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Lot # 1253 (of 1673)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

Babe Ruth Tobacco Collection Including Cigar Contract (3)

Starting Bid - $200.00 , Sold For - $822.50

This collection of three Babe Ruth related tobacco products is highlighted by the classic "Bambino" tobacco tin. The striking design of the Bambino tin, which features a black-and-white silhouette of the Babe's mighty swing set against a bright red background, has always made this a favorite among baseball and advertising collectors. It is interesting to note that Bambino Smoking Tobacco was not actually endorsed by Ruth. By using only one of Ruth's many nicknames ("Bambino") and picturing a silhouette instead of a more detailed image, Bailey Brothers, Inc., the tobacco company that produced Bambino, was able to avoid paying royalties for Ruth's formal endorsement. The tin (4.5 x 3.25 inches) displays a few minor dents, heavy oxidation along the lid and base, and moderate wear throughout. Good condition overall. The second item in the collection is a "Boyish Babe" cigar box. Like the Bambino tin, these cigars were not officially endorsed by Ruth. The portrait image on the outer and interior lid bears a strong resemblance to Ruth, which was no doubt intentional, but not so strong that the company would have to pay Ruth for the use of his endorsement or likeness. The box (9.5 x 6 x 2.5 inches) displays minor wear and is in Excellent condition overall. The final piece is a 1919 "Certificate and Declaration Relative to Labels, Trade-Marks, Stamps and Forms of Advertisement" for the state of Massachusetts, filed on behalf of the Babe Ruth Cigar Co., of Boston, Massachusetts. The two-page document officially registers the label and trade mark for the company's cigar brand, the most essential feature of which is listed in the document as "The name of Babe Ruth." The certificate is dated October 9, 1919 and is signed by James W. Linnehan, president of the Babe Ruth Cigar Company. Right before he was traded to the Yankees, Ruth invested a small amount of money in the Babe Ruth Cigar Company, a small local firm that produced a nickel cigar with his endorsement. We have located an original news photograph of Ruth from 1920, depicting Ruth outside a Boston cigar store, selling his “Babe Ruth” Cigars. Articles note that Ruth's picture was on every wrapper though we have never seen one. Although we don't know the financial arrangements of the deal, or how long the company was in business, Ruth obviously enjoyed the cigars, for he once commented upon them by stating, "I smoked them until I was blue in the face." The document (8.5 x 14 inches) displays a few small edge tears and is in overall Excellent condition. Total: 3 items. Reserve $200. Estimate $400/$600. SOLD FOR $822.50


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