Presented here is an extremely rare and highly-coveted original color on-site poster from the inaugural 1930 World Cup soccer championship. Uruguay was selected as the host nation to further celebrate the centenary of its independence, and the Uruguay National Football Team was poised to defend its 1928 Amsterdam Olympic gold medal triumph on home soil. A total of 13 nations competed and all games were played in the capital city of Montevideo. The hosts and pre-tournament favorites advanced to the semifinals along with Argentina, United States and Yugoslavia. In the first ever World Cup Final, Uruguay defeated Argentina 4–2 with 93,000 on hand at Estadio Centenario to become the inaugural champions.
This exquisite color example is believed to have been posted at one of the stadium venues or somewhere in Montevideo leading up to and during the grandiose 1930 event. Designed by Guillermo Laborde, the poster is known as the “Laborde Affiche” and exhibits a unique Art Deco style unlike the prosaic realism of most football posters. Measuring 44 cm (17.5”) by 91 cm (36.75”), the vintage scroll-like paper depicts a goalkeeper leaping to catch a shot at the upper right corner. The large script reads “1er CAMPEONATO MUNDIAL DE FOOTBALL – URUGUAY – MONTEVIDEO – 1930 – 15 JULIO AGOSTO 15.” The Spanish translates to “1st World Football Championship…July 15 August 15.” The “1er” stands out in large red letters to emphasize it being the first ever World Cup.
Another important feature is the blue seal stamp that reads "COMITE EJECUTIVO [Executive Committee] 1er CAMPEONATO MUNDIAL DE FOOTBALL" around the perimeter with "CONTADURIA [Box Office] 1930" at center. It is also visible on the otherwise blank reverse of the poster. Printed in small black font at the bottom left corner is “Obsequio Jabón [Gift Soap] with what appears to be the logo of a Uruguayan sponsor (“BAO”). On the opposite bottom right corner in the same font is “Tip. Lit. Olivera Fernández; Reconquista 624” to indicate the printer: Tipografia y Litografia de Olivera y Fernández of Reconquista 624 in Montevideo, Uruguay. Research indicates that there are only two known types of the original color posters, both having the same characteristics except for ones with the printer's mark and ones without it.
It should be noted that in our last auction, we featured an official monochromatic, black and white lithograph version of this poster, which is slightly smaller at 33 cm by 53 cm, and is exceedingly more common than this incredibly rare color original. Estimates online range from $15,000 and up. According to the consignor, it was sourced from the descendant of a Uruguayan citizen who procured it in Montevideo during the 1930 World Cup. Overall condition is EX-MT to NM with minor discoloration to the off-white base. Only notable issue is a tiny 1/2" tear at the bottom (only visible up close). Amazingly, there are no significant creases, ripped corners or crumpled edges. A truly spectacular example.