This card unlike the Mastro card which guy is serving time for fraud sold for $3.2 million. I was at the card show. I wish I could have walked out of show with the card. Unfortunately an armed security guard stood next to it. The great thing about this card is it has provenance from the original owner's son whose father bought the card in 1974 for $1300. Earlier this year Ken Goldin, the founder of Goldin Auctions, contacted the owner of one of the world’s finest Honus Wagner cards, the granddaddy of all trading cards, about selling it to take advantage of the market boom. Although the card had belonged to its owner for just three years and he paid top dollar, $2.1 million, Goldin, an inveterate salesman, explained that the high-grade rookie cards of elite players have soared 2000 percent over the last three years. He also promised a far more modest consignment fee than previous owners enjoyed and a full-court-press marketing campaign. By the time 17 bids had driven the price to $3.2 million in the small hours of the morning October 2nd, a new record had been set for a trading card. Although the auction result was about 40 percent below the house’s overly optimistic estimate (but not mine), it was more than a million dollars more than the price which the same card commanded in 2013 and about $400,0000 more than the last record set for the “Gretzky/Mastro Wagner” in 2008. A confluence of fortunate events and a significant historical mistake contributed to the consignor’s happy payday. For starters, there was plenty of pent-up demand for a card of this caliber. While Wagners have been very kind to many, if not all, their owners, no examples in at least excellent condition had surfaced since 2008 during the unprecedented run-up in the value of vintage baseball cards. Ken Kendrick, the owner of Arizona Diamondbacks and an avid collector, paid $2.8 million for the Wagner which graded an eight on a scale of one to ten and once belonged to hockey great Wayne Gretzky. In federal court in 2013 Bill Mastro, a major dealer, confessed to trimming the card’s edges to improve its condition and value. He is in the 10th month of a 20 month-term for, among other things, artificially inflating bids in his auction. Goldin’s unaltered Wagner, a 5 in excellent condition, received a huge boost in August when the son of the first modern collector showed up in Goldin’s booth at the National Sports Collectors Convention in Atlantic City. Andrew Aronstein shared a letter documenting the sale of the Wagner in 1974 for $1300 to his father Mike. In 1984 he sold it for $23,000. About 60 Wagner cards exist. The tobacco company abruptly stopped production because either the great Pirates short stop opposed smoking or he wasn’t compensated for use of his image, or perhaps both. The “Jumbo Wagner’s conspicuous flaw, an extra 1/16th inch in its bottom border, proved to be a huge asset, making it possible to trace the chain of custody back to 1974. In 1981 Aronstein even made Christmas mugs featuring the oversized Wagner. (One is now for sale on eBay). After he sold the Jumbo, Aronstein was able to identify his card every time it came up for auction due to its peculiarity. During a press event attended by a well-heeled collector who would end up bidding on the Wagner, Goldin showed us the identifying traces on the card’s bottom right corner where it’s possible to detect print marks from another card, like a distinct finger print. He estimates that the Jumbo’s well-established provenance since 1974 increased its value by 20 percent, or about $624,000. At a subsequent baseball card show, a number of professional dealers specializing in 1910 tobacco cards told me that quality control a century ago was not up to today’s high-tech standards. In fact many of the T206s from the same set as the Wagner were printed oversized or undersized. One dealer mentioned that he once owned a Southern League player’s card which had seven different backs overlapping on the back. He sold it for big money.