Allegedly Altered Honus Wagner E90-2 American Caramel Pulled from Auction

The five-figure Wagner card was yanked from eBay on Sunday

Another day, another high-dollar pre-war that was allegedly altered.

The latest pre-war discovery was made Sunday night regarding an E90-2 American Caramel Honus Wagner card. Here, the Blowout post in question documents a Wagner card in a PSA 2 holder. Seemingly the same card is then seen in a PSA 4 holder that appears to be have been cleaned up and resubmitted.

The card had been in a current eBay auction but, as pointed out in the full Blowout thread, was then removed.

Many collectors are familiar with the more popular E90-1 American Caramel series but the E90-2 cards are not seen nearly as much. While the E90-1 set includes a wide range of players, the E90-2 cards featured only members of the 1909 World Champion Pittsburgh Pirates. It was one of several sets that did that, actually.

e90-2-10-wagnerTo give you an idea on the population, more than 5,000 E90-1 American Caramel cards have been graded by PSA. By comparison, there are fewer than 300 E90-2s graded by the company. Now, those exact figures are a bit misleading. A big reason for the disparity is that the E90-1 set is significantly larger. However, E90-2s are still relatively tough.

Back to the auction in question.

The price bump seen would have been significant. As a PSA 2, the card previously sold in REA’s October 2017 auction for $6,600. But bumped up to a PSA 4, the same apparent card was sold by PWCC for more than $12,000 last year. Here are PSA’s records of Wagner E90-2 cards graded by the company.

One thing that I found interesting in browsing that list is that the PWCC sale seemed to have underperformed quite a bit. Their PSA 4 (the card in question here) that sold in 2018 raised $12,326. However, a different PSA 4 Wagner that was sold less than a month later by REA brought a staggering $16,800 — nearly $4,500 more.

Now, auction prices involving high-dollar cards can fluctuate quite a bit. But that is a tremendous difference and, on the surface, some would surely wonder if prospective buyers had some concerns about the PWCC card when it sold back in 2018.

That, however, is not a slam dunk and is evidenced by the fact that a different PSA 4 of the card sold in an REA auction a few months ago for ‘only’ $13,200. My takeaway here for the drastic difference between those 2018 REA/PWCC sales is that the REA price seemed to be just be on another level. It could have merely been very motivated buyers or the card’s quality was viewed as much better. After all, not all cards graded the same are always the same in terms of quality.

In any event, this is another very expensive pre-war card that appears to have been compromised.


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