Cuba memorabilia fetches big bucks on eBay

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An eBay shop has a trove of vintage Cuban paintings and photos up for sale. These items include:

  • Original Untitled Abstract by Tomás Oliva Sr. Cuban Artist Signed and Dated – $2,499.99
  • Mixed Media of Female Abstract by Renowned Cuban Artist Joaquin Ferrer–Paris – $1,999.99
  • La Bodeguita del Medio in Havana, Cuba Vintage Collectible Memorabilia – $1,599.99
  • Edición De La Libertad Historical Bohemia Magazines 3 Volumes Originally Bound – $1,249.99
  • Debbie Reynolds in Cuba A Collection of Photos, Negs, Signed Letter & Newspapers – $999.99
  • Hemingway in Cuba A Rare Collection of Photos, Negs, Signed Note and Newspapers – $999.99
  • Errol Flynn in Cuba with Sepy Dobronyi A 50’s Collection of Photographs, Book, Magazine and Newspaper Articles/Clippings – $899
  • Lena Horne in Cuba with Sepy Dobronyi 50s B&W Photographs and Article Clippings – $149.99
  • Jimmy Durante with Sepy Dobronyi and Friends Two Vintage 8×10 B&W Photographs – $149.99
Debbie Reynolds

Some items are signed by Baron Joseph “Sepy” De Bicske Dobronyi, a Hungarian-born sculptor and co-owner of the Bodeguita del Medio.
Wikipedia describes Dobronyi as a “royal crown jeweler, aristocrat, art collector, world traveler, movie maker, pilot, wine collector, sportsman, playboy.”
He wound up in Havana in 1947. According to Wikipedia:

… An offer was presented by the King Gustaf V of Sweden to Dobronyi to travel to Caracas, Venezuela, which he accepted, in order to leave Europe and venture out on his own. He boarded a plane, on New Year’s Eve 1947, where his final destination was not reached due to a layover in Havana, Cuba.
Dobronyi with only $150.00, his suitcase and the suit on his back had the urge to have an epic New Year’s Eve decided to stay in Cuba. Since the Caracas contract was never signed, Dobronyi searched for a job and was able to find work in a jeweler’s shop. This job enabled him not only to survive to start saving in order to purchase his own tools.
Gradually he began designing his own ideas, and working on them in his apartment after hours. His dedication and love for the arts proved fruitful as he started to build up a clientele and within a year he was able to fund his own studio.
He incorporated his European style, and with his elegant and original approach to his designs, and the attraction from the Cuban society proved successful. Each work was signed with his trademark signature, “Sepy”. His clientele included American tourists and people in the entertainment industry as well as the local Cuban society.
In just a few years, his studio became the mecca for celebrities such as Ernest Hemingway, Errol Flynn, and Nat King Cole to name a few. A necklace of shells in a net design was made for Mary Welsh Hemingway, who personally requested it. This brought more American customers to Dobronyi as well, as publicity for his studio with the magazines and newspapers in the U.S.

A sampling of the Cuba memorabilia on eBay. Items include an archery target complete with arrow holes. Price: $95.
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