Henry Reccius Cigars Honus Wagner

‘It’s In The Details’

Title Henry Reccius Cigars Honus Wagner
Year Unknown
Size Approx. 3 3/8″ x 4 3/4″
Images Black and White
Type Trade / 19th Century Tobacco
Number in Set
1

Henry Reccius Cigars Honus Wagner Overview

Reccius Wagner.jpg

While the T206 Honus Wagner is baseball’s biggest prize in terms of dollar value, his Henry Reccius Cigars card is much rarer. Most collectors have never even heard of this specific issue, which was a trade card for Henry Reccius Cigars, a Louisville-based company.

The card has been known to the hobby for some time but many mysteries still surround it, as I covered here.

Chief among them is when exactly this card was produced. The rare card features a portrait of a young Wagner. At the time of its printing, Wagner was either a rookie or a young player with the Louisville Colonels. The exact date of the card is unknown but it was believed by many to be printed in 1897, 1898, or 1899, since those were the years Wagner was a member of the team before joining Pittsburgh for the 1900 season. However, even that is in question since the address printed on it is one linked to Reccius later than those years. Even that is a bit up in the air, though, as I wrote about in that link above.

As is the case with many other early Wagner cards, his name is spelled as Hans. That would be one thing that points to an earlier card. Some consider this to be Wagner’s rookie card.

One interesting note is that the card was out of the public eye for many years. One surfaced in the late 1990s, which was the first time it had been seen by most. But as an old advertisement from the 1950s pointed out, it was known before then.

The card is also interesting because of its indirect tie to the T206 set. One popular story surrounding the T206 Wagner card is that it was pulled from printing production because Wagner objected to his likeness being used on tobacco products. But here, as with other sets, Wagner is displayed on this card for a tobacco company. It makes the story of why Wagner was not supposed to be included in the T206 set a little murkier.

The card is reddish in appearance with a black and white picture of Wagner. The bottom has the Henry Reccius name and states the company is the manufacturer of a Hans Wagner 10-cent cigar.

Only three of the cards are known to exist with one recently being found in Washington, PA. A PSA 1 sold in 2006 for just over $50,000 while a PSA Authentic raised over $21,000 in 2012.

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