SCP Auctions November 2010 Internet Auction
This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on:
Shortly after Babe Ruth’s passing in 1948, representatives of the Baseball Hall of Fame paid a visit to the New York City Apartment of their inaugural inductee and secured many of Ruth’s career mementos and personal effects with the permission of Babe’s widow Claire. Given that fact, and the private nature of Ruth’s family, few pieces of memorabilia with direct lineage to Babe Ruth’s estate have ever been made available to private individuals. An exception was made when Claire Ruth bestowed Babe’s personal cigar humidor upon longtime family friend Cy Jones along with several other of the Babe’s significant personal memorabilia items. Among Babe Ruth’s many indulgences, was his well known fondness for cigars. Photographs of Ruth throughout his playing career and life after baseball show him enjoying a cigar. The lid of this well constructed 11” by 7 ½” by 4” mahogany humidor features a small brass plaque engraved “To Babe Ruth From the N.Y. Radio & Sports Press”. The interior is lined with glass at the bottom and underside of the lid. There is no question that this humidor was among a multitude of gifts and presentation pieces received by the endlessly celebrated slugger throughout his life. However, there is no question that Ruth actually used this particular gift, a fact that is documented by the one person whose credibility defies scrutiny. In a copy of a handwritten letter to Cy Jones from Claire Ruth on her personal “Mrs. George H. Ruth” letterhead she writes,
“Dear Cy; I was happy to give you the cigar humidor which the Babe used also his baseball shoes, his bat, the raccoon coat and the many pictures which you requested for your collection. Sincerely, Claire Ruth.”
The humidor remains structurally sound with evidence of usage including scattered scratches and some areas of dryness, which could be significantly and appropriately reduced with the simple application of mild furniture polish. Accompanying the humidor is a magnificent 11” by 14” portrait photo of Ruth formally dressed with a cigar in hand. Ruth has inscribed the photo, “To Cy Jones from Babe Ruth” in flawless black fountain pen ink. The inscription has been graded “10” by PSA/DNA and the photo itself is in spectacular EX-MT condition. The splendor of this over sized signed Ruth image would certainly classify it as a treasure in its own right, but the kindred nature of these two pieces sourced from within the same collection made them inseparable in our minds. This pairing exudes the aura of the Bambino and would be a centerpiece in any world-class collection of Babe Ruth memorabilia. A copy of Claire Ruth’s letter of provenance (shown here) is included. The photo comes with a full LOA from PSA/DNA (auto. grade 10).