SCP Auctions Spring 2010 Internet Auction


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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 6/1/2010
One of the most prodigious and substantive tobacco card issues ever produced in Cuba is the 1924-25 Aguilitas Segundas series. A promotional vehicle for the Aguilitas Cigarette brand, the series includes (900) cards that feature a broad array of celebrities from various sports and entertainment fields. Most notably, the set features 44 baseball players from the Cuban Professional League. Measuring 1 1/2” by 2 3/8”, the card fronts display black and white photographic imagery with the subject’s name and occupation below. Printing on the backs of the cards includes “Segunda Serie Artistica”, a reference translated to “Second Artistic Series”. The backs also display card numbers (1 to 900) and an ad for the Aguilitas Cigarette brand. Among the highly coveted selection of baseball players are several members of the Cuban and National Baseball Halls of Fame and Negro League stars. Notables include Cristobal Torriente, John Henry “Pop” Lloyd, Jose Mendez, Oscar Charleston and Biz Mackey. For a multitude of reasons, the population of 1924-25 Aguilitas Segundas baseball cards is extraordinarily thin, leaving collectors with a scant sampling of mostly low-grade specimens to compete for. The PSA and SGC population reports combined show 170 total examples graded to date with the vast majority grading VG-EX or less. Needless to say, finding a complete set of 44 baseball players in tact is rare. Finding a complete set in an original 9 ¼” by 11 ¾” Aguilitas Segundas album, along with all 856 other cards is a monumentally important event in our hobby.

The rarity and completeness of this set in its original album notwithstanding, the element of condition that goes along with having cards mounted and protected in this manner makes this discovery all the more significant. Each of the highly condition sensitive cards in this album were individually adhered to the album pages on their correspondingly numbered spaces in the period of issue. The vintage adhesive was applied in varying degrees anywhere from a small dab to an area covering 2/3 of the card back. In every case, an area of the card can be lifted from the album page to reveal unharmed printing on the reverse. The number 1 card (non-baseball) in the album has loosened naturally from the album page without suffering paper loss and shows a very small amount of light paper residue from the page adhered to about 10% of the surface area at the top. Most of the card fronts, including the baseball players, present in NM condition or better. Most of the cards in lesser condition appear on the first and last pages of the album. The album cover has detached, leaving the first page exposed. Four of the baseball players (Tuero, Ohms, Petty and Clark) appear on the last page. Most of the other baseball players appearing in sequential order on interior pages have been preserved in a state that is virtually unheard of for this issue. Individual condition assessments for the baseball player fronts are as follows:

841 Pablo Mesa NM-MT, 842 Armando Marsans NM, 843 Cristobal Torriente NM, 844 Merito Acosta NM, 845 Cheo Ramos NM-MT, 846 John Henry Lloyd EX-MT, 847 Herman Rios NM, 848 Lucas Boada VG-EX (lt. crease), 849 Jose Mendez NM, 850 Valentin Dreke VG-EX (surface flaking), 851 Eugenio Morin EX-MT+, 852 Esteban Montalvo NM-MT, 853 Valentin Dreke NM, 854 Julio Rojo NM, 855 Rafael Almeida NM, 856 Emilio Palmero EX, 857 Adolfo Luque EX-MT, 858 Fabre Isidro EX (lt. crease), 859 Manuel Cueto NM-MT, 860 Pedro Dibut EX-MT, 861 Cheo Ramos VG-EX, 862 Jesse Hubbard EX-MT, 863 Kakin Gonzalez NM-MT, 864 Jose Maria Fernandez NM-MT, 865 Snake Henry EX-MT, 866 Ernie Krueger NM, 867 Manuel Parrado EX, 868 Chuck Dressen EX-MT, 869 Oscar Charleston VG-EX (lt. crease), 870 John Henry Lloyd NM, 871 Biz Mackey EX-MT, 872 Eusebio Gonzalez EX-MT, 873 Clint Thomas EX-MT, 874 Dobie Moore NM-MT, 875 Frank Duncan EX-MT, 876 Oscar Rodriguez NM-MT, 877 Jose Lopez NM, 878 Eustaquio Pedroso EX-MT, 879 Dick Lundy NM-MT, 880 Valentin Gonzalez EX-MT, 895 Oscar Tuero VG, 897 Alejandro Oms FR-GD, 898 Jesse Petty PR-FR, 899 Danny Clark VG.

Provenance: The offered 1924-25 Aguilitas Cigars complete set in its original album belonged to a Cuban gentleman who obtained it in the period of issue. Upon immigrating to the United States in 1958, the album was among a small number of cherished possessions he was able to bring with him. Shortly thereafter, he noticed that his young nephew showed an interest in sports and collecting. He gave this album to his nephew (our consignor) along with various other collectibles. Over the next 40 some odd years the album and other collectibles have remained packed in a storage box, moving with our consignor from New York City to Long Island, NY, to Scottsdale Arizona and finally Las Vegas, Nevada. Just months ago, the album was rediscovered by our consignor while searching for these long lost treasures.

Current Bidding (Reserve Has Been Met)
Minimum Bid: $10,000
Final prices include buyers premium.: $41,435
Number Bids:11
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