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Circa 1903 Sebring's Special Cigar Box
Starting Bid - $300.00, Sold For - $3,190.00
Extremely rare player-endorsed cigar box features an extraordinarily colorful interior label with a portrait of 1903 World Series hero Jimmy Sebring above a very detailed colorized game-in-progress panoramic scene at Pittsburgh's Exposition Park. Few, if any, labels can match the exceptional graphics of this box. Ty Cobb, Mordecai Brown, Joe Tinker, Cy Young, and many other great stars all had their tobacco brands. While Jimmy Sebring may seem out of place in such exclusive company, that fact may actually explain why the design of his cigar box is so much more elaborate than that of others. Sebring died at the age of twenty-seven in 1909. It is possible (though we think unlikely) that "Sebring's Special" cigars were produced immediately following his untimely passing, to commemorate and celebrate his life. It is more likely, however, that this box was issued in 1903 or 1904, immediately following the first World Series. Sebring was with Pittsburgh from 1902 to 1904, and starred in the 1903 World Series, playing in all eight games, batting .367, and hitting the first ever World Series home run. That was certainly his shining moment. His career was otherwise somewhat undistinguished. Sebring played parts of five Major League seasons with four different teams between 1902 and 1909. A factory label on the bottom of the box identifies "E.H.Young & Bro." of "Farrandsville, Penna." as the manufacturer. This, combined with the fact that Sebring was born in Liberty, Pennsylvania, and died in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, suggests that "Sebring's Special" cigars were marketed to his hometown audience. Despite the obvious superiority of the design of Sebring's cigar box compared with others, this was obviously not sufficient for success of the brand. The offered box is the only example known.There is some tearing to the exterior sealing label (necessary to open the box of cigars). The interior label is in exceptionally fine Excellent to Mint condition. The top of the box has a little warping (very common with wooden cigar boxes), which is noticeable only in that the box top does not close perfectly flat. The box as a whole is in Excellent condition. A small and very fragile additional diecut "Sebring's Special" advertising label has miraculously survived and is still affixed in the interior of the box below the lid as made. One of the most unusual and interesting of all player-endorsed cigar boxes. Accompanied by a 1909 T204 Ramly Tobacco card of Sebring (fair). Dimensions: 8.25 x 2.5 x 4.5 inches. Reserve $300. Estimate $500/$1,000. SOLD FOR $3,190.00
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