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Lot # 1563 (of 1641)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1940 R145 Gum, Inc. "Superman" Complete Set on Three Uncut Sheets - The Only Uncut Sheet Set Known To Exist!

Starting Bid - $15,000, Sold For - $47,400

Presented is entire 72-card set of 1940 R145 Gum, Inc. "Superman" on three 24-card uncut sheets. One of the most extraordinary items in all of nonsport-card collecting, this is the only complete set of "Superman" known to exist in uncut form. In fact, including these three sheets, a total of only five 1940 R145 Gum, Inc. "Superman" uncut sheets are even known to exist! Each sheet (18.75 x 10 inches) is a complete production sheet with fully printed backs. Each is the finest of its type in existence. All uncut gum-card sheets from the 1933-1941 eras are extremely rare. "Superman" sheets are perhaps the rarest of all, far rarer even than Goudey baseball sheets. In forty years, we have seen only two other examples of "Superman" sheets: a low-number sheet (#25-48) which appeared as Lot 18 in REA's May 2010 auction and sold for $15,275, and a high-number (#49-72) sheet that appeared as Lot 1689 in REA's May 2011 auction and sold for $22,325. Those two sheets can be traced back directly to a Gum, Inc. employee who saved them, and sold them in the 1970s. The three uncut sheets comprising the entire set offered here have been known to exist even longer. They have a rich history in the hobby and are one of the great prizes of both "Superman" and nonsport-card collecting. These sheets were once one of the cornerstones of the legendary Bob Lesser nonsport-card collection. When Bob Lesser sold his collection to Alex Acevedo, the "Superman" sheets soon found their way (reportedly via a trade for Winsor McCay artwork!) into the legendary Gelman collection. The set was sold in 1990 (in a private sale, for $23,000) and eventually found its way to auction in 2008, selling for $57,600. (The set in uncut sheets has been consigned to this auction directly by the purchaser at the 2008 auction.)

A complete set of "Superman" is extremely rare, but to have the set in its original uncut form is a card collecting "miracle!" Gum, Inc.'s 1940 "Superman" series is one of the most popular nonsport sets ever issued. Its outstanding color, detailed artwork, popular subject matter, and the exciting adventures presented on the backs, all contribute to making this set one of nonsport collecting's all-time classics. The character of Superman had only first been introduced to the world in 1938, so this gum-card set also played a significant role in popularizing the "Man of Steel." The famous "Action Comics #1," is perhaps the most famous, iconic, and certainly valuable of all Superman collectibles (and all comics). These sheets are actually considerably rarer than an "Action Comics #1", and would be a significant highlight addition to any world-class Superman collection as well as any world-class nonsport gum-card collection.
These are extraordinary sheets in all respects. They have been perfectly protected all these years and display beautifully! Bright and crisp, with brilliant colors, and a simply outstanding overall appearance. There are a few insignificant spots of surface paper loss (probably related to being saved by someone at Gum, Inc.) on the backs of five of the cards (of no consequence). The interior cards are in Mint condition. The sheets have no creases whatsoever. It would be hard to imagine a higher-grade sheet for any one of these three incredible "Superman" sheets, let alone a complete set of all three sheets. The sheets are beautifully matted and framed together (25.5 x 39.5 inches), with double-sided Plexiglas to allow for viewing of the front and reverse. Total: 3 sheets. Reserve $15,000. Estimate $30,000++. SOLD FOR $47,400

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