1935-36 Muratti Cigarettes Set

‘It’s In The Details’

Title Muratti Cigarettes Brennpunkte des Deutschen Sports Olympic Games
Year 1935-36
Size 2 1/2″ x 3 1/2″
Images Black and White
Type Tobacco
Number in Set
720 (?)

1935-36 Muratti Cigarettes Overview

1935 Muratti Basketball.jpgMuratti Tennis'Muratti GolfThis multi-sport set features many athletes to appear in the 1936 Olympic games. The overall set consists of three subsets or series’. The set was a German issue and the product of Muratti Cigarettes in Berlin.

The formal name of the set is called the Brennpunkte des Deutschen Sports Olympic Games. Roughly translated, that means the ‘Focal point’ or ‘Featured German Olympic Games Sports.’ While produced in Germany, though, the set included athletes from all over. Track and field is the sport mostly heavily featured.

While 216 cards are routinely cited as being in the set, that is not correct. Three different subsets actually exist and while the first and third contain 216, the second contains 288 for a total of 720. The set is often called a 1935 issue but part of it, the third series, was printed in 1936.

The cards are printed on very thin stock. That was common for some international issues, including other German ones, such as the popular 1932 Sanella and Astra sets. Those cards feel more like paper and that’s a similar situation here.

Jesse Owens Rookie Card

While many cards of more popular sports can be targets for collectors, the real prize in the set is the rookie card of track and field legend Jesse Owens.

Owens’ rookie card sells for thousands of dollars in decent condition and can even fetch tens of thousands of dollars in high-grade shape. It is no surprise that it is a rare card, coming in one of the tougher, earlier series. While the 1936 Band III set from Muratti is not overly difficult to find, the earlier series’ are much tougher.

The card is unique because it is perhaps the only card of Owens that was issued in 1935 before the Olympics. Owens has numerous 1936 cards following his success at the Olympic games. However, this card issued prior to that is typically considered to be his true rookie issue.

Simply put, it is one of the top pre-war track and field cards that can be bought.

Babe Ruth Myth

Babe Ruth Muratti

Of the major American sports, basketball, football, and hockey are all featured in the set. While those three are here, baseball is not. It has been reported that a Babe Ruth card exists, but that is not the case. This set does not contain any baseball cards but is listed in the baseball section of this site since it is often believed to include a Ruth card as shown.

The idea that Ruth is in the set, as I covered here, is false.

Grading companies have even been fooled as Ruth is listed as the subject on encapsulated flips (the labels on graded cards). PSA, SGC, and Beckett have all graded this as a Babe Ruth issue, driving prices in the hundreds of dollars. The card, however, has been proven to not feature Ruth and instead pictures a swimming trainer named Ernst Brandsten. In reality, this is more like a $1-$2 card at best.

Brandsten himself was a Swedish diver who had previously participated in the Olympics in 1912. He later immigrated to the United States and with his wife, another diver named Greta Johansson, trained divers at Stanford and at the Olympics. He was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1966.

Other Sports

1935-1936 Muratti Hockey

Muratti Cigarettes - Football (1935-36)

Even though Ruth is not in the set, some other major sports are also included.

First, there are at least a few hockey cards here. Card No. 32 in the third series features a game between France and Czechoslovakia. Card No. 63 in the third series features representatives from the medal winning teams. That card is a black and white image laid out horizontally in front of one of the nets.

In addition, a cartoon football card depicting the American sport is No. 284 in the second series. Other cartoon cards for sports such as boxing, tennis, and golf, exist, too. At least one basketball card exists, too, featuring Wuensdorf vs. Berlin, and tennis, wrestling, and golf cards are found here as well.

1935-36 Muratti Cigarettes Checklist

A complete checklist of this set is not currently known.

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