REA To Offer T206 Set Break Ahead of Spring Auction

A graded T206 set including some of the famous collection’s rarities will hit the block in a special sale being conducted by Robert Edward Auctions beginning February 20.

On Wednesday, the company announced plans for the card-by-card set break of a 522-card set of T206s, all graded by SGC and PSA including the scarce Eddie Plank and Sherry Magee (Magie) error cards as well as the challenging St. Louis variations of Ray Demmitt and Bill O’Hara. Known for its thrice-yearly large catalog sales, REA will run the T206 sale just ahead of its annual Spring Auction, set to open in April.

“The demand for REA’s services has been growing year over year, and we’ve often been asked to consider adding more auctions in between the catalog auctions. This set was a great opportunity for us to do just that, and we will consider similar single-owner auctions in the future if it makes sense for all involved,” said REA President Brian Dwyer.

In addition to the cards that make up the set of T206s, nearly 100 additional cards featuring back variations and print oddities will also be in the auction.

For many collectors, the initial appeal of the T206 set is that it can be collected in a number of different ways that are not as daunting as tackling the entire set. Some begin by collecting only Hall of Famers. Others opt to look only for portraits or players on a certain team. The collector who assembled the offered set originally set out to collect only the 250-card Polar Bear advertising back subset. While pursuing those cards, he purchased non-Polar Bear cards that he felt were attractive or desirable, originally targeting only Hall of Famers and eventually moving on to all cards within the set. With back collecting his original motivation, he decided to also target the complete Southern Leaguer subset with all available Piedmont, Old Mill, and Brown Hindu backs.

Eight different back advertisements are represented within the set, ranging from the traditional Piedmont and Sweet Caporal to the more difficult Brown Hindu and Carolina Brights. The complete Polar Bear subset of 250 cards is offered within the set as is the complete 132-card Southern Leaguer set of 48 Piedmont, 48 Old Mill, and 36 Brown Hindu backs.

Pedigreed cards make an appearance too, most notably from the collection of legendary collector Lionel Carter, whose Eddie Plank, Ray Demmitt (St. Louis), Bill O’Hara (St. Louis), and Ty Cobb green and red background portraits are offered as part of the break. A card from hobby pioneer Charles Bray is also included.

Several of the oddities that make the T206 set so intriguing will also be available, including cards with the name on top and bottom, a card with a split advertising back, print shift variations, and a Polar Bear “missing IE” anomaly. Overall, the set spans several grades, but REA calls it “a strong mid-grade set, with a heavy focus on eye appeal, which is evident throughout.”

The consignor had spent several years assembling the set card by card.

The T206 set auction will provide an introduction of some changes to made by the company to its bidding and payment processes. A few years ago, REA had gone to a hard close at midnight of the final night of its auctions rather than keeping the entire catalog open, a practice that often led to auctions lasting well past the wee hours of the morning. Beginning with this sale, all lots will switch to a lot-by-lot ending. If a lot receives a bid after midnight on the closing date of March 1, the time remaining to bid on that lot is extended for five minutes. If a lot doesn’t receive a bid in a five-minute span after midnight, it will close.

“There is overwhelming support for all lots remaining open for bidding as the reallocation of funds is a real phenomenon,” stated Dwyer. “There is also a desire to have that opportunity to consider making just one more bid even if you’ve already submitted your max bid as the clock winds down. We believe that this hybrid method will combine the best of both worlds and offer significant positives to both our consignors and our bidders.”

REA will also accept Paypal payments on invoices under $500 and through Zelle for invoices under $2,500. The company will continue to offer the Zelle option in its larger catalog auctions, with Paypal used only for the smaller invoices in this and similar set-break auctions that will be conducted in the future.