Early 1900s advertising poster featuring a portrait of Mark Twain, lithographed by Russell-Morgan Print, Cincinnati, OH, after the painting by Ignace Spiridon (Italy, fl. 1869-1900). Printed inscription identifying Twain with artist's signature, top left. Black painted frame with gilt rabbet edge and A. SANTAELLA & CO TAMPA FLA. in gilt lettering, bottom of frame. Housed under glass. Poster – 23 1/4" H x 18 1/4" W. Framed – 28 1/2" H x 23 1/2" W. Provenance: The collection of internationally known ragtime pianist and historian Johnny Maddox, Gallatin, TN. Note: Posters were made of the original portrait and used as promotional items in a revival play of Twain's PUDD'NHEAD WILSON performed in 1901. (source: http://www.twainquotes.com/Spiridon.html). Note: Cigar company A. Santaella & Co., makers of Flor Mia, Optimo, El Capitan General, Alluro, Centropolis and Best of the Best, was established in 1886 in Key West by Antonio Santaella (1863-1984), a Spanish immigrant from Seville, Spain who became a cigar maker in Cuba during the 1870s, and Sol Hamburger (b. 1857) a German immigrant from Ashaffenburg, Bavaria. Optimo was a very well known brand. Its customers included Sir Winston Churchill and Babe Ruth. In 1905 a large 100 foot extension was added to the rear of the building making the factory the largest of its kind in the Tampa area. A. Santaella & Co. operated there until it was sold to the Universal Cigar Co. in 1955. (source: http://jaimemontilla.com/a-santaella). CONDITION: Image has been cut down and mounted to card stock. Areas of poster have melted and adhered to the glass, largest 1 1/4" x 3/4" W, to edges of poster. Areas of mold, largest 1/4", surface of poster.
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