Unbound. This collection 746 different cigar band is contained in 47 acid-free philatelic stock book pages held in a three-ring binder. The collection was transferred from a 1960ish “magnetic” photograph album. The bands are arranged in the same order—mostly alphabetically—as they were mounted in the magnetic album. They are in nice shape; mostly like new, but with a few occasional scuffs here and ther. The name, “Richard Downes” was written inside the old album’s cover.
The collection is visually stunning with multi-color printing and gilt embossing. In addition to ornate typography and designs, many bands feature animals and portraits of historical figures including royalty, presidents, politicians, authors, artists, etc. Some bands were customized for business, products, and individuals.
The little I know about vitolphilia I’ve gleaned from the Encyclopedia of Ephemera, on-line websites (e.g., Cigar Aficionado, Cuban Collectibles, Cuban Cigar Website, etc.), Worthpoint, and eBay listings.
That said, to my un-expert eye, the collection appears to be about a 50-50 mix of vintage, pre-revolution Cuban bands and U.S. bands. The U.S. bands are split between nicer items and inexpensive generic issues. While the inexpensive generic American bands are readily available on eBay, better bands—especially some of the vintage Cuban labels sell for more; several dollars apiece on eBay and considerable more at Cuban collectibles websites.
If you’re not a vitolphilist, this collection might convince you to become on; it’s hard to resist the vibrant and elaborate printing. Very good. Item #009476 Considering that some of these bands are worth only pennies but others may be worth up to ten dollars, I think that someone willing to invest some time in researching brands and individual bands might be able to turn a tidy profit on eBay.
Downes was most active collecting bands during the first half of the 20th century. At the time cigar band collecting was an especially popular pastime, and it could well be that he began as a child in the early 1900s and continued until the 1960s.
Considering that some of these bands are worth only pennies but others may be worth up to ten dollars, I think that someone willing to invest some time in researching brands and individual bands might be able to turn a tidy profit on eBay.