Sunday, May 15, 2011

Two T206 Marquards hit with errors

Last time in this space, we presented a pair of heretofore uncataloged error cards from the 1909-1911 T206 series.

Because of the singular place that tobacco card set holds in the hobby, its checklist is considered virtually inviolate. When the Joe Doyle, N.Y. Nat'l (hands above head) variation was added 10 or so years ago, it was the first change in the list in many years. The checklist is likely to remain fixed for a long time to come.

So unique is the T206 set, and so popular even a century after its issue, that it is the only set in the Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards for which a subsidiary listing is provided of well-known error cards. These error cards are differentiated from the nine accepted variations in T206 by the fact that they were likely the product of printing errors, rather than man-made intervention in the process.

Because of the complex nature of the lithographic printing system by which T206 were produced, the series was prone to several types of errors, from wear or damage to one or more of the printing plates, to deficiencies of one or more of the more than one dozen specific colors of ink that might have comprised the image on any one card.

Some collectors feel these errors, especially when they exist in more than a single example, represent a suitable pursuit in and of themselves, separate from the mail body of T206. Some of the errors can bring several hundred dollars. For those reasons, many years ago we chose to incorporate the "1901-11 T206 Errors" listings in the big book.

Now, through the efforts of T206 devotee Trae Regan, four more T206 errors will be added to that "set" in a forthcoming edition of the catalog. These are not earthshaking discoveries; they have been known among serious T206 collectors for a long time, but they have never been previously cataloged. We'll share two more of those with you today. Both have been confirmed in several examples, signaling they are "collectible" to those who want to search them out. Both involve the cards of Hall of Fame pitcher Rube Marquard.

Marquard (Portrait), "reverse comma"
More than a few of the T206 Marquard portrait (350 Subjects series) cards can be found with what appears to be a backwards comma, rather than a period, after the "N" on his jersey. This was probablt the result of damage to a printing plate.

Marquard (Follow through), red "8"
An extraneous object falling on the red/magenta plate while it was being prepared is the likely cause of what appears to be a red numeral "8" under the pitchers left arm on some cards. This error has been observed on both Piedmont and Sweet Caporal cards of the 350-460 Subjects series.

As mentioned, these errors will probably be added to a forthcoming edition of the Standard Catalog. How they will be priced in their initial presentation remains to be seen and will be based on hobby market demand.

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