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Circa 1910 Louisville Cubs (Negro League) Cigar Box
Starting Bid - $500.00, Sold For - $1,276.00
Extremely rare (and very possibly unique) circa 1910 baseball cigar box with both an exterior and interior label featuring a team photo of an early Negro League ball club named the Louisville Cubs. Advertising items featuring black teams from this era are virtually nonexistent. Cigar boxes featuring baseball themes were very popular at the turn of the century, but these boxes featured white players and teams. The few that featured black players did so with illustrations depicting the players in a derogatory manner. This box is a rare and perhaps unique exception, celebrating a local black Louisville team. We know little about the Louisville Cubs. They were one of the many teams of black ballplayers that rose up out of the ashes of baseball's "Gentlemen's Agreement" to form a loosely knit league of professional teams comprised exclusively of black ballplayers. The fact that this team is immortalized on this cigar box in such a dignified manner suggests that the Louisville Cubs were a much-celebrated team. Both the top of the lid and front side of the box feature the name "Louisville Cubs" stamped in black. The interior label, on the underside of the lid, features a team photo of the club, above which is lettered "Louisville Cubs." The price of the cigar ("5C") appears on either side of the photo. "Smoke Louisville Cubs Cigar" is printed below the photo. Remnants of the same team photo appear on the side label (approximately 20% of the label remains). Aside from the stamped notation "Factory No. 45, 5th Dist. KY 100" on the front of the box, no other manufacturer's or tax labels are present. The lid is detached, but has been repaired with a strip of vintage brown tape along the outer edge (repaired many years, possibly decades, ago). The interior label is 95% intact and displays light soiling and a small stain (not affecting the photo). The box (8.5 x 5 x 4.5 inches) is in Good to Very Good condition. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000/$1,500. SOLD FOR $1,276.00
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