The 10-day private auction on eBay ended on Saturday, July 15 with 13 bids from a starting bid price of $500,000. The final bid price is almost double the $641,500 paid in 1996 for the same card.
The high bidder is an avid sports memorabilia collector from Southern California who will remain anonymous until a press conference scheduled for Tuesday, July 18. Details of the press conference will be announced later today.
This item is believed to be the most expensive item ever bought on eBay.
"We are thrilled with the outcome," said Robert Lifson, director of Robert Edward Auctions. "Every trading card collector dreams of owning this very special card. We had many interested and active bidders. Offering the card on eBay allowed millions more to feel a part of this record-making event."
The T206 Honus Wagner card's record value and status as the most recognized card in the world is due to its quality, rarity and legend. As widely reported, Wagner objected his name and likeness be used in association with smoking. As a result of Wagner's demands, the American Tobacco Company stopped production of his card in its landmark 523 card T206 issue. It is believed that approximately 50 to 60 Honus Wagner cards were ever distributed. Of those sold publicly, the T206 Honus Wagner PSA 8 NM-MT (Near Mint-to-Mint) is the most valuable.
eBay (www.ebay.com), the world's personal trading communityTM, pioneered person-to-person online trading. Founded in 1995, eBay has developed an efficient and entertaining trading site on the Web that is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. eBay has more than 12 million registered users. Currently, there are more than 4 million items listed for sale. More than 500,000 items are added daily in more than 4,300 categories, including: antiques; automotive; books, movies and music; coins and stamps; collectibles; computers; dolls and figures; jewelry and gemstones; photos and electronics; pottery and glass; sports memorabilia; and toys.
Mastronet, Inc. of Oak Brook, Ill., is a leading sports memorabilia auction company in the U.S., and consists of five divisions, including Mastro Fine Sports, Robert Edward Auctions, (www.robertedwardauctions.com), Mastro West Auctions, Ron Oser Enterprises and Mastronet.com. The company has offered and sold many of the most famous and valuable sports items ever offered to the public market, including Robert Edward Auctions' sale of the Lou Gehrig uniform worn when he delivered the "luckiest man alive" speech in 1939. Mastronet's Mastro Fine Sports Division has recently conducted sales which realized $5.5 million in March 1999, $7.2 million in November 1999 and $5.8 million in May 2000.