiary basis is generally unpopular and controversial in a group of successful, intelligent people, well it's interesting.
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Old 11-28-2022, 04:01 AM
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The burden of proof for the Wagner's authenticity absolutely lies on the side that claims it is indeed authentic.

I find its provenance, and its condition, the fact that Mastro was involved, and the fact that it has a Piedmont back to be highly suspect. I also don't lend much in the way of respect for PSA's opinions, particularly in the early stages where mountains of altered cards made their way into slabs.

It very well might be authentic. I'm not saying it isn't. But I probably would have passed on it if it were offered to me back in the 80s and I had the funds to purchase it.

Note - I actually find the fact that the only other Piedmont back Wagner to exist has a ghost on it to be more suspicious than not. I don't think it's far fetched to wonder if whoever might have been making reprints only had access to Piedmont plates and had a limited supply of the original paper stock. Again, I'm not saying it happened, but it's not exactly far fetched either. Perhaps both Wagners came from the same operation? Who knows. But it sure smells fishy to me.
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  #135  
Old 11-28-2022, 05:05 AM
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Most cards have popped up this way. 90%+ of T cards we cannot trace the history of back to 1909-1911. I have over 15,000 T cards; only one batch of 50 of them can I trace the custody chain of to before 1940. None can I fully go back to 1909. Other early run uncut ATC material has appeared; with cards much rarer than the Wagner on them. Every single person with any real experience with this card in hand has concluded it is real. Is it possible all of these very experienced hobbyists have been fooled? Yes. Is it reasonable to just assume that this is so? No. Of course it is not. I am happy to believe they have been fooled, if there was any reasonable evidence to support that. But there is not; not one single tiny little bit. It is illogical and absurd to jump to extreme conclusions when there is not one single, tiny iota of evidence to support that leap.

The eye and testimonial evidence say it is an actual Wagner. On the other hand, there is.... well, absolutely nada. The 'original equipment in the 50's' conspiracy theory is especially over the top, but if one is to believe there is some other conspiracy here, either of master counterfeiters from decades ago (who apparently just stopped after a single Wagner and Plank that netted $25,000 in total?) or decades long and widespread hobby cover ups with dozens of participants, then a reasonable person should require some proof, some actual reason to believe it. To believe whatever thought occurs and strikes my fancy, even when other options are the ones supported by evidence, would be foolish.

It's a good question, I'm glad you brought it up, but if the result of that question is that we have some evidence that it is real and no evidence that it is not, well, that writs the answer of what it is reasonable to think. A rational person cannot reject actual evidence in favor of no evidence. When the question is one of actual fact, of history (the card either is or is not real; it's not an opinion like 'what is your favorite card?'), then I cannot fathom why we should abandon the principles of reason and logic that have guided western knowledge for the last 2,400 years in favor of gossip.

I would, truly and not sarcastically, love to see any evidence for this conspiracy theory. I know that you did not posit this as the truth when you brought it up, and said you were just relaying the story and that it was others who then stated as fact that it was a reprint, while being unable to provide any evidence.





More generally, I think Pat asked a great question; there are a lot of mysteries about this and those mysteries, if they could be resolved, would greatly aid genuine research into T card printing, distribution, and series and/or wave composition. I am not surprised the answers have mostly been evidence-free conspiracy theories and claims of 'research' that does not appear to actually exist and cannot be provided. It is disappointing though. Hobby knowledge would be a lot further along if people would step back from their narratives, apply some basic logic, and follow the evidence rather than just advocating for what they want to find as if it is the truth and using gossip, appeals to authority or expertise or their age, and tradition as a defense against having no evidence whatsoever for what they are insisting is the truth. That using an evidentiary basis is generally unpopular and controversial in a group of successful, intelligent people, well it's interesting.
Greg,

With all due respect, I think you might underestimate the ability of skilled counterfeiters to manufacture fakes that can pass THE MOST STRINGENT VISUAL TESTS, a lesson I learned the hard way. This card is not like any other T206 that has ever surfaced. It is a NrMt-Mt Wagner with NO PROVENANCE. Maybe to you the burden is on the prospective buyer to prove it is fake. But to me, the burden is on the seller to prove it is real, and with no provenance, the way to do it is with forensic testing. Or, to say it another way, you keep saying there is no evidence the card is not real. To my way of looking at it, the evidence that it is not real is not materially weaker than the evidence it is real. We really don't know for sure either way.

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  #136  
Old 11-28-2022, 08:00 AM
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Corey, you should probably direct your authenticity questions to Ted.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tedzan;

[B
1985....[/B]Four of us trading cards in in my room at the George Washington Motor Lodge in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, prior to the 5 PM (Friday) start of the BB card Show.

