Originally Posted by Leon
Let's give this one nudge to the top to see if anyone else has seen some early valuations or sales of Wags or Plank?
Both the 1953 and 1960 editions of the American Card Catalog gave valuations of $50 for T206 Wagner and $10 for Plank, but Lionel Carter wrote in the November-December 1955 Sport Fan that "$10. offers for Ed Plank and $50. for Hans Wagner go begging" (see here: http://net54baseball.com/showthread.php?t=227125
). In the July 1956 Sport Card Journal, Carter similarly wrote that "A good copy of Plank will net the seller $10, while offers of $50 for cards of Hans Wagner go begging." (See here: http://net54baseball.com/showthread.php?t=225029
) That suggests that Burdick's prices for Plank and Wagner were already out of whack with the market by the mid-1950s.
In the February 28, 1962 issue of The Card Collector, Mike Adams mentions the "official" valuations of $10 for Plank and $50 for Wagner, but says that a Wagner had supposedly sold for $250. I suspect that this was the copy that Frank Nagy bought from Preston Orem, even though the article posted earlier in this thread says that the selling price in that deal was $100. Later in 1962, Buck Barker wrote an article for The Sport Hobbyist about the prices of T206s. He says that he remembers a listing in about 1940 of $2.50 for Wagner and $1 for Plank, which had risen to $25 and $10 by 1946, though Barker's memory may have been faulty. He mentions the rumored $250 sale of a Wagner, which he must have read about in Adams's article. I posted both of these articles in this thread: http://net54baseball.com/showthread.php?t=217680
When the hobby became more organized in the 1970s, and conventions proliferated, sales of Wagners became more public and better documented. The September-October 1972 Sport Fan has a headline "Mastro Pays $1500 For Card", and the details are given inside in Irv Lerner's writeup of Dan Dischley's convention that summer in Hauppauge, Long Island. A guy walked into the show off the street with a Wagner that he wanted to sell for $2000. Bill Mastro really wanted it but didn't have the cash. Between that show and the Detroit show later in the summer, Mastro worked out a deal with the guy to buy the Wagner for $1500. Lerner states that the previous record price for a Wagner had been a little over two years earlier (thus in 1970), when Bill Haber paid Wirt Gammon $500 for one. I think that sale might have been written about in The Ballcard Collector, but I don't have time to look it up right now. In any case, I've posted below the cover of that issue of Sport Fan plus Lerner's article (the whole thing, since I figured people might find it interesting).
Fred McKie (whiteymet) mentioned earlier in this thread that he bought a Wagner from Mike Aronstein. That happened at the 1973 Midwest Sports Collectors Convention (the Detroit show) in July 1973, and it was extensively written up in the September-October 1973 Sport Fan. It was the first time a Wagner had ever sold at a live auction, with Fred paying $1100 for it, even though the card was not actually present in the room. Below the other article, I've posted the cover of that issue of Sport Fan (with Fred in picture #4 at the top, alongside Elwood Scharf and his wife), plus two articles by Bob Jaspersen that describe the auction for the Wagner, along with other stuff that people might find interesting.