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Lot # 970 (of 1411)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

Red Stockings Cigar Label

Starting Bid - $200.00, Sold For - $1,160.00

Red Stockings Cigars were first issued in 1869 or 1870 in Cincinnati, with labels featuring a generic Cincinnati Reds ballplayer. In 1874, following the Red Stockings move to Boston, the Red Stocking Cigars label art was updated to feature a Boston Red Stockings ballplayer. The beautiful color lithography features an image of a Boston baseball player set against the background of a game in progress. "Red Stockings" appears in large letters across the top. Printed in the lower right is "Registered in the year 1874 by Nichols & MacDonald. Transferred in 1884 to Fred'k W. MacDonald. In Patent Office At Washington." Nichols and MacDonald were the sole proprietors of Red Stockings Cigars during the brand's initial manufacture in Boston in 1874. During that same year the company also produced a full-color advertising poster featuring George Wright promoting Red Stockings brand cigars. Only one example of that advertising poster is known to exist and it is extremely significant in that it is the earliest known advertising endorsement of any product by a ballplayer. The Red Stockings brand was phased out in the 1870s, but was brought back in 1884 by tobacconist Frederick W. MacDonald (the "MacDonald" of "Nichols & MacDonald"), who apparently purchased the rights to the brand from the partnership and decided to continue production. The design of this label is based upon the earlier advertising poster, with the image of George Wright (who was no longer active) replaced with a generic Boston ballplayer. It is not known with certainty the exact year the label was produced. Though it certainly could not be earlier than 1884, labels of this identical design may have been printed well into the 1890s, or even past the turn of the century. A light ink notation in the upper left reads "July 1915." While we think such a late date of manufacture is unlikely, the date must have some significance, and it is possible that the label actually dates from as late as 1915. The Red Stockings label is one of the classics of baseball cigar labels, and this is one of the finest examples we have ever seen. Dimensions: 5 x 5 inches. In Excellent to Mint condition. Reserve $200. Estimate $400/$600. SOLD FOR $1,160.00

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