Enter......Rob Lifson and Bill Mastro with the "sharpest" T206 Wagner ever seen. Furthermore, having a PIEDMONT 150 back. They were shopping it around, asking $25K
for it. The 4 of us examined it closely, then told Rob and Bill that we decided to pass on it. All four of us agreed it was trimmed. Needless to say, this Wagner card was the
talk of the Show that weekend. And the rest is history.
This collection with the Wagner card was originally on an uncut sheet which included an Eddie Plank


Having said all this..... it is my opinion that the initial Series of these T206's were definitely printed at the American Lithographic Co. (in downtown NYC).

And, that the probable explanation for the SWEET CAPORAL 350 cards of Plank.....all (or most) of which have a pale blue background).....may have been
printed elsewhere. I consider these SWEET CAP 350 Plank's to be some kind of an anomaly. The initial Plank cards are indeed 150-only Series subjects.


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Greg

1..... You have to realize that back in 1985, I was one of the dealers at the Willow Grove Show to whom this card was offered to. Upon my close examination, I passed on it.
I was told that it was originally discovered on an uncut sheet in Long Island, NY. I cannot recall who told me of this that weekend in 1985. My research indicating Mr. Knapp
of ALC having a residence in that part of Long Island provided a certain amount of credibility to story.
Years later, the "source" of this Wagner card was said to be Florida. And that claim sounded plausible, since many New Yorkers are "snow birds" during the Winter.

2...... I simply asked Pat if he would elaborate on the difference between the Plank card's back with respect to the Wagner card's back).

Do you have a "problem" with this question ?



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  #137  
Old 11-28-2022, 09:37 AM
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Let me flip it on you. What is the evidence the card(s) are real? Yes, they pass the visual test, and that does mean something. But, to me, for items of sufficient value to create incentive for counterfeiting, not enough. So that leads to the next inquiry -- credible provenance -- which in this instance IMO is lacking. Let's take off the table the allegation of T206 reprints made in the 1950's from the original printing plates, an allegation I was not even aware of when I was first offered the card by Sevchuk. I felt then, as I continue to feel now, that a NrMt-Mt T206 Wagner popping up out of nowhere with no documented provenance -- and, yes, allegedly first turning up in a flea market far from the point of original manufacture is something I would characterize as popping up out of nowhere with no documented provenance -- creates legitimate concerns about authenticity. I recognize it is not easy to make replica T206s that pass visual inspection, and for that reason I feel it is entirely possible the card is real. But in this instance, to satisfy my comfort level, I would require forensic examination.
I wouldn't give much if any credence to cards being reprinted from original plates decades after the original production.

The evidence we have for sure is that many if not all* T206s were printed on flatbed offset lithography presses, and the "plates" for those were large sheets of limestone, sometimes 3-4 inches thick.
Once the job was done or the plate was too badly worn, they were typically resurfaced and new images laid down. The only exceptions would be the smaller master stones used to produce the transfers.
The only ones that survived of sports cards that I know of would be one or two hockey cards. And those are backs, not complete sets of 6-8 colors for the fronts.

*There's some very slight evidence that a two color rotary press using sort of modern plates may have been used. But if it was I don't think that early press survived the progress that happened. The technology wasn't much different, even into the 1980's, but the earliest examples of a technology usually have problems that get worked out and they get replaced pretty quickly.
Plates made for a semi-experimental press around 1910 almost certainly wouldn't work in a press from the 20's or 30's.
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Old 11-28-2022, 11:46 AM
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Greg,

With all due respect, I think you might underestimate the ability of skilled counterfeiters to manufacture fakes that can pass THE MOST STRINGENT VISUAL TESTS, a lesson I learned the hard way. This card is not like any other T206 that has ever surfaced. It is a NrMt-Mt Wagner with NO PROVENANCE. Maybe to you the burden is on the prospective buyer to prove it is fake. But to me, the burden is on the seller to prove it is real, and with no provenance, the way to do it is with forensic testing. Or, to say it another way, you keep saying there is no evidence the card is not real. To my way of looking at it, the evidence that it is not real is not materially weaker than the evidence it is real. We really don't know for sure either way.
I earlier stated my prediction that high quality fakes will eventually ruin the hobby, and I even outlined what I thought would need to be done. You and others are alleging a 40-70 year history of these amazing fake T cards already happening, but cannot show any evidence whatsoever; just a vague gossip theory with no names, no consistent timeframe, no evidence, none at all. Quite the cover up for $25,000! If I am underestimating this ability, please educate me. What is the evidence this actually happened even one single time? With all due respect, I think you are underestimating the importance of following the evidence, instead of jumping to whatever conclusion strikes your fancy.

