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1930 Baguer Chocolate Complete Set Minus One (89/90)
Starting Bid - $1,000, Sold For - $3,600
Presented is a remarkable near-complete set of 1930 Baguer Chocolate cards consisting of eighty-nine of the ninety cards in the set, missing only short-printed Mitchell Blake for completion. An incredible thirty-two Hall of Famers are featured within this set, including Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jimmy Foxx, and Walter Johnson. Issued in Cuba in 1930, these small-format black-and-white cards measure 5/8 by 7/8 inches and feature a player photo and name on front surrounded by a white border. Printed in red on the reverse is "Chocolate Baguer El mas popular." Similar to other Cuban issues of the time, an album was designed to house all ninety cards; upon completion of the set, the full album could be exchanged for valuable prizes, such as candy, sports equipment, or toys. This redemption offer likely contributes to the extreme scarcity of the one card, Mitchell Blake, as manufacturers often intentionally printed one card in lesser quantities to minimize their exposure to redemptions. The glossy real-photo stock of these cards, combined with their small size and the fact they were designed to be glued into an album, make high-grade examples from this set particularly rare. The offered set is incredibly consistent in appearance, with many cards presenting as Excellent or better from the front. A few cards would technically grade lesser due to creasing or wrinkling in the fragile stock. Approximately one-quarter of the cards have paper loss, excess paper, or heavy glue residue on the reverse. The photo quality and image contrast is outstanding throughout the set. One card, Babe Ruth, is graded VG/EX 50 by SGC. In our more than forty years, we have handled only a few samples from this rare Cuban issue, and a quick look at public auction records show that cards from this set are rarely offered in any significant quantity. We can only find one other large grouping ever auctioned, a complete set glued into an album (sold in 2012 as part of the extensive Richard Merkin Collection of Negro League and associated cards and memorabilia). This is a remarkable near-complete set (missing just one card for completion) of this rare and unsual Cuban issue which would be a worthy addition to even the most advanced vintage card collection. Total: 89 cards. SOLD FOR $3,600
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