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  #1  
Old 05-10-2021, 03:03 PM
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mouschi mouschi is offline
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Default Putting a 1911 T205 Gold Border Christy Mathewson Under a Microscope

I've always loved T206 white borders. The thought of having something to do with my favorite sport/hobby that predates both world wars was always intriguing to me. Plus, the T206s are the most famous sports cards in history.

A tobacco card issue that has always been in the T206's shadow is the 1911 T205 Gold Border. In spite of the fact that it is numerical before T206, it was actually issued after. The number designation given by Jefferson Burdick was a reference to the alphabetical order (Gold vs. White).

The T205 Gold Border is much rarer than the T206 - PSA has graded over a quarter million T206's ... T205's? Just over 41,000 total. To date, only 4 PSA 9's have been graded. PSA 10? Zero!

To me, the ultimate face of the set is Christy Mathewson. The artwork is absolutely beautiful. His signature bangs hanging over his forehead, and smile (contrary to most portraits of that time period) make it a winner for me. The #1 concern from a condition perspective for me on Matty's T205 is registration - his eyes can oftentimes be found as blurry.

I recently came across a nicely registered and centered example, and picked it up! It is a Polar Bear back - Polar Bear was scrap tobacco, so staining on the back is typical. Look at how this pops!



I decided to put a microscope on it to take a closer look at the lithograph. Zooming in on the eye, you can see gold flakes scattered. (If I recall correctly, the metallic gold borders are actual copper shavings!)



Compare the printing to a 1988 Donruss under the microscope. Quite the difference!



Here is what I was really interested in, though: The metallic border. Under a microscope, it is easy to fall in love even further with T205s, seeing that there was an added dimension to create them.



Here is an actual photograph of it on my shelf. You can see how the border shimmers, and get a good feel for how the tobacco card makers upped that ante over the T206s with their gold borders.



Here is a video of it for anyone who is interested: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DR4_vISsPG8

https://tanmanbaseballfan.com/2021/0...icroscope.html
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  #2  
Old 05-10-2021, 03:28 PM
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Eric72 Eric72 is offline
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Very informative post. As many have said before, "a picture is worth a thousand words." I've never seen such a close-up view of a T205 before.

I have a USB microscope and have spent hours taking a detailed look at T206 cards. By comparison, they look relatively simplistic next to the Matty.

One last thing that crossed my mind. It certainly is clever how you managed to include images of a 1988 Donruss card on the main page. As out-of-place as that would ordinarily be, it fits perfectly here.
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  #3  
Old 05-10-2021, 04:03 PM
Cmvorce Cmvorce is offline
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I was never really interested in T205s. Until this post. Thank you.
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  #4  
Old 05-10-2021, 05:24 PM
gonzo gonzo is offline
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A sharp card and an interesting post. Thanks for sharing!
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Buying T205s: (larger want list here)
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  #5  
Old 05-11-2021, 12:48 AM
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mouschi mouschi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric72 View Post
Very informative post. As many have said before, "a picture is worth a thousand words." I've never seen such a close-up view of a T205 before.

I have a USB microscope and have spent hours taking a detailed look at T206 cards. By comparison, they look relatively simplistic next to the Matty.

One last thing that crossed my mind. It certainly is clever how you managed to include images of a 1988 Donruss card on the main page. As out-of-place as that would ordinarily be, it fits perfectly here.
Haha, you know me - anything to eek in a Canseco mention, right?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cmvorce View Post
I was never really interested in T205s. Until this post. Thank you.
This is the highest compliment I can get, thank you! It is definitely a really neat set.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gonzo View Post
A sharp card and an interesting post. Thanks for sharing!
Thanks for commenting!
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  #6  
Old 05-11-2021, 10:09 AM
Directly Directly is offline
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Default T205 baseball HOF cards trending ++

It appears the T205 Hall of Fame Players cards are finally getting some long due attention, they are trending up in price across the board----
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  #7  
Old 05-11-2021, 12:15 PM
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mouschi mouschi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Directly View Post
It appears the T205 Hall of Fame Players cards are finally getting some long due attention, they are trending up in price across the board----
I think for many, people are spending mad money on perfect copies of cards that they had as a kid, and are starting to think wait a second ... I can put this money in actual baseball card history.
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  #8  
Old 05-11-2021, 12:28 PM
tavo2311 tavo2311 is offline
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Thanks for the interesting post. I've always liked the look of the T205's, first introduced to me on the cover of the book The Glory of Their Times: The Story of the Early Days of Baseball Told by the Men Who Played It. I never knew the rarity relative to the T206.
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  #9  
Old 05-11-2021, 01:00 PM
MVSNYC MVSNYC is offline
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Very cool, thanks for sharing!
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  #10  
Old 05-11-2021, 02:46 PM
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mouschi mouschi is offline
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I just did a video doing the same with my 1915 Cracker Jack Shoeless Joe Jackson and a 2004 Topps Cracker Jack Randy Johnson under 1,000x magnification. Check it out!

Video: https://youtu.be/wZHrlha0T4Q

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  #11  
Old 05-11-2021, 02:55 PM
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Michael
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mouschi View Post
I decided to put a microscope on it to take a closer look at the lithograph. Zooming in on the eye, you can see gold flakes scattered. (If I recall correctly, the metallic gold borders are actual copper shavings!)
I didn't realize they were copper shavings. Does that explain why the borders sometimes appear to be of a greenish hue (because of oxidation)?
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  #12  
Old 05-11-2021, 03:28 PM
robw1959 robw1959 is offline
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I used to love the T205s when I collected them back in the '70s, when you could get high-grade examples for 75 cents or a buck each. The problem I have with them nowadays is that those high-grade examples seem to have totally dried up. And when I say "high-grade", I do mean it. I can't recall any of mine having any wear along the edges at all. I didn't have too many of them, but those I had were just about picture-perfect looking.

It's funny, but those good memories have spoiled me on collecting T205s. To me, any wear along the borders or edges just makes them look like crap, which is why I have no desire to collect them any more.

I don't mean to be negative, or throw a wet blanket over anybody else's party, but, as crazy as it sounds, that's just how it is for me.
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