How many T206 cards can we trace their histories back to 1909-1911? Itís a tiny, tiny percentage. I donít believe there is more than maybe one or two Wagners we can trace all the way back, though I could be wrong, I am not one of the guys who has catalogued every known Wagner and followed them. This is how MOST of them have appeared, they get found. Should I just assume all of my t cards are fakes because I donít have the full provenance history? Can you trace the provenance to the period for all your cards? Do you believe any you cannot are fake? Or this is an invented standard set only for this one card, designed to justify the conclusion since there is clearly no real evidence?

Again, like it or not, the evidence is not equal. We have the eye test and that everyone who has examined the card, which is a lot of knowledgeable people, is convinced it is genuine. I have never handled the card myself, and even if I had, would not appeal to my own authority. We have no evidence whatsoever, which I have repeatedly begged for, that it is fake. You can ignore the evidence and believe the conspiracy theory, thatís your right, but I can see no rational reason for me to suspend logic and the rules of evidence to subscribe to this theory of a card fraud conspiracy and the perfect crime when there is no evidence. May we be rational men. An evidentiary basis, that if we are to believe something there should be evidence for it, is not some new thing I have invented. It is the time honored western approach to knowledge, for over two millennia. If I ignored the evidence to just believe whatever conspiracy theory strikes my fancy, I would be a fool. The issue here is an issue of fact, of history. Evidence is not always perfect, but thereís not a tiny shred of it at all for this. Perhaps the evidence of eyes and ears, as they say, are wrong, but there needs to be some actual reason to jump to this conclusion. If I had conducted research this way I would have been laughed out of university.

Again, I am all ears and eagerly await the production of any evidence whatsoever, for this card fraud, for the allegedly-totally-real research showing it was not found in Florida but in NY, and for anything else. I would think there is a reason none of this has been produced. Because one is a conspiracy theory without a shred of evidence to be given, and the other was an untruth. I would love to be corrected by the production of any evidence. Any. Please!
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Old 11-28-2022, 11:57 AM
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It is a NrMt-Mt Wagner
No, it is not. It is a twice cut down piece of a scrap T206 Wagner that was knowingly encapsulated as nm-mt by PSA to launch their brand. There is not and never has been a nm-mt issued T206 Wagner discovered in the wild, only this Frankencard. Not only did Bill Mastro admit that he personally cut the sides of the card, but he also went to prison for concealing that information when he sold it. As evidence, a confession that sends the confessor to the can is about as hardcore as it gets.

That said, I think you are raising a question that is interesting but that will never be answered. Remember the context. This stuff was crap that only a handful of weirdos (I can say that since I am one of them since I was a kid) wanted. It wasn't an Old Master hanging in a royal collection. There is no catalog raissonne for cards. All we can judge is the physical evidence--the item itself. If we are lucky we occasionally get an item with impeccable provenance, like from an estate. Otherwise, it is conjecture and we will never know. For all we can say, Ray didn't want to say more because the source was an active one that he was plumbing for more cards. Remember how assiduously we all used to guard non-hobby sources in the bad old days? You didn't want your antique store source cleaned out by some other collector before you had a chance to do it.
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  #140  
Old 11-28-2022, 01:11 PM
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I only have one T card I might be able to trace back.
And that's assuming I still have the auction reciept somewhere. (It was a heap card in an auction of what was supposedly an original collection that included a Wagner. )

I do think very convincing fakes could be made, but it would be very difficult to make one that would survive serious examination.

Even a great fake may not really succeed.

Back early -mid 80s I was hanging out at my LCS, and they handed me a 51 Mantle and just said be careful with this, it's not ours. ANs tell me what you think.
Very nice card, today would get a decently high grade, maybe 8? Maybe better.
But after a while I handed it back saying that it was really great looking, but also fake.
It had been to several other dealers, plus the local guys, and that was the opinion of everyone. A wonderful fake. Odd thing was, nobody could say why.

So either someone shopped a very very well done fake 51 Bowman around with no takers, or a lot of experienced dealers passed on an incredible card.
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Old 11-28-2022, 01:49 PM
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The Wagner is obviously an important card but as has been alluded to by a few, at least, who back then paid attention to this stuff like we do now? I doubt many thought it was going to be important.

This example only became a NM-MT example in recent years, due to the trimming that Mastro did. Prior to that it was simply a Wagner that was in better shape than most but had an irregular cut which was apparent to everyone who owned or saw it, if I have followed this correctly. Not sure back in the day that makes it any more remarkable than one that was mangled.

If what Greg wrote is correct, that only a few Wagner's have their complete chain of ownership traced, then it is really not a big deal that this Wagner cannot be traced? In my opinion it does not make it any less suspect of being legit.
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Old 11-28-2022, 02:12 PM
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If what Greg wrote is correct, that only a few Wagner's have their complete chain of ownership traced, then it is really not a big deal that this Wagner cannot be traced? In my opinion it does not make it any less suspect of being legit.
We should be able too settle this, using a logical evidentiary basis.

