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Lot # 54 (of 1525)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

Circa 1898 Honus Wagner Cigar Box/Please Note: Description Modified

Starting Bid - $2,000.00, Sold For - $5,510.00

Auction Description Modification: The title of this description refers to the Honus Wagner cigar box as dating from "Circa 1898." This dating is in error. The box actually dates from between 1919 and 1926. It has long been misdated in the baseball world due to Wagner's appearance on the box in a Louisville uniform. Until 1917 cigars were taxed by weight. In 1917 new law taxing them by selling price went into effect. That law was revised in 1919. In 1919, the small rectangle on the front of this box was created and required to appear on the box. The text in this rectangle reads as follows: "The cigars herein contained were manufactured to retail at nor more than 5¢ and are so tax paid." Any box that has this rectangle, or has a gold on blue revenue stamp, is post 1919. Robert Edward Auctions gives thanks to Mr. Tony Hyman, Curator of the National Cigar Museum, for his invaluable help in properly dating this cigar box.

Honus Wagner is pictured on the inside label of this rare cigar box wearing his Louisville Colonels uniform. Wagner was with Louisville from 1897 to 1899. His endorsement of Honus Wagner Hand-Made Long Fillers Cigars is especially noteworthy in light of his desire not to be associated with tobacco companies and their products in later years. This is not only one of the most significant of all early player-endorsed cigar boxes, it is also very rare, being one of only two examples known to exist. The portrait of Wagner which appears on this box is the very same image as appears on the circa 1898 Henry Reccius trade card of Wagner. This box was one of the prize cigar box rarities of the legendary Barry Halper Collection. It appeared as Lot #15 in the famous Halper auction, and at that time sold for $6,325. The cover is detached from the box, with wear and aging throughout. The inside label is fully intact and the box is in Good to Very Good condition. Dimensions: 9 x 5.25 x 2.5 inches. Reserve $2,000. Estimate $4,000/$6,000. SOLD FOR $5,510.00

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