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1938 R69 Gum, Inc. "Horrors of War" Complete Collector's Set of 240 Cards in Original Cello Packs and Display Box
Starting Bid - $20,000, Sold For - $39,000
Presented is one of the most incredible surviving relics of 1930s gum-card collecting that we have ever had the privilege of offering: a complete set of R69 "Horrors of War" still in its twenty-four original ten-card cello "packs" and housed within the collector's edition display box. Even in 1938, Gum, Inc. recognized that the offered set was special. For the princely sum of one dollar, this "Collector's Set" was available for purchase, housed inside of colorfully designed display box measuring approximately 19.75 x 10.5 inches. An uncut sheet of sixteen cards from the series is affixed to the lid, with a bold red advertisement in the middle billing the offering as a "Complete First Series of Pictures and True Stories of Modern Warfare." The inside of the lid features extensive information on the set, including background information on the printing (with such nuggets as a print run of 100 million cards for the series), endorsements of the set (LIFE and the American Legion among them), uses for the cards (an illustrated history of several major wars could be created by ordering certain cards chronologically), and games that could be played with the cards (trading and flipping, for example). The display box is in overall Excellent condition, with bright colors and minor surface wear along the edges, including one spot where a small crack is present. The cards themselves have been beautifully preserved for almost eighty years! Each group of ten cards is held together tightly across the middle by a cellophane band. These are not packs in the traditional sense that we are familiar with today, but they are exactly as produced in 1938. The cellophane is loosened or broken on four of the packs, while the balance remains tightly sealed. All cards are bright, crisp, and clean, with sharp corners. Some of the cards housed against the cellophane show faint traces of discoloration but still present superbly. Centering relegates some of the cards to Ex despite an otherwise Near Mint or better appearance. It is exciting to think about some of the gems that may be hiding within! "Horrors of War" is the most famous set of war-related trading cards ever issued, and one of the most popular and sought after of all nonsport cards sets. The set is unequaled in its colorful, detailed artwork and gruesome graphics. The reverse text, though historically factual, is filled with antifascist propaganda of the times. Historically significant and noteworthy, the "Horrors of War" set created an unprecedented stir when issued to children in the late 1930s, which still resonates with collectors to this day. This is only the second complete and fully intact collector's set that we have ever seen offered at public auction. This is a tremendous complete boxed set (#1 to 240), ideally preserved in the original cello packs and display box exactly as issued in 1938, that would be a significant highlight in even the most advanced world-class nonsport-card collection. Total: 24 cello packs and display box. Reserve $20,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $39,000
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