Here's 47 known Wagners: https://t206resource.com/Wagner-Gallery.html

Which of these can anyone trace their history all the way back to where they were in 1909? What is our provenance documentation for these, if any, that we can?

Are all the others, or all 47 if none can be actually traced, fakes?
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Old 11-28-2022, 02:26 PM
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The reason people are asking where the guy found it is because of the high grade. See the Black Swamp Find. There should be a quaint story behind the card's discovery. Flea market in the 1980's does not sound reasonable to me.
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Old 11-28-2022, 02:34 PM
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The reason people are asking where the guy found it is because of the high grade. See the Black Swamp Find. There should be a quaint story behind the card's discovery. Flea market in the 1980's does not sound reasonable to me.
I think the logical assumption is that the card did not exist as a single card much before Ray possessed it. It likely was cut off of a printer's scrap or a salesman sample. That could explain why Ray was vague. Not that he was vague because there was someone printing these. If they had printed them in the 1950s why have we not seen more of them? Seems like a lot of effort to do a one off.

And by the way, there are far too many collectors who think the BS find consists of counterfeit cards or at least that was their belief once the find was made public.
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Old 11-28-2022, 02:48 PM
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And by the way, there are far too many collectors who think the BS find consists of counterfeit cards or at least that was their belief once the find was made public.
Even if the BSF is genuine and I'm not saying they aren't, 100+ year old cards just don't look right in pristine condition.
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Old 11-28-2022, 02:53 PM
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I cannot see any logic in this card having to be traced back to 1909, when no other Wagner is held to that standard (because then all or almost all would be fake). Treating it different because that is the only way to justify the outcome people evidently want is not reason. If the highest grade Wagner must be held to a different standard (which is of course, not reasonable in the first place; one of any group of surviving items will be the nicest), then that standard is still not even applicable to this card, an altered card (for which the evidence led to a conviction in criminal court). Even if we just call it the best anyways, if we toss it out as a fake the current #2 becomes the nicest. Can it's provenance be traced back to 1909? Is it fake if it cannot? What will be the justification this time for why this card and this card alone is to be held to a different standard, uniquely made up because there is no actual evidence?

I do not know where this was found; Sevchuk's testimony is evidence, he was the dealer and deeply involved. It ain't a lot of evidence. It was not so long ago that it is necessarily lost to time. This was a good and reasoned question, to see if we can produce any evidence here for any outcome. Thus far we've got 1) a conspiracy theory that appears to reject evidence at a conceptual level and 2) an untruth. If the answer is "we got nothing else", then that's the answer. Juicy BS being invented hurts, not helps.
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  #147  
Old 11-28-2022, 03:08 PM
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There are a number of people still among us, including some with great expertise, who have seen it unslabbed. Has any one of them suggested it didn't look like an authentic T206? This is aside from the issue of being sheet cut trimmed blah blah.

Unsubstantiated rumors of 1950s reprints do not for me shift the burden of proof here. But Corey, how in your estimation would one forensic test it without damaging it?
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Last edited by Peter_Spaeth; 11-28-2022 at 03:09 PM.
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Old 11-28-2022, 03:15 PM
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Didn't the blatantly fake Cobb/Edwards Wagner pass 'forensic testing'?
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Old 11-28-2022, 03:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G1911 View Post
Didn't the blatantly fake Cobb/Edwards Wagner pass 'forensic testing'?
Over the years the card has gone through a handful of tests each coming up with vague yes-no determinations. Eventually it landed itself in an ACA Grading holder which deemed the card to be authentic. Why would they use ACA Grading to authenticate their card? Most likely because they were the only company willing to touch the card and say it was real. ACA probably wanted some attention from the hobby too.

For a majority of the show, Mr. Edwards wouldnít let the examiners remove the card from itís holder. It wasnít until the end where they brought in the individual from ACA Grading who encased the card and asked him to remove it so they could take a closer look under a microscope. While taking a look at it with the microscope, you could clearly see the print pattern on the Cobb-Edwards card was not consistent with other T206 cards from the same set. The font and spacing was off too. One of the best ways to determine if a T206 card is counterfeit is to compare it to another common card from the set. These cards were originally made as promos, and were expected to be thrown out. They didnít go out of their way to make some cards better looking than others. Scanning the card in the CT scanner revealed that there was a potential bulge near the middle indicating that there might be more than one piece of paper present.
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Old 11-28-2022, 03:30 PM
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In the infancy of grading or worse, when this Wagner would be THE card to launch a grading company, I am guessing those who initially handled it were simply looking at it to see how high it could grade...they were more than compromised that day in the grading room. If they were all willing to overlook that it was trimmed I doubt, under the circumstances that existed then, there was any suspicion or consideration given to it being a counterfeit.
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