Wooden Trinidad Fundadores cigar box, measuring 8.25 x 4.5 x 3, signed on the top cover in blue felt tip by Fidel Castro. The box contains 24 cigars, and is stamped on each end, "24 Fundadores," with a maker's mark on the bottom, "Habanos S.A., Hecho en Cuba, Totalmente a mano," stamped below, "CLE, FEB 02." The box retains its "Republica de Cuba" cigar warranty seal, which has been re-adhered to the cover. In fine condition. Accompanied by an image of Castro signing the box for noted philanthropist Dr. Eva Haller. From a letter by Haller, in which she describes her meeting with Castro in March 2002 [not included]: 'Castro handed to me the box of cigars. He gave them to me, because I jokingly asked him for it, when others lit a cigar. I told him, that if he signs the box, I will sell it and make lots of money. He thought that was funny. As you may remember we spoke Spanish, and he was very proud of his Hemingway photo with a fish he caught and enjoyed showing around his house. We have some photos of the occasion.'
Beginning in 1980, Trinidad Fundadores were exclusively produced for Fidel Castro, and until 1998 the only boxes that were allowed to leave Cuba had been gifts to foreign dignitaries. The brand made its official launch as a Cuban export in February 1998, and this box—from Castro's personal stash—was signed and given away only four years later. Cigars were an integral component of Castro's heroic revolutionary image, and as such this signed box is a truly remarkable historical artifact.
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