With Thomas coming out of retirement and releasing new wonderful pieces there is a fast growing community of collectors that are after his older pieces, needless to say that they are beautiful.
If you have any interest in Thomas work at all this piece will come as a surprise. It is one of the coveted earlier pieces.
From my research and based on Third Party Information I believe this Cuba A Libre was included in a very expensive magic set that Thomas Pohle and Willy Wessel cooperated on and that was released by the KDWE (Shopping Center of the West) in Berlin…which was at the time Germany’s answer to Harrods of London, basically carrying the finest of everything (at prices that remove it from reach of most mortals…). I have no information of how many sets were made and in all my years I have never seen this set in its entirely (although seeing it has now become kind of a bucket list item for me). My assumption is that the rich kids that received them tired quickly and not to many of them have actually survived.
Looking at this beautiful piece I can only imagine how many hours of painstaking work it took to complete. Not a task most of us would take on even if we had the ability to do it. Each individual Shell is made from wood to exactly fit. This is the “automatic” version where the action is achieved with a little lever on the tube, not the much easier to construct “thumb hole”
I do not have the routine that Thomas supplied with this but I can tell you that it allows for cubes to be stacked seemingly random including front and back facing, not just the number order but also orientation can be matched. No instructions provided!
The individual dice are approx. 1.25″ so it is great for performance for smaller groups.
I would describe the condition as very good with small signs of it being used.
The cubes are covered in elegant gold foil.