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1949 Topps X-Ray Roundup Original Artworks (5) Including Mae West
Starting Bid - $200, Sold For - $480
Original Topps production panel featuring five original artworks used in the company's 1949 "X-Ray Round Up" series - Figures of the Wild West. Topps produced some of the smallest trading cards in history when it first starting making insert cards in 1949. Included among Topps' initial offering in 1949 were cards from its "X-Ray Round Up" series, which were issued in Pixie Bubble Gum packs. Despite their tiny format (measuring just 7/8 x 1-7/16 inches), the "X-Ray Round Up" cards packed an artistic punch because of their flamboyant colors and extraordinary detail. The set was divided into four categories: Figures of the Wild West, Indian Chiefs, Pirates of the Spanish Main, and Savage Tribesmen (50 cards per group). It should be noted that the "Western" subgroup contains pictures of movie stars (such as Mae West) who portrayed Westerners in film, and that most, but not all, of the Indians were copied directly from a classic nineteenth-century tobacco-card set issued by Allen & Ginter. The set title "X-Ray Roundup" refers to the "gimmick" backs of the cards. When you flip the card over there is a drawing created by printing wavy orange lines onto a white cardboard stock. Underneath the orange picture there are, visible to the naked eye, a series of fine blue-green lines, which when an enclosed slip of red "X-Ray" is placed on top, reveal another totally different picture.
This offered production panel (measuring 8.5 x 2.5 inches) features five original artworks from the set's Figures of the Wild West category, including Mae West (as "Diamond Lil") and Henry Hull. The painted rectangular area below each figure is where the identifying text appears on the finished card. The panel is in Near Mint condition and has been mounted on to a slightly larger cardboard backing. A fascinating and rare original artwork collection relating to one of the earliest sets ever issued by Topps. Reserve $200. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $480
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