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Lot # 510 (of 1673)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

Circa 1927 Tabacalera La Morena Tobacco Major League Players Collection (9)

Starting Bid - $1,000.00 , Sold For - $1,410.00

Collection of nine different extraordinarily rare 1927 Tabacalera La Morena tobacco cards, each graded by SGC: #96 Cardinals team (SGC VG/EX 50), 97 Everett Scott (SGC EX/NM 80), 99 Washington team (newly discovered, SGC VG 40), 106 Jim Bottomley (HOF, SGC EX+ 70), 112 Baseball In New York (newly discovered, SGC EX+ 70), 113 Giants/White Sox (newly discovered, SGC EX+ 70), 114 Cardinals/Robins (SGC NM+ 86), 119 George Harper (newly discovered, SGC VG/EX 50), and 120 Cardinals/Robins (SGC EX 60). Few card issues of any type approach the rarity of this tobacco issue. We have never even seen a sample card from this set before. Their incredible rarity is no doubt related to the fact that they were issued in El Salvador. Exactly why a set featuring American Major League ballplayers (and identified Major League game-in-progress action scenes) was issued by a tobacco company in El Salvador in the 1920s in a mystery to us. We are told that the set is actually a multisport issue, and that many of the other cards in the set represent other sports. Maybe the theme of the set was popular sports from different countries, and baseball was chosen for America. Because the highest card number known is #120, it is believed that the set includes 120 cards in total. All of the known baseball cards are numbered between #96 and #120, so it is our belief that the baseball portion of the set is comprised exclusively of cards # 96 through 120, and is therefore complete at twenty-five cards. Currently only eighteen different baseball cards in the set are known. According to The Standard Catalog checklist, additional known players in the set include Ty Cobb, Christy Mathewson, John McGraw, Babe Ruth, and Lou Gehrig. The set was issued circa 1927 to promote the Rich Brown Tobacco company's La Morena tobacco brand. Note: SGC has dated the cards 1929; The Standard Catalog lists the year of issue as 1928. We are inclined to think the actual year of issue is 1927 (or late 1926) as Everett Scott is pictured on his card with the White Sox and he was with this team only in 1926, his final year in the Majors. The fact that the St. Louis Cardinals, who were the 1926 World Champs, feature very prominently on many cards in the set is also consistent with this dating. Tabacalera La Morena cards measure 1-7/8 x 2-5/8 inches. They are considerably rarer than almost all of the few card issues dating from the 1920s (or any other era). The borderless fronts, which have the card number at the bottom, feature color-tinted black-and-white photos of individual players or in-action game scenes. This is a fascinating set with very interesting photography which is unique to this issue. The stock is very high quality. The backs have Spanish captions briefly identifying the player(s) or game-in-progress scene featured on the front. On the back of Jim Bottomley's card, for example, we learn that "First Baseman Bottomley is one of the nicest and most popular baseball players in the U.S.A." On the reverse of the Cardinals team card we learn that the "St. Louis Cardinals are one of the best baseball teams in America. It is not rare for one hundred thousand people to see a game of Baseball." Advertising at the bottom of the reverse of each card translates to read "Courtesy of Rich Brown Tobacco, the Champion among Consumers." This collection includes four newly discovered cards that are not listed in The Standard Catalog checklist. These are the first "Tabacalera La Morena" cards we have ever encountered. This is an extraordinary collection of these extremely rare, very attractive and exotic prewar tobacco cards. Total 9 cards. Reserve $1,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $1,410.00

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