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19th Century Dan Brouthers/Detroit Wolverines Wooden Humidor Featuring 1888 Scrapps/H.D. Smith Card Decal Portrait

Lot Number 204

Quantity: Bid Starts: 05/15/2020 12:00:00 
Bid Open: 900.00  Bid Ends: 05/28/2020 23:30:00 
Bid Count: Overtime: 30 Minutes
Currently: 950.00  Time Left: Ended
View Count: 1957   
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Dare we say this is the best baseball humidor we've ever come across?!


For starters, the stunningly well-preserved, 15"-tall oak urn is an impressive antique all on its own—even before taking into account the extraordinary Dan Brouthers decal on front and "DETROIT WOLVERINES" porcelain knob at top. But then there's the Class of '45 HOFer Brouthers and his legacy as the greatest lefty slugger of his day. None other than John McGraw once said, "Big Dan in his prime, against (modern) pitching and the modern lively ball, would have hit as many home runs as anybody." (Also, Marty Appel's homage to Brouthers is linked here.)


Brouthers' Detroit Wolverines won the NL pennant and NL/AA "World Series" in 1887, before the team folded in 1888—the same year he appeared in the die-cut paper card set that our hobby once erroneously referred to as Scrapps Tobacco, but which has recently been re-named H.D. Smith & Co. after the Cincinnati confectionery that manufactured it. (In fact, there's an argument to be made that the 1888 Y95 H.D. Smith & Co. set represents the first-ever gum cards!)


It's still unclear whether the Brouthers "Scrapps" decal and the beautifully lettered Wolverines finial signify a one-of-a-kind, folk-art creation by a master craftsman, or rather a commercially distributed promo item for the H.D. Smith & Co. firm. Either way, this trophyish, grail-like artifact remains the ultimate tribute to the Wolverines' championship season and their legendary star. The humidor displays as EX-MT except for a vertical hairline separation up the back side. Brouthers himself is, miraculously, about 90% intact. Removing the exterior Wolverines lid reveals an interior knobbed lid and ventilation holes for the inner sanctum of cigar storage